22-11-2013

A unique tasting/streaming of Finos Palmas in Barcelona

Photo by Vinologue

Being that I am a quasi-neophyte in the world of Sherry, I will jump at the opportunity to join any tasting event to further my education of this generally delicious but generally unappreciated Spanish wine from Jerez (which for those who don’t know, is the Spanish name for Sherry.) And, every time I taste this meticulously aged drink, I am reminded of what every wine critic worth their wines and words says: Sherry presents one of the most amazing values in high quality, aged wines currently.

The producers’ main issue right now is that they have an image problem given that the drink is seen only for the cane-equipped, sitting in Heaven’s waiting room crowd. While I admit that your general club-goer in their early 20’s would probably miss the finer aspects of Sherry, those wine lovers who have reached the big 3-0 and beyond are missing something if we don’t include it in our list of tipples.

Given all that, when wine and blogger friends invited me to this exclusive tasting of Finos Palmas sherries, I immediately cleared my calendar. As it turned out, it was this zany, streaming event that was set in four different Spanish cities simultaneously: Jerez, Madrid, Sevilla, and of course, Barcelona. While the main part was set down at the winery of Gonzalez Byass, they rotated around for commentary by sommeliers at the other locations as well, allowing my large head to hover in to view on the interwebz while sipping the sherries and focusing very hard to understand the Andaluz accent. In Barcelona this took place in this hidden gourmet space at the back of the very swanky designer shop of Antonio Miró, where they even have a full kitchen.

finospalmas-tableSo, here’s the thing, if you don’t have a high opinion of Sherry due to having only tasted a small handful (or less) of them where you live, and especially if you haven’t tasted the higher end sherries, you should really do a tasting such as this if ever given the chance. These “Finos Palmas” are select barrels that they bottle. While a completely different process, think of this in the same way we regard select, Single Barrel Whiskey. Each of the “Palmas” is of very high quality, unique, and patently fantastic in its own right. Below are the quick and brief tasting notes I tossed off on Twitter given that its a hard medium to write proper tasting notes on:

Una Palma is aged for six years and makes me feel I’m walking through an alpine forest and then bathe in a thermal spring. Round with a little punch.

Dos Palmas sees eight years of contact with the “flor” and has that freshness you find when the rain hits river stones on a hot day. Mineral, citric, and alive.

Tres Palmas is 10 years old and is from a single barrel. Fittingly, it’s Thanksgiving dessert with a slice of pumpkin pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. An incredible composition and it seemed to be a crowd favorite.

Cuatro Palmas is again a single barrel selection, but one that has been aged 48 years! It’s like having hand rolled cigarettes and hazelnuts with an old friend who moved to the country. In a nutshell, elegant as hell.

It is also worth mentioning that after the tasting, they put on a little “pica pica” with a gorgeous jamón that was cut by a “Master Jamonero” and cheeses from Asturias (including one quite strong one that blew my mind when paired with the Cuatro Palmas called, Casín). There were even some special pepper and tomato jams as well as Catalan neules by Casa Graupera. All in all, a wonderful tasting which you can watch in its entirety here.

Photo by Vinologue