Fino

Fino is a dry, pale white sherry wine produced within the D.O. Jerez / Xéres / Sherry

Some of the most renowned Finos include Tio Pepe (Gonzalez Byass), La Ina (Lustau) and Inocente (Valdespino)

It is made from the Palomino grape and biologically aged, entirely under a layer of flor. This cap of yeast prevents contact with the air, resulting in a yeasty, saline profile with notes of Mediterranean herbs, fresh dough and almonds. Maturation of at least 2 years in wooden barrels is prescribed by law, but the majority of good Finos are aged between four and seven years of age. At four or five years of age, the wine shows bright notes of flor and minerals, while older examples show more savoury complexity and less spikey salinity.

Like Manzanilla, the slightly more delicate and more coastal variety of Fino from Sanlúcar, it is produced in a Solera system, having different scales or criaderas and gradually refreshing lower (older) barrels with a part of the higher (younger) barrels. A typical Fino Solera contains between three and seven criaderas, consisting of American oak butts.

 

Types of Fino sherry

The flor in Fino barrels will usually live for about 7 to 10 years. At that point there is not enough material left in the wine to survive (the sugar content of the wine will be below 5 grams per litre), and the flor gradually fades, slowly exposing the wine to oxygen. Depending on the stage of the flor, there are two classifications of Fino sherry:

  • Fino is the traditional dry sherry, typically bottled around 4 to 7 years.
  • Fino Amontillado is the counterpart of a Manzanilla Pasada, in which the flor starts to fade. This style is rarely seen in the market nowadays – the difference between a Fino Amontillado and an actual Amontillado are made by the cellar master but they can be hard to spot once bottled. It’s usually darker and richer than a common Fino and it can reach up to 15 years of age under exceptional conditions.

Once the flor has broken down completely, the wine will be labeled as an Amontillado and continues to age oxydatively.

 

Appreciation

Fino is a perfect aperitif or accompaniment to a wide variety of foods, as the dry profile stimulates the taste buds. It is best served chilled – depending on the producer, a temperature of between 4°C and 9°C will be suggested. It goes particuluarly well with olives, almonds, (fried) fish, seafood and Jamon Serrano, as well as with light cheese.

 

Fino sherry reviews


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