The best Fino on the market, single vineyard (Macharnudo district) and barrel-fermented, a bit fuller bodied than most. A perfect accompaniment to smoked fish (and almost any other fish dish) as well as being a delightful aperitif.
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There are many reasons why Valdespino's benchmark Fino stands out from the Sherry crowd. First are the grapes, which are sourced from a single vineyard, Macharnudo Alto, in High Jerez. Then there is the traditional fermentation, which takes place in large (600-litre) American oak barrels. Finally, there is the solera system, where the wine spends between eight to ten years, going through 10 stages (criadera) where most Finos have 3. The result, said the Top 100 judges, is "a wonderful weight of flavour with lots of body, fresh acidity and a really clean finish."
The Wine Merchant (Jul 2015)
A good pedigree: this is said to be the only Sherry still fermented in cask, from a single vineyard; with no less than 10 stages in the solera. The result is a complex wine; multi-layered with a salty and olivey tang.
---Expert's choice, Decanter Magazine
93/100 Sarah Jane Evans MW (Sep 2014)
If I had to single out just one Fino to take away to a desert island there would be no contest: it would have to be Valdespino's Inocente. Produced from grapes grown in Valdespino's own Inocente vineyard in the Macharnudo district of Jerez, it has everything you could possibly want from a traditional Fino: finesse, pungency and complexity.
Delicious nose. On the delicate side. Very lovely fruit. Very harmonious. Very elegant. This is a brilliant example. Marvellous balance. Splendid rich nutty character. Very long. Very fine indeed.
19/20 Clive Coates MW
Typical fresh twiglets yeasty-savoury, almost marmitey aromas on this classic Fino from Valdespino and a zippy, yeasty bone dry fruitiness make this single vineyard area Fino Sherry a superior summer sipper.
A great stretching exercise for your palate.
50 Great wines for Christmas.
Simple, zingy nose of bright apple, sea salt, leaf and toasty yeast. Immediately savoury and mineral palate offering a full-bodied impression. Complete and generous mineral finish. Jan 2010
4 STARS Decanter Magazine
A no-brainer aperitif, this tongue-tingling Sherry has both an appetite-whetting zingy saltiness and a richer, broader texture that many other Finos don't possess, no doubt thanks to its fermentation in oak barrels. Coming off a single vineyard in the chalky soils of Jerez, this Sherry ticks all the boxes, and although there's no doubt it's delicious with a dish of salted almonds, it also has enough finesse to be able to stand up to white fish or meat. Seriously good value for money.
The NV Fino Inocente must be one of the few wines in Jerez that is still fermented in 600-liter American oak botas, which is an incredible amount of work compared with fermenting tens of thousands of kilos of grapes (or even more) in a big stainless steel tank. This method was the norm of yesteryear, but is so labor intense that it was discontinued in most wineries, and gives a big diversity of wines, as each barrel has its own character, which contributes to the complexity of the blend. Furthermore, the bottled wine is on average 8 to 10 years old. One other thing that makes it apart from other Finos is that the grapes are exclusively from the high part of the Macharnudo vineyard, so this is a single-vineyard Fino. The nose is very complex, showing the effect of the long lees contact: chalk, dried hay, aromatic herbs and salty almonds. The palate is full, but at the same time elegant and balanced, powerful and fine, with the texture of a Meursault rather than a Puligny. A very complex wine, that manages to be both powerful and elegant. Inocente is great value for money.
94 Luis Gutierrez, The Wine Advocate
Valdespino: Full Wine List and Profile
Bodega Valdespino is one of the oldest bodegas in Jérez, originating in 1264, when King Alfonso X gave Don Alfonso Valdespino the gift of land in the City of Jérez. He was one of 24 Christian knights who fought to regain the City of Jérez from the Moors. The company of today was formed in 1875, but commercial activities are thought to date as far back as 1430. In 1999, Valdespino was bought by Grupo Estévez who were able to fund and maintain the traditional methods for which Valdespino is famous. Valdespino Sherries remain among the very best quality available, and Inocente is still the best Fino in the market, as well as being the only Sherry to be produced from the grapes of a single vineyard. Subtle changes to some of the other wines appear to have been for the best. Tío Diego Amontillado is now a little softer in style making it even more appealing and Don Gonzalo has been re-released in the VS range of older Solera wines.
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