Located on the coast, south west of Sanlúcar, Chipiona’s sandy soils are largely dedicated to growing Moscatel. Only a stone’s throw from the Atlantic ocean, Chipiona’s climate allows the flor to grow year round, making its Finos particularly unique. Bodegas César Florido is the only bodega in Chipiona to export any sherry, and with the single Bota No. 22 providing only 600 halves to go round, their Fino En Rama is a rare opportunity to taste a Chipiona Fino.
The Florido family undoubtedly have a long history in the Sherry, dating back to the town of Rota in the 16th century, before moving to Chipiona towards the end of the 17th century. Jose Maria Florido and Calderon de la Barca established themselves as producers around 1800, becoming one of the biggest exporters in the region by 1880 under the name Florido Hermanos, before being bought out by Domecq. The current bodega’s story seemingly begins in 1887 (forgive the vagueness, details are a bit hazy on this), before in 1942, Gaspar Florido’s father reestablished the firm as almacenistas. César Florido, the grandson of the founder, is the current incumbent of the bodega, and it was his direction that in 1997 that the bodega began bottling and selling wines under their own brand.
The bodega is one of the few remaining in Chipiona, which located on the coast, south west of Sanlúcar, has sandy soils largely dedicated to growing Moscatel, with the sweet wines produced mostly sold in bulk to Jerez, El Puerto and Sanlúcar. With limited demand for Moscatel wines, production has dwindled such that Chipiona is home to only two bodegas operating outside of the cooperative, of which only Bodegas César Florido exports any wine.
Chipiona’s climate allows the flor to grow year round, making the Finos particularly unique. Chipiona was once considered outside of the official Sherry triangle, and although now within the D.O. Jerez-Xérès-Sherry, is not within the zona de crianza ‘zone of maturation’ established by the Consejo Regulador, limiting the official ‘Sherry-Jerez-Xeres Manzanilla’ stamp to the town’s Moscatel wines.
Bodegas César Florido have three wineries in Chipiona, one within metres of the Atlantic, housing around 7000 butts in total. As one of the oldest bodegas in Chipiona, a town that was once home to 83 wineries, César Florido is now one of only two bodegas who produce and bottle their own sherries. They own 33 hectares of vineyard, Viña El Armijo, in the Pago Miraflores, where there is also a 16th century vineyard house. Notably, most most of their wines are made with grapes from their own vineyards, and when it’s necessary, buy in grapes from the Balbaína and Miraflores vineyards, rather than ready fermented must like most other bodegas. They work using mostly traditional methods, and sell their wines largely on the home market, exporting only a little.
Bodegas César Florido Fino En Rama saca de Junio 2017
Bottled to order exclusively for UK importer Les Caves de Pyrene, with the single Bota No. 22 providing only 600 halves to go round, Bodegas César Florido’s Fino En Rama is a rare opportunity to taste a Chipiona Fino. The Palomino grapes for this wine come from 20 year old vines growing on the albariza soils of the Pago Miraflores, before being aged within a stone’s throw of the Atlantic ocean for around 3 years.
Appearance Quite a rich, bright golden amber.
Nose Lots of yeasty flor character, a little musty and cobwebby. There’s rich almond marzipan and bakery notes, melding with chamomile and floral vanilla undertones, reminiscent of Pastel de Nata custard tarts, with hints of nutmeg spice.
Palate Rich, full and rounded, notes of marzipan, with more bitterness than evident on the nose, bitter green almond, lemon zest and juice. Quite zesty and pithy, with green apple and lime zest, this has unusually good acidity for Palomino. Some salty character, not so much marine, as salted lemon gose beer. Complex and long finish.
Conclusions Superb, very characterful and unique. Feels quite youthful now, it will be interesting to see how this develops, there’s the acidity and body here to give potential for excellence when this grows up.