Life After Tio Pepe
González-Byass Tres Palmas (500ml)
González-Byass' Palmas are some of my favorite wines in all of sherry. Out of the four Palmas, Tres Palmas is my favorite.
Since tasting the Palmas a couple of years ago, I've made it a point to chase them down. The first year I was doling out bottles. Then, this year, I was able to find a bit more and aimed to secure twice as much Tres Palmas.
The idea is to track "life after Tio Pepe" meaning fino as it ages. The Palmas range from 6-45 years of average age. Each Palmas is painfully selected and available in ultra-limited quantities. Tres Palmas represents the point where the line between Fino and its elder more oxidative sibling, Amontillado, is blurred.
The Fino-Amontillado category offers some of the greatest sherry experiences. They can be absolutely heartbreaking wines, delivering the depth and richness of Amontillado with the riveting edgy drive of a Fino.
The Tres Palmas, at ten years of average age, stands firmly within this liminal zone and along with La Bota's Pasadas, it's one of my favorites of this great category. Tres Palmas' combination of polished finesse and depth of complexity may very well be without peer. Out of the entire Palmas range, this is where the steely, mineral-laden verve and palate staining complexity interact with a mind-boggling harmony and completeness.
With Tres Palmas, a meaty umami-rich savoriness and depth of complexity is introduced. There's a ridiculous length and regal elegance to the wine. This is one of the wines of sherry that I find myself dreaming about drinking the most often. (Tres Palmas is sourced from just 4 barrels, so sadly I actually only get to drink a few times a year.)
González-Byass is a huge operation and for making sherry, there are some serious advantages to this. Their large stocks allow a huge range to choose from and when you start focusing on the best and most unique barrels, there are some really amazing things to discover. Tres Palmas boldly highlights this fact.
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