Winner Details


2019  GOLD: 2             SILVER: 3         BRONZE: 0       COMMENDED: 1
2018  GOLD: 9             SILVER: 3         BRONZE: 1       COMMENDED: 2

Last year, we thought we’d broken the sherry barrier. After years of asking for more entries, we received a decent selection and were rewarded with a stimulating, wide-ranging and well-priced range of Golds for our list. This year, sadly, it was back to the bad old days: low entries and not many medals as a result.

It’s a shame, because somms love this stuff – and since supermarket shoppers don’t exactly seem to be falling over themselves to buy it, the on-trade, surely, is the best bet.

The one ray of light? We’ve got three words for you: Fernando de Castilla. Staggering quality across the range, year after year. The Oloroso deservedly won our Caspar Auchterlonie award for the star fortified. Truly wonderful wine that deserves its price tag.


‘We finished this flight with a glorious, really recommendable Pedro Ximénez, that was beautifully balanced and not cloying. That, along with the oxidative styles here, really have a place for sommeliers.’ Sarah Jane Evans MW, team leader

‘These were fantastic. The highlight of the day. They were all super-high quality and worth every penny. I could feel the Spanish sun in them.’ Nelio Pinto, Candlesticks

‘The finos really stood out, particularly the lowest-priced one. They were really well made and good expressions of the style. And that Pedro Ximénez was something else. I’ve never tasted anything like that.’ Charlie Carter, Ten Green Bottles

Award winners

Found 6 wines


Fernando de Castilla, Antique, Oloroso (50cl) NV, Jerez, Spain

Gold medal winner

‘So refined!’ began an admiring Beatrice Bessi of 67 Pall Mall as this took its place on the Gold List, while team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW described ‘a gloriously powerful nose of roasted walnuts and mahogany, leading to rich, baked jam notes on a very intense, driving palate with a punchy, long finish’. Tobias Gorn of Boisdale Restaurants added praise for its ‘complex long-aged rancio elements, an explosive palate, and a gentle finish’.

£22.15 Size: 50cl Boutinot

Fernando de Castilla, Classic, Fino NV, Jerez, Spain

Gold medal winner

With its ‘great typicity that jumps out of the glass’, according to team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW, it’s no surprise that this took home a Gold medal. ‘Salty, floral, herbaceous and nutty,’ added Charlie Carter of Ten Green Bottles, going on to find ‘delicate saline flavours of almonds, garrigue and petals, leading to a vibrant, balanced, refreshing finish’. This all led Nelio Pinto of Candlesticks to declare it ‘perfect with Iberico ham’.

£9.65 Size: 75cl Boutinot

Fernando de Castilla, Antique, Pedro Ximénez (50cl) NV, Jerez, Spain

Silver medal winner

‘The very essence of Christmas,’ said team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW. ‘With its velvety texture, melted chocolate and spicy silkiness this wine is astonishingly drinkable,’ she added, further describing it as ‘treacly but with such freshness it’s brilliantly balanced. Miraculous!’.

£24.50 Size: 50cl Boutinot

Bodegas Yuste, Aurora, Amontillado NV, Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Spain

Silver medal winner

Charlie Carter of Ten Green Bottles found aromatic notes of ‘toffee, burnt caramel and toasted almond’, and thought they mingled with the ‘rich treacle, orange marmalade and bitter lemon flavours’, summing it up as ‘rich, full and long lasting’.

£20.09 Size: 50cl Top Selection

Bodegas Yuste, Aurora, Manzanilla NV, Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Spain

Silver medal winner

‘Soft salted butter and toasted almond aromas, with rich caramel and almondy, woody flavours,’ said Charlie Carter of Ten Green Bottles, praising it for its ‘lovely complexity and refreshing acidity’.

£16.58 Size: 50cl Top Selection

Bodegas Yuste, La Kika, Manzanilla NV, Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Spain

Commended medal winner

£34.50 Size: 37.5cl Top Selection


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