Tradicion Fino Viejo Past & Present

Posted by Joe Salamone

Tradicion Fino Viejo Past & Present
Bodegas Tradición Fino:
May 2013 Bottling &
October 2014 Bottling

Having watched sherries like Fino Inocente, the La Bota Finos and Manzanillas and Barbadillo's En Ramas improve with a year or more in bottle, I made it a point to buy some extra of the inaugural release from Bodegas Tradición.

It seems like it was good move. The bottle has really blossomed. It's gained a lot of depth and harmony.

I thought that it would be very instructive and just cool to offer the May 2013 release with the just-bottled 2014, so there you have it.

Most people were taught that Finos should be drunk quickly after bottling, but when it comes to a certain breed of Fino, that traditional wisdom just does not apply. There are plenty of examples that have aged beautifully. The early La Bota releases are continuing to improve and a bottle of Valdespino's Inocente bottled eight years ago drank really, really well recently. There are plenty of recent stories out there about awesome Finos that were bottled thirty years ago.

There's good reason to be excited about the future of Bodegas Tradición's Fino Viejo. Bodegas Tradición is one of the greatest bodegas in all of sherry. They are unyielding in their approach, and it shows in their sherries. Each and every wine is a superlative example of its category.

Bodegas Tradicion

In May of 2013, they released their first Fino. It was just 1,200 bottles and quickly disappeared from the market. The bodega had focused exclusively on old sherry - before the release of the Fino, the youngest wine they released was 22 years of average age.

Unsurprisingly, their Fino clocks in at 12 years of average age, which is quite old when compared to the majority of Finos on the market which typically range between 3-5 years of average age.

The intention was to produce an "old fashioned" Fino that harkened back to when Finos were released with a lot of average age and were bottled unfiltered.

Of course, this dedication to the old school methods of sherry country is Tradición's calling card. Here's a case in point: Most modern bodegas depend on machines to work the soleras - the wine is drawn and replaced by pumps. Tradición relies on the traditional tools, like canoes, jars, siphons, etc. These are very labor intensive processes, but they feel it's all worth it on a qualitative level: the exposure to oxygen is more desirable, the wine in the barrels is disturbed less.

From the May 2013 bottling, expect more richness, more layers and more umami character with a glowing, energetic spine. The October 2014 bottling delivers more tension and snap behind the saline minerality and the nuttiness that the old age brings.

Both bottlings offer bold examples of just how impressive Fino sherry can be. Today, comparing the past with the current release allows you to imagine the aging trajectory. It's a very safe bet that they'll continue to gain complexity and mystery for the next four to five years and likely more.

To order, reply to this email or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone
Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits