This year's Decanter World Wine Awards International Trophy for the Best in Show Dry Fortified under £15 went to La Ina, Fino, Sherry, Spain NV (15%)
- There were no other Regional Trophies tasted in this category
This Trophy-winner stood unchallenged. Our judges are not obliged to award an International Trophy in any of the categories; however, after little deliberation they were in no doubt that this fino was fully deserving of being granted one.
‘This is a great message for consumers,’ our judges said. ‘This is a wellpriced fino that’s a perfect expression of the style. It’s bone dry, of a proper age, pure and wonderfully floral.’
Now owned by the great Sherry bodega Lustau, La Ina has long been considered one of the finest interpretations of fino – this palest and driest of Sherry styles – so there’s little surprise it has taken one of the 33 International Trophies at this year’s DWWA and scored a double for Lustau in the Dry Fortified category.
Cellarmaster, or capataz, at Lustau since 1999 is Manuel Lozano, who controls the entire wine production process, from the care of vineyards to the ageing of the wines. Lustau was founded just before the end of the 19th century by former court clerk José Ruiz-Berdejo.
All the wines he produced from his property, which was called Nuestra Senora de la Esperanza (Our Lady of Hope), he sold on to the larger exporters in Jerez. As such he was known as an almacenista or stockholder. Today Palomino grapes for La Ina come from Lustau’s Montegilillo vineyard north of Jerez, which it bought about 20 years ago.
This vineyard is blessed with the famed albariza soil of Jerez that is very chalky and helps retain the moisture on the surface in these hot, arid climes. La Ina matures in American oak casks, under flor, in a solera that was founded in 1919; about 60,000 bottles are produced annually.
Mineral and pungent on the nose – thanks to that protective ageing under the flor yeast – this Trophy-winner is bone dry but full, rich and savoury on the palate, and a perfect partner for a range of tapas dishes and seafood, or simply as an aperitif.
Written by Decanter