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A returning Wine Champion in 2020 and one of the great fine-wine bargains. Pale bronze in colour and pure gold in the tasting room, this exquisite dry sherry from a tiny quality-focused house charmed the palates off us with its fine-tuned elegance, nutty price-tag defying complexity and haunting length.
Product Code: SH671
View all products by Sánchez Romate SA
Bodegas Sánchez Romate can be found in the historic heart of Jerez de la Frontera, and is one of the few bodegas still entirely owned by Jerez families. As well as being the home of sherry (the word ‘sherry’ is an anglicisation of Jerez), the city is home to many late gothic churches and convents, and is also the birthplace of flamenco, and some horse shows.With its pretty streets lined with fragrant orange and lilac trees, it is no wonder that families have been flocking here for centuries to produce its most famous wines. Romate’s founder, Don Juan Sánchez de la Torré, did just that in 1781, meaning it is now one of Spain’s oldest wineries still in operation. Their family-owned status means they retain both their independence (they still produce, age, bottle, and despatch all of their own produce) and can continue making wines according to their artisanal traditions. Their popularity went way beyond Jerez, however: they have also been the official purveyor to the House of Lords, the Vatican, and the Spanish Royal Family. Sánchez Romate own vineyards in some of the best locations in the sherry triangle, benefiting from western Andalusia’s glorious sunshine and cooling sea breezes. The white albariza (limestone) soil is perfect for sherry grapes (palomino and pedro ximénez) because they absorb and retain the winter and spring rainfall and supply it to the vine in the scorching summer. Their winery of course uses the Solera ‘steps and ladder’ system, a method unique to Jerez, and Sánchez Romate has it down to a fine art. They make all types of sherry – fino, amontillado, oloroso, palo cortado, cream and pedro ximénez – and age each wine in traditional American oak for varying numbers of years depending on its type.The flor that forms in the casks is vital to the sherry’s taste, flavour-intensity and texture (flor attacks glycerol, which can leave sherry fat and uninteresting). The type of flor yeast present in each barrel varies greatly, as different types form depending on the temperature variation throughout the bodega and the strength of the air currents. We’ve worked with Sánchez Romate to select the best casks for our Society Fino and Fino Perdido.One of our best-selling sherries is their Fino Perdido (or ‘lost fino’), an exclusive to The Society. The name is a result of a change in Spanish classification laws: the term ‘fino-amontillado’ to indicate a sherry halfway between the two styles was declassified in recent years. The Fino Perdido – a sherry made in this style – was somewhat abandoned until our sherry buyer, Toby Morrhall, discovered it when visiting the winery. It’s broad, rich, powerful style and delicious orange peel and nutty character has proven hugely popular with our members. Sánchez Romate remains a benchmark of Jerez wines: with over 200 years of balancing tradition with a cosmopolitan lifestyle, they have always aimed simply to please their consumers, and to satisfy an essential need – the art of living.
"1 glass in the risotto. 3 glasses for friends. All glasses creators of memories, and still half a bottle left. So intense that the flavour/price ratio is off the scale. A steal at £14.50. Smells sweet, tastes dry. Nuts."
I would recommend this wine
"An intentionally very tough comparison, I tried this immediately after a glass of Hidalgo VOS Wellington Palo Cortado.
This wine is lighter in colour, body and length and noticeably thinner; more astringent, more burny alcohol and with less glycerol but still very good aromas and flavours of burnt orange, barley sugar, toffee, coffee, roast hazelnuts with a touch of walnut and a medium finish. Forget the romanticism about Palo Cortado being a wine destined to be a fino that mysteriously loses its flor and so ages oxidatively, (A MW went to 15 Bodegas and found 14 ways to make Paul Cortado!), this wine is almost certainly a blend of Fino, Amontillado and Oloroso aged in Solera but expertly done. All in all a good Sherry offering good value for the money!"
