The founder of Gonzales Byass was born exactly 200 years ago, in the same year as Charles Dickens, many of whose characters were partial or more than partial to a drop of sherry. To celebrate the anniversary, the third bottling of the extraordinary phenomenon that is En Rama has made use of the most ancient and venerable casks in the Tio Pepe Solera and is even more intense, fragrant and satisfying than its hugely successful forebears. Why is it so good? Put simply because it is the purest most powerful expression of Fino sherry that one is every likely to encounter.
En Rama, very roughly translated as ‘in the raw,’ is local jargon for a wine that has been bottled in its most unrefined and delicate state, foregoing the processes of clarification and filtration which may rob a wine of its distinct personality. The result is a deep golden colour, the most wonderful bread, yeasty, olive aromatics and the most extraordinary depth of saline flavour I have ever encountered in a Fino sherry of this age.
There may be a little sediment, of course; indeed the wine may initially appear a little cloudy... this will settle... and the wine, for all its assertive aromatic power, is actually, for the reasons rehearsed above, rather delicate, so should be consumed within three months of the bottling date, that is to say before the middle of August 2012. We defy anyone to even contemplate keeping it for longer; once tried never forgotten and very rapidly consumed! I challenge anyone to name a more satisfying aperitif for the balmy summer days which appear, finally, to have arrived!
(Simon Field MW, Berrys' Sherry Buyer)