Fernando de Castilla Antique Palo Cortado NV

Type: Fortified Wine
Country: Spain
Region: Jerez
Grape Variety: 100% Palomino Fino
Alcohol Percentage: 20%
Viticulture: Vegan Friendly

Climate: Generally warm as a direct consequence of its low-lying altitude. Though the proximity of the Atlantic Ocean plays an important role in maintaining levels of humidity and moderating temperatures
Terroir: Grapes are sourced from Fernando de Castilla’s partners’ vineyards in the Jerez district. The soil type is Albariza. Picking takes place in early September
Ageing: Palo Cortado is a rare variety of sherry that is initially aged under flor to become a fino or amontillado, but inexplicably loses its veil of flor and begins ageing oxidatively as an oloroso. Only about 1-2% of the grapes pressed for sherry naturally develop into Palo Cortado. The name means ‘cut stick,’ in reference to the mark made on the cask when this style of wine is recognized. Since the wine was originally destined to be a fino or amontillado, it will initially have had a single stroke marked on the cask. When the cellar master realises that the wine is becoming a Palo Cortado, he draws a cross (or cut) through the initial stroke (or stick), resulting in a crossed stroke or ‘cut stick’ (/). At this time the wine will be fortified to about 20% abv, to prevent spoilage from contact with the air and ageing continued separately from its original solera. This sherry is on average 30 years old.

Color: Amber
Nose: Clean, lifted nose of white chocolate, orange marmalade, almonds and incense
Palate: Balanced yet intense palate with good acidity and length

About the Winery:
Widely recognized as one of the most exceptional of the small, independent sherry houses, Rey Fernando de Castilla was founded in 1837 by a family named Andrada-Vanderwilde. Fernando Andrada was the owner. They started producing brandy in 1956 (they are very famous for their brandy in Spain and Europe) and trademarked the name Rey Fernando de Castilla in 1969.

In 1999, the house was purchased by Jan Pettersen, a Norwegian with a passion for top-quality sherry and 15 years of experience at Osborne. After taking over the cellars of the sherry shipper José Bustamante, located next door to the main facilities of Fernando de Castilla, Jan quickly revitalized this winery, and today they are once again known as masters of the production and ageing of fine, unblended, untreated sherries.

They produce two lines: the Classic and the Antique. The wines in the Classic line have lower alcohol, and are styled to be more, well, classic, meaning that these are wines that are textbook representations of their kind. However, this house’s reputation is based on the excellence of the Antiques, a series of intensely pure and complex single solera sherries that undergo extended ageing in the cellar (the Antique PX is a 30-year-old system, while the Fino is 8 years) which results in sherries of great complexity and depth.