Earlier this week I was incredibly excited to taste this year’s release of Tio Pepe En Rama at Bar Pepito’s second year anniversary party.
Revolutionising the sherry industry, three years ago the team at Tio Pepe brought ‘En Rama’ (meaning ‘raw’) to the UK. Made from the best casks from each of the four ancient Tio Pepe soleras (I’ll let Wikipedia explain the Solera system), the liquid is taken straight from underneath the protective flor layer and bottled in its unfiltered and unfined state pretty much straight away in order to preserve its intense aromas and flavours.
This year En Rama’s release on the 24th May coincided with the 200th birthday of Gonzalez Byass’ founder – Manuel Maria Gonzalez and my, what a sherry it is! Rich and nutty, this is quite a step up from your average Fino. More rounded on the palate and a deeper amber colour, this sherry has a hint of saline and a delicious honeyed character. Savoury and enticing, it is an incredible food wine.
Each year the bottle is given a new label to signify the new release and this year’s label is an intricate hand-drawn piece from 1857, retrieved from the Gonzalez Byass library.
Because this wine isn’t messed about with, it does have a limited shelf life, so get your hands on this rare and sublime drink within the next two months for just £11.95 from Lea & Sandeman and enjoy it chilled in the sunshine (hopefully) with a plate of cured meats and some olives. Alternatively, head to Bar Pepito and have a glass of Fino in the courtyard alongside some tasty tapas (their tortilla de patata is amazing) – it doesn’t get much better than that!