Fino is a dry, pale white wine produced within the Jerez / Xéres / Sherry D.O.C.
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 and almonds. Maturation of at least 2 years in wooden barrels is prescribed by law, but the best examples are aged between four to seven years. At four or five years of age, the wine shows bright notes of flor, while older examples show more savoury complexity.
Like Manzanilla, the slightly more delicate and more saline variety of Fino, it is produced in a Solera system, having different scales of barrels 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.
Types of Fino
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:
- 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 are hard to spot once bottled.
Once the flor has died completely, the wine will be labeled as an Amontillado and it continues to age oxydatively.
Fino is a perfect aperitif or accompaniment to a wide variety of foods. 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
- Fino Pale Dry (Aguilar)
- La Ina (Lustau)
- La Ina (Domecq)
- Tio Pepe (González Byass)
- Fino (R.C. Ivison)