"The combined first 5 words of the last 3 reviews contain 3 words that are all that really needs to be said about this Sherry - Extraordinary, Stunning and Incredible. I'd add 'Stonking' but that's probably pushing the limits of wine adjectives, but it fits. This is a BIG mouthful that really, really needs to be rewarded with carefully thought out food to accompany it. The freshest oysters, vintage Manchego or a bit pan-fried - but still very rare - Tuna work very well, but the best 'tapa' to go with this sherry is unfortunately something that is difficult to get outside of Spain (without paying more than this bottle cost) and that is really good, oil packed Anchovies (the stuff in the high street supermarkets don't cut it). Salty back olives are a better, cheaper option. This is a sherry to convince more people to drink sherry."
"Extraordinary stuff; a Sherry that leaves the usual wine descriptors behind. Certainly walnut and hazel nutty wood flavours; on the nose a rich Oloroso, yet balanced and absolutely dry. Powerful and long finish which overwhelms any cheese I've tried with it. Bit of a 'marmite' wine - but I think its fabulous and remarkable that TWS have managed to obtain stocks at this price."
"Stunning! Finished over a weekend and was lamenting the fact that I only ordered 1 bottle. At 13.50 yes its not exactly cheap but it really is worth it for the intensely nutty and clean palette."
"This is incredible value and for me represents a further step up from the already brilliant, Fino Perfido. There has been considerable fuss over the recent En Rama releases but for me this puts all of those in the shade. A seriously stylish sherry, balanced and with an incredible finish that will charm aficionados and newcomers alike."
The Spectator 10th Dec 2019
"Those nutty salty
cheeses like Manchego or Gruyere call for wines with some heft. Reds can be
good but sherry is ideal. I’d recommend ... the slightly fuller [than
amontillado] and sweeter-tasting (though still bone dry) Cayetano del Pino Palo
Cortado Solera ... which would also go nicely with blue cheeses. Really
overdelivers for the money. - Henry Jeffreys"
The Scotsman 4th May 2019
"Lovely combo of
vibrant freshness and rich texture. Our tasters loved the enticing toffee
honeyed aromas and rich nutty complexity (and the pretty label). Bone
dry, but not as searingly dry as some we tasted. Sleek elegant and
attractive on the palate. Selected from a family-owned sherry stockholder
(known as an almacenista) in this case Cayetano del Pino and is about 15 years
in age. - Rose Murray Brown"
The Daily Telegraph 24th Nov 2018
"If you enjoy the
flavours age brings to a wine, oxidised styles of sherry like this are the best
value old wines on the planet. This is a bone-dry, elegant palo cortado with
walnuts, spiced orange and wood polish. A complex, cerebral wine to sip and
contemplate. - Hamish Anderson"
Olive 14th Nov 2018
"With tobacco, toffee,
oak and vanilla notes, this sherry is a nice balance between dry and sweet. - Hannah Guinness"
The Observer 8th Jul 2018
"One of [Sherry's
alternative styles to Fino] is palo cortado, a style that starts its life in the
cellar as a fino, but then at some point loses its layer of flor. In the case
of Cayetano del Pino, that makes for a dry, lingering tanginess and nuttiness
that is superb with mushrooms or nutty stir fries. - David Williams"
decanter.com 6th Jun 2018
"A 2017 Decanter
Platinum winner and it's easy to see why. From one of Jerez's oldest
family-owned bodegas, this rare style of Sherry (a fino whose flor dies and so
ages oxidatively) is great value for the price, offering incredible complexity,
purity and detail. The nose suggests sweetness, with its pecan pie and vanilla
notes, but the palate is dry yet rich and umami-laden, boasting smoky walnut
skins and Christmas cake spice. Delicious! 94/100 Tina Gellie"
100 AWEsome Wines 1st Mar 2018
"Dry Sherry lovers
should not pass up on this lovely example of the rarer Palo Cortado style – a
natural taste-cross between Fino and Oloroso. Bone-dry, refined, with toasty
nuttiness and exceptional purity… Fino Sherry gone walkabout to the dark side! - John Ducker"
Decanter 28th Jun 2017
Award - Best Mature Sherry 2017:: Rich, complex nose with characterful
fruitcake aromas. Pure, concentrated palate of toasted pecans, burnt citrus
peel and spice. A touch of sweetness and a slight grip of walnut skins rounds
out the palate with a lovely long and complex finish."
