The Cuatro Palmas (four palms) is an annual limited selection of a small number of the very best casks of Tio Pepe Fino sherries from Bodega González Byass in Jerez de la Frontera, which are usually publicly presented to the sherry and hospitality trades and selected press in November.
This year’s selections will be made later this week by Antonio Flores, Gonzalez Byass’ master winemaker, and master of wine Peter Liem and, as always, will be bottled “en rama”, without filtration or clarification.
I was fortunate enough to attend a tasting of these incredible wines at Andalucía Sabor, called The Ages of Tío Pepe, which included the “mosto” from this year’s harvest, Tío Pepe en rama (bottled last May) and the four different Palmas. This past July Cuatro Palmas won the International Wine Challenge “Champion of Champions” Trophy and the title of Best Wine in the World.
The tasting was led by Antonio Flores with his usual blend of passion and poetry. Truly one of the most charismatic of “sherry whisperers”, Antonio took us through the six ages of Tío Pepe from “infancy” to “wise old age” and had us compare each age with the previous ones to appreciate the development of each stage. A delicious and educational process. Looking forward to trying this year’s selection.
- Una Palma is a 6 year old Fino selected from three casks, out of a total of 142, that exemplifies the evolution of the style.
- Dos Palmas is an 8 year old Fino selected from just two casks out of 150, reflecting the elegance of a well aged wine.
- Tres Palmas is a 10 year old Fino selected from a single cask at the limit of the biological ageing process.
- Cuatro Palmas iis a Fino that has passed to being an amontillado, and is selected from one of just six casks that have been ageing in González Byass for more than 50 years. It reflects the ability of Tío Pepe to evolve over time. Only half the cask is bottled.