And the winner is...
Fernando de Castilla Antique Amontillado
For a young company, Fernando de Castilla has had a remarkable achievement, in a short time overturning the negative image of Amontillado almost single-handedly.
MD Jan Pettersen, half-Norwegian but with a very long pedigree of working in the sherry business, relaunched the old bodega and in the process revived the image of very fine old Sherry with the Antique range. Against the tradition of brown bottles, he packaged the range in clear 50cl glass.
He avoided the more usual route of declaring an age for his Sherries of 20 or 30 years. Instead he chose his own definition of ‘Antique’ and allowed the resplendent colours of his Amontillado, Oloroso, Palo Cortado and PX to speak for their maturity. Yet despite this apparent iconoclasm, Pettersen is a real Sherry ‘insider’, knowing who to talk to when building the quality of the cellar, locating barrels of fine Sherries across the region to create the basis for his soleras.
The outcome has been consistent excellence – with the range garlanded at the outset, and since then winning consistent prizes. The Amontillado lies at the borderline between youth and age, with a memory of the fino it once was, but now showing the depth and power of growing age. The small bodega where it is made retains a classical charm, hidden away in the impossible to find Calle Jardinillo in Jerez.
White painted, its small, dark bodegas offset from the patio, the ultra-modern Fernando de Castilla yet appears more traditional than most. Be sure to take a detour to the Brandy bodega.
The company’s brandy is exceptionally good, enough to tempt even the most hardened of Sherry drinkers.
+34 956 18 24 54
Written by Sarah Jane Evans