Manchester Evening News 5th Nov 2016
"Very pungent and
complex. - Andy Cronshaw"
The Wine Gang 5th Oct 2015
"Just the most
fantastic value, this dry Almacenista Palo Cortado has a subte tawny colour and
is full of salted caramel on the aroma. Dry, fresh and nutty palate with a
smooth beurre noisette richness that goes on and on, and on. - The Wine Gang"
Hampstead & Highgate Express 10th Sep 2015
"A truly superb
experience… fragrant, intense, exquisite - Liz Sagues"
Sunday Telegraph 7th Jun 2015
"A dry style though a
deeper-coloured, richer delight [than manzanilla], intensely nutty in flavour.
Wonderful. - Susy Atkins"
Scotland on Sunday 22nd Feb 2015
"Its major components
are long, nutty, brown sugar flavours with touches of marmalade to add
roundedness and depth, but with balancing citrus acidity. - Brian Elliott"
JancisRobinson.com 27th Nov 2014
"Toasted nuts, acrid
smokiness, expansive complexity on the palate and huge persistence. Incredibly
savoury, with tons of umami character. Quite incredible length. 17/20 - Richard Hemming"
Scotland on Sunday 7th Sep 2014
"Brilliant… It has
all the usual nutty delicacy and dryness, but embellishes it with an
orange-centred citrus freshness and complexity. This bottle would convert even
the most die-hard sherry sceptic. - Brian Elliott"
The Mail on Sunday 25th May 2014
"A nutty tang with
coffee and raisin flavours.- Olly Smith "
JancisRobinson.com 15th May 2014
"Orangey gold ...
smoky on the nose ... chamomile aroma. [Powerful] ...smooth and round
especially on the finish. Nutty and savoury with a sour note that brings
freshness on the finish, like unsweet marmalade. Good value. - Julia Harding"
Decanter 1st May 2014
"Bottled by Sanchez
Romate from stock matured by a similar producer (or almacenista) that
specialises in the palo cortado style of Sherry, this is an amber-hued beauty,
with delicate and delicious nutty tones and added complexity from the 12 years
or so it has spent ageing in wood. A great wine. - Weekday Wines"
JancisRobinson.com 17th Dec 2013
17/20 Bright pale orange. Gorgeous life and
excitement and age. Only just not too old but absolutely fabulous for the
money. Bone dry, light and fresh while being deep flavoured and resonant.
Very good value.
Financial Times 21st Dec 2013
"Gorgeous life in this
12-year-old bone dry wine. Wonderfully light and fresh while being deep
flavoured and resonant. A great bargain. - Jancis Robinson"
Hampstead & Highgate Express 28th Nov 2013
- Liz Sagues
winegang.com 4th Nov 2013
stockholdings of a distinguished old name in Sherry, Cayetano del Pino, but
chosen and bottled by the discerning bodega/shipper Sánchez Romate, this is a
distinguished dry sherry for drinking with jamón or hard cheese, an intensely
complex and powerful mix of nuts, sweet oak, and deeper umami-like bass notes,
that is still very sprightly across the palate and fresh on the finish. 93/100"
JancisRobinson.com 11th Oct 2013
"This has the most
exciting life and freshness while being deep-flavoured and resonant on the
palate. Specially selected from a family-owned almacenista (sherry storehouse)
that specialises in palo cortado by old sherry hand Peter Dauthieu, it seems a
steal at £13.50 - especially when one takes its average age of about 15 years
into account. - Jancis Robinson"
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