With six centuries of sherry production under their belts, Valdespino lay claim to being one of the oldest sherry bodegas in the region. The heart of Valdespino is their vineyards. One of the few bodegas to release single-vineyard wines, their Macharnudo holding is one of the grand crus of Jerez at the highest altitude and located on the famous, and sought-after bright white Albariza chalk soils. From their savory and fresh Manzanilla Deliciosa and Fino Inocente, to their unctuous and intense Solera 1842 and Pedro Ximenez wines, the quality is world class and the bodega still ferment a proportion of their wines in wood, adding layers of complexity to the finish product. One of the few estates that age in solera far in excess of the DO regulations for all their styles of sherry.
DECANTER WORLD WINE AWARDS 2016 - GOLD
Lovely and assertive; the nose being reminiscent of lemon cheesecake, along with notes of red apple, green olive, camomile and toasted almonds. The creamy but dry palate is supremely elegant, showing fine maturity, great concentration and a very long, burnt sugar finish. This delivers on every level.
LUIS GUTIERREZ - WINE ADVOCATE
The NV Fino Inocente must be one of the few wines in Jerez that is still fermented in 600-liter American oak botas, which is an incredible amount of work compared with fermenting tens of thousands of kilos of grapes (or even more) in a big stainless steel tank. This method was the norm of yesteryear, but is so labor intense that it was discontinued in most wineries, and gives a big diversity of wines, as each barrel has its own character, which contributes to the complexity of the blend. Furthermore, the bottled wine is on average 8 to 10 years old. One other thing that makes it apart from other Finos is that the grapes are exclusively from the high part of the Macharnudo vineyard, so this is a single-vineyard Fino. The nose is very complex, showing the effect of the long lees contact: chalk, dried hay, aromatic herbs and salty almonds. The palate is full, but at the same time elegant and balanced, powerful and fine, with the texture of a Meursault rather than a Puligny. A very complex wine, that manages to be both powerful and elegant. Inocente is great value for money. Drink 2013-2016. I’ve often called Valdespino “the Romanee-Conti of Jerez.” Well, there, I’ve said it. To me they represent quality and tradition at the very top of the Sherry hierarchy. The winery, soleras and brands are old, registered in 1875, but with documentation about their commercial and winegrowing activities going back to the 13th century. Their recent history starts in 1999, when Jose Estevez purchases the company from the Valdespino family. Today Valdespino is the jewel in the crown of the Grupo Estevez, which also includes Real Tesoro and La Guita, who stock and age 35,000 botas of Sherry and own 800 hectares of vineyards, 56 of which come from the Pago Macharnudo, on pure white albariza soil, one of the best vineyards in the Marco de Jerez, and 17 hectares from the heart of Macharnudo are still fermented in bota today and form the core of brands like Inocente, Tio Diego, CP or Cardenal. All the wines were carefully and slowly moved to the new facilities of the Grupo Estevez on the outskirts of Jerez, where they continue their development under the supervision of Eduardo Ojeda, technical director, winemaker, who as a wine-lover is very aware of his role preserving these old soleras, wines and traditions. Imported by Polaner Selections, Mt. Kisco, NY; tel. (914) 244-0404 and Rare Wine Company, Sonoma, CA; tel. (800)999-4342
Persistent, dried apples, hints of rosemary, salt and cream, following through to a medium body, creamy texture and a flavorful finish. Subtle yet complex aftertaste. Drink now.
DECANTER WORLD WINE AWARDS 2015 - COMMENDED
Intense flor, rich, complex and attractive. The brown bread yeasty nose sings out.