The González Byass Vintage Palos Cortados are a pure oenological treasure… a prodigious synchronicity… a true Time Capsule. How can we preserve, in wine, that special and personal memory that we do not want to forget? With its vintage wines, the Tio Pepe Bodega establishes an unforgettable link with a Client who is subsequently converted into a Friend, based on a bond that is signed and sealed by none other than the President of the Company. Generations of a Wine family insure the preservation of every detail that marks this occasion. The minutest detail will be distilled with a “vintage” touch, produced by hand, in order to record, in gold, that Chapter of the Small But Great Story that is so special to each of us.
This story begins in the old Tasting Room at the González Byass Bodega, where the most absolute essence of this company is jealously guarded. The Vintage Sherry Wines are a true oenological treasure, which this Wine Family has coddled from its inception in 1835. Since then, there has always been a portion of the harvest that is set aside in order to age it as part of this collection of vintages.
In the González Byass bodegas in Jerez, Antonio Flores, Master Blender, is preparing to conduct an “en rama” extraction of wine. However, since the last series of extractions there has been a change noted. If in the first years the criterion was to discover great Olorosos, after the 1978, 1979, and1982 vintages, there began a search for that Palo Cortado characterized by its delicate nature, its elegance…a most extraordinary cask which is almost eternal….
Our episode begins with a person huddled in the quietest corner of their home, surfing the internet: They have just launched their message in a bottle, via their search engine in order to find “Andalucía”, “Jerez”, or simply to evoke the memory of that lunch where they were surrounded by friends and at which they felt like they could breathe the happiness….
And, so, their message in a bottle arrives to the González Byass Online Store, more specifically to the Special Editions section. Each person looks for “their” specific year; that year that brings back a memory that is more than special. We are talking about an experience that was absolutely intimate and personal to them. That is why they are now at the González Byass Vintage section …
Like Antonio Flores says, “when someone enters into the González Byass webpage and requests one of our Vintages, they create a bond that, from that point on, will last forever.”
The González Byass team has just received the request via the Online Wine Shop. From there it is passed on to Bottling. At the “Las Copas” Bodega central office, the workers with the most experience will complete the next link in the process chain. Antonio, has been involved for 41 years in this part of the process which continuous to be done by hand.
After filling the bottle, its cork closure is affixed. This cork now bears the inscription that will identify it and the bottle: “Vintage Sherries”. The sealing wax is melted on a burner, aside the one upon which the raw material for the color is also being heated.
For the Vintage Wines, the color red has been selected because it provides an aesthetic and noble touch. On other occasions though, it was prepared in black, or blue, for example for the current King Phillip VI, when he was still a Prince.
The neck of the bottle is introduced into the melted wax solution, at its maximum temperature. The excess at the end is removed and it is given a rapid turn, but at the same time a delicate one, so that the finish acquires a perfect aesthetic appearance.
With the González Byass emblem the wax seal is personalized, even though it is still very hot. Once it has cooled, the bottles are placed on a special, hand-made, wooden rack for labeling. The labeling procedure is accomplished by hand, by a worker seated on a small bench.
Noted on a hand-written piece of paper, fixed above the highest part of the rack´s support frame, are the exact measurements for affixing the label at the proper height on the bottle. After the front label is affixed, the rear label follows.
Once the process is finalized, the bottle is allowed to dry in order to avoid the possibility of it adhering to the fine tissue paper in which the bottle will be wrapped for its final presentation. The bottle will be accompanied by an envelope with two letters signed by Mauricio González Gordon, González Byass President, which fully explain the Company´s perspective on the intrinsic value of Tio Pepe Bodega Sherry Wines . They are entitled “Vintage Sherry Wine” and “The González Byass Collection of Sherry Wines,” respectively. Along with them, there is a response-receipt card.
The entire masterpiece is placed in an attractive and luxurious presentation case, upon which the stamped name leaves no doubt: “González Byass: Jerez de Añada – Vintage Sherry.” A small portion of transparent adhesive serves as a second seal. Its final destination is a shipping carton, where this Treasure Chest, this Time Capsule, will be carefully placed, in the safest and most stable manner possible, for its immediate shipping.
It is now the moment for the arrival of this unique vintage to the Client´s home. All that remains is to just open it and enjoy it, with the exception of one small obligation: the return of the completed response-receipt card, in order to place it in the González Byass Historical Archive. Once there, its personnel will open the envelope, and they will incorporate the name of that person in a special Registry Book, within which there awaits a personalized page for each Client.
“The Vintage Sherry Wine of the ……Year has been sold to ….” After this, González Byass solidifies its more than special bond with each person. We are talking about an emotion-based fusion: immediately, this Client is transformed into a Friend – a life-long friend, who sought to incorporate a chapter of his Small But Great Story into that story which encompasses various González Byass generations.
The latest edition of Robert Parker´s publication, The Wine Advocate, has awarded 98 points to the Palo Cortado 1982 vintage and 96+ points to the Cuatro Palmas Amontillado.
Six González Byass sherry wines have obtained excellent scores in the latest edition of Robert Parker´s prestigious magazine, “The Wine Advocate.” Luis Gutiérrez, the Spanish taster for this publication, awarded over 90 points to a wide variety of González Byass wines. Those that stand out are the 98 points awarded to the Palo Cortado 1982 vintage and the 96+ points awarded to Cuatro Palmas Amontillado.
In the tasting notes, , the quality and exclusivity of the Palo Cortado Vintage 1982 is made abundantly clear, rating it as a “superior Palo Cortado which originates from one single cask and from which there have only been 667 bottles produced.” In addition, it is also pointed out that it is “a wine that is difficult to find.” They make a special recommendation that you should try to obtain a bottle, if you can find it.
By their own merit, the oenological gems which are part of the Finos Palmas collection have also been the object of excellent ratings: 96+ points for the Cuatro Palmas Amontillado (described as a “world-class Amontillado”), 93+ points for the Tres Palmas Fino, 92 points for the Dos Palmas Fino, and 91 points for the Una Palma Fino.
Tío Pepe en Rama 2014, with 91+ points, rounded off the group that received these high ratings. According to the magazine, this Tío Pepe, which is in a pure state, “is a wine that goes full-speed-ahead and which possesses the character and strength of the in ´rama´ wines.”
Antonio Flores, Master Blender González Byass, has declared that “these ratings are great news. They are testimony to the quality of our Sherry wines and to the care that is employed throughout their production process. It is wonderfully satisfying to know that Sherry wine is receiving the attention, in the international media, that it deserves.”
The world premiere of the documentary “El Misterio del Palo Cortado” has made Sherry the protagonist at the 65th Berlin Film Festival.
The premiere showing of the film was held at the Spanish Embassy in the German capital. Antonio Flores, Master Blender at González Byass, shared moments with the director, José Luis López-Linares, the producer, the musical director, and the actress Ruth Gabriel, among other members of the artistic group and representatives of other participating wineries. Antonio also met with German Sherry Educators Torsten Habermann and Jan Buhrmann.
The event, which included a sampling of our Tio Pepe Fino and our Leonor Palo Cortado, was attended by the Spanish Ambassador and his Consul for the local region, among other celebrities. The event was broadcast live via Televisión Española network.
The documentary was presented at the Berlin Film Festival as part of the Culinary Cinema category.
See trailer: http://youtu.be/y9kOivGGYyU
Following the premiere Antonio Flores presented the filmmaker Antonio Saura with a specially prepared vintage from 1981 in honour of the year in which the well-remembered film by Carlos Saura (Antonio’s father) “Deprisa, Deprisa,” was awarded at the same film festival.
During the after dinner Antonio Flores described our Palo Cortado as “a rebel wine, that cannot be understood, and which does not conform… a wine with soul and spirit.”
Present at the dinner, were Josep “Pitu” Roca, the sommelier at “El Celler de Can Roca,” and César Saldaña, Director of the Regulatory Council of Sherry, including the complete film-crew of the “El Misterio del Palo Cortado” documentary.
On Tuesday, the Roca brothers’ documentary film was also presented in the Culinary category of the festival. A film which portrays their jaunt through the Americas, in which Tío Pepe and Noé were their faithful traveling companions.
See trailer: http://youtu.be/XwBdPDI_d6c