Published on September 12th, 2013 | by Ruben0
Fino (R.C. Ivison)
I bought this bottle at my local Delhaize supermarket, which has a good reputation for its selection of fine wines. However I’m sure it’s also available in some other countries like the USA or Germany.
This Fino comes from R.C. Ivison stocks, bottled and distributed by González Byass
The name R.C. Ivison may not ring a bell. Originally from Scottish descent, Ricardo Carlos Ivison had a large bodega in the Calle Pizarro in Jerez and some vineyards in the Pago Tizon. Under his (grand)sons’ management, the company prospered in the second half of the 19th Century. The label states ‘established 1840’ and indeed I’ve found several mentions of the company being part of the Sherry Shipper’s Association in the late 19th Century until at least the first World War. Their products were sold mostly to Ireland and the UK.
In 1964 the Ivison family sold the brand and the bodegas to Wisdom & Warter, which had been a part of the González Byass group since 1929. In fact González Byass was run by Enrique Ivison at that time. It brings us back to our bottle of Fino, as the label says the wine is bottled by González Byass S.A. although until a couple of years ago, their name wasn’t present on the label. The US trademark for R.C. Ivison expired in 1998 but the brand is still present in European supermarkets. The Ivison family is still highly regarded but they are not very active any more in the sherry trade.
Note that this Fino sells for less than € 4. That’s about the cheapest sherry you can find around here. I’m not entirely sure what to expect.
Fino (15%, R.C. Ivison, 75 cl)
Nose: a bit dusty. Shows faint aromas that remind me of Belgian sour Geuze beer. Lots of apple notes, both freshly cut apples and notes of sidra / apple cidre. Plenty of chamomile. Very soft hints of horse stables as well (typically points to Brettanomyces yeast strains). Settles down on almonds and fruity notes (quinces). Hints of balsa wood as well. Not bad, even with the quirky notes.
Mouth: fairly young, I’d say, still close to a regular white wine. Medium dry, with green olives, almonds and rounder hints of citrus fruits. Medium yeastiness. Again not bad, but not particularly captivating. Limited depth.
Availability: Delhaize supermarkets in Belgium. Irregular distribution to other places as well. Around € 3,75. What you pay is what you get?
Summary: Not my favourite Fino to drink on its own, but not bad with food. Probably fairly young, with a few disappointing aromas like cidre apples and Geuze beer. No competition for González Byass' own sherry. I suggest you spend a little bit more.