González-Byass – Sweet Sherry

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Signierte Sherry-Fässer
Signed sherry barrels

A visit to the Bodega Tío Pepe of González-Byass in Jerez de la Frontera is practically a “must” if you are exploring sherry in the sherry triangle between the cities of Jerez, El Puerto de Santa Maria and Sanlúcar de Barrameda. A visit to this bodega was also on the agenda of the trip of the wine academy beginning of October this year.
The company, founded by Manuel María González Ángel in 1835 and continued as a partner from 1855 together with the English trading partner Robert Blake Byass, is now owned by the González family and is one of the most important corporations in Spain. Vines are under yield on over 1350 hectares. In addition to the production of sherry and brandy, as in Jerez, the Gonzalez family’s empire also includes bodegas that produce sparkling or still wine, such as the Bodega Beronia in Rioja or the Cavas Vilarnau near Barcelona.

Tío Pepe als Windfahne
Tio Pepe as a wind vane

The Fino Tío Pepe is undoubtedly one of the most famous sherry products. The company’s sherry portfolio also includes manzanilla, amontillado, Palo Cortado, Oloroso, Pedro Ximénez and cream, the latter mostly under the company name Croft, whose Spanish involvement was taken over by González-Byass in 2001.

Tasting Gonzalez Byass

In addition to dry wines, sweet sherry was tasted (prices under tasted wines).

Solera 1847 Oloroso Dulce
(18% alcohol, 128 g / l residual sugar, 5.7 g / l acidity)
Mahogany-colored, very fruity, dried figs, light caramel, pleasant barrel notes, very good wine.

The wine is a blend of 75% Oloroso and 25% Pedro Ximénez Sherry (PX). Both sherry are matured separately in the solera for around 4 years, then blended and remain in the solera 1847 for another 4 years.

Néctar Pedro Ximénez
(15% alc., 370 g / l residual sugar, 2.9 g / l acidity)
Dark brown with a greenish rim, dried fruits on the nose, some honey and slightly spicy notes, lots of raisins, molasses and hints of herbal spices and chestnuts on the palate, sweetness sufficiently contrasted by acidity, round, good wine with a long finish.

Due to the high sugar content of the grapes, the yeasts can only ferment the wine up to an alcohol content of about 7%. At this point, it will be fortified to a precentage of 15% alcohol, with subsequent 9 years of maturation in the solera.

Apóstoles Palo Cortado V.O.R.S.
(V.O.R.S. = Very Old Rare Sherry or Vinum Optimum Rare Signatum; 20.5% alc., 50 g / l residual sugar, 6.2 g / l acid; 87% palomino, 13% Pedro Ximénez)
In the color amber with a slight copper engraving, in the nose orange, nut, in the mouth very fresh, present acidity, delicate toffee sweetness, nutty, mineral, very harmonious, very well balanced due to the addition of PX, excellent wine.

El Cristo y Los Apóstoles
El Cristo y Los Apóstoles

According to the DO regulations, residual sugar levels of less than 5 g / l are requested for Palo Cortado. Thanks to a special permit, González-Byass is allowed to market his (average) 30-year-old apóstoles as Palo Cortado, despite its residual sugar of 50 g / l, which underlines the character of the wine rather positively. The two base wines for the Apóstoles are aged for 12 years in separate soleras and, after blending, together in a solera for another 18 years.

Matusalem Oloroso Dulce V.O.R.S.
(20.5% alcohol, 130 g / l residual sugar, 4.0 g / l acid; 75% palomino, 25% Pedro Ximénez)
Dark caramel brown, figs and dates and a bit of walnut on the nose, dark chocolate, toffee, light roasted, coffee and barrel notes, harmoniously soft finish, excellent wine.

The two base wines for Matusalem are matured for 15 years in separate soleras and, after blending, together in a solera for another 15 years.

Noé Pedro Ximénez V.O.R.S.
(15.5% alcohol, 400 g / l residual sugar, 5.3 g / l acid)
Dense, brown-black color, raisins and other dried fruits as well as spices in the scent, in the taste also gingerbread and some coffee, raisin-sweet, highly viscous, very long finish, excellent wine

After fermentation, which is only possible up to an alcohol content of 7% due to the high sugar content, it is matured in the solera for 30 years.

 

Gonzales Byass Suesse Sherries

More about wine score, wine assessment and sherry.

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