Grapes are sourced from FdeC’s partners vineyards in the Jerez district. The soil type is Albariza. Picking takes place in early September. The wine is made from the first pressing of grapes, this gives a light fresh style. Fermentation takes place at relatively high temperatures to reduce fruit flavour. This makes a very neutral wine which is perfect for the production of sherry. The wine undergoes malolactic fermentation. In the February after harvest the wine is fortified with grape brandy up to 15% abv. Once at this stage the wine is then added to the youngest Criadera in the Solera. The wine then begins its ageing process under flor. Only 20% of finished wine can be removed from the Solera in one year. The average age of the Fino solera is 4-4.5 years old. En Rama is bottled only in Spring and Autumn, when the flor is thickest. Each bottle is marked with the bottling date. ‘En Rama’ wines are bottled largely unfiltered and unfined – straight from the barrel – to preserve the intensity and complexity of the wine.
This Sherry is straw-coloured – darker than a normal fino as it has not been carbon-filtered. The aroma is yeasty with notes of apples and almonds. Intensely nutty and savoury on the palate with a distinct character of fresh bread and a salty tang. Dry with a bitter twist. Best enjoyed at 6-8 degrees C.
This is superb with food – served chilled with salted almonds, light fish dishes or seafood tapas. Perfect with salt cod (Bacalao) and fried hake.
Bodegas Rey Fernando de Castilla is located in the historic centre of Jerez. Its story began with the aristocratic Andrada-Vanderwilde family, who for two centuries provided grapes and wine for the production of sherry in the area. In 1972 Fernando Andrada-Vanderwilde took over some old sherry cellars and brandy soleras from a couple of local bodegas, and changed the name of the company from Fernando III to Fernando de Castilla.
In 1999 Jan Pettersen, a Norwegian with 15 years experience at Osborne, bought the company and also acquired a neighbouring almacenista, José Bustamente. He also formed a partnership with a local grape grower – to ensure consistent supply of high quality grapes – unusual for the smaller bodegas, who usually have to rely on co-operatives. He decided to focus entirely on high-end, complex sherries – in the process upgrading the bodega to one of the most interesting and highly regarded of the small independent sherry houses in Jerez.