Wine Reviews: Gonzalez-Byass Sherries

Posted by | Posted in Wine Reviews | Posted on 09-08-2018

thumbnail (1)Gonzalez-Byass is synonymous with Sherry. Dating back to 1840s, the renowned Sherry firm began as a partnership between Manuel María González Ángel and a British importer Robert Blake Byass. Gonzalez’s pale fino Sherry, Tio Pepe, made a big impression in the British market, and Gonzalez-Byass continued to gain traction with a wide export market.

Today, the winery is still run by Gonzalez family members, and they’ve expanded into other regions of Spain as well, like Bodegas Beronia in Rioja.

These Sherries power on, providing a lot of quality, value, and some historical perspective. Sherry has a lot of fans today, of which I am most certainly one, and it’s remarkable to think about how these wines have found fans all over the world, over the course of several centuries. It’s nice, I guess, to see some good things change very little over time.

I recently received four samples from Gonzalez-Byass, and found them all to be excellent. I tasted these wines sighted. Notes below.

N.V. Gonzalez-Byass Fino “Tio Pepe En Rama 2018”- Spain, Andalucía, Jerez-Xérès-Sherry
SRP: $27/750ml bottle
Light gold color. Awesome aromas of sea salt, olive brine, dried seaweed and jetty rocks, along with ginger, herbal liqueur and baked apple tart. Full but bright, creamy but focused, rich but a racy, saline quality throughout. Salted almond, green olives, candied orange peel, candied ginger, salted almond, jetty rocks and crushed seashells, with some green herbs thrown in, too. The complexity is so impressive, especially at this price point. This wine sees four or five years in Soleras, but has so much depth already. Wow. All Palomino grapes, 15% alcohol, 10.5 g/l of residual sugar. (91 points)

N.V. Gonzalez-Byass Sherry Palo Cortado “Leonor” 12 Años- Spain, Andalucía, Jerez-Xérès-Sherry
SRP: $25/750ml
Deep amber color. Loving the aromatic mix of green olives, candle wax, sea salt, with richer notes of honey, graham cracker, apricot, lemon meringue. Texturally, this is rich and seductive but vibrant acidity and a dry feel keeps it bright and clean. Baked apple, apricot and salted lemon blend well with olive brine, sea salt, ginger, musky cologne, along with graham cracker and ginger. Gutsy but elegant at the same time. All Palomino grapes, 20% alcohol, about 6 g/l of residual sugar. (91 points)

N.V. Gonzalez-Byass Sherry Palo Cortado “Apostoles” 30 Años- Spain, Andalucía, Jerez-Xérès-Sherry
SRP: $50/375ml
Deep amber color. Aromas show apricot jam, baked apples, glazed pears, along with honey, graham cracker and salted almond. Rich, full and suave but fresh, too. Flavors of sweet yellow plums along with complex notes of candied ginger, maple syrup. There’s a combination of sea salt and salted almond that is really intriguing. Rich but nervy, and totally delicious. Made from Palomino with 13% Pedro Ximenez. 20% alcohol and 50 grams/liter of residual sugar. (92 points)

N.V. Gonzalez-Byass Pedro Ximénez Sherry “Noé” 30 Años- Spain, Andalucía, Jerez-Xérès-Sherry
SRP: $50/375ml
Dark brown color. Aromas of figs, plum cake, berry compote, along with dark chocolate, anise, ginger snap, a lot going on. So rich and sweet on the palate but the acidity helps. Flavors of plum cake, fig paste, lots of coconut shavings, crème brulee and caramel. Plush, rich, intensely sweet, concentrated, yet nuanced. 15.5% alcohol, more than 400 grams/liter of residual sugar. (92 points)

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