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Turbo-charged Tio Pepe marks milestone anniversary

Renowned sherry producer González Byass has turned back the winemaking clock to celebrate its 175th anniversary this year with the unveiling of the Tio Pepe En Rama.

Loosely translating as “in its raw state”, the fino is made without fining or clarification and comes in Tio Pepe’s original label.

Just 175 nine-litre cases have been made to mark the milestone anniversary of the founding of González Byass in 1835, and according to senior business manager Paul Daniell, all of them have already been sold, primarily to online and mail order merchant The Wine Society.

The fino, which is essentially a cask sample, is made when the Sherry flor is at its thickest in spring, and the timing, as well as minimal filtration, ensure the retro Tio Pepe has a more intense flavour and slightly cloudy appearance.

However, without stabilisation, the Tio Pepe En Rama, which was shown to press for the first time at the LIWF on Tuesday, does have a maximum three-month shelf life.

Daniell compared the new fino, which has an RRP of £11.99, to a limited edition extra strong Marmite, while Jeremy Rockett, marketing director at González Byass UK described it as, “turbo-charged Tio Pepe”.

Such has been the success of the limited edition sherry, Daniell said when speaking with the drinks business, “In theory, we could do an annual En Rama when the flor is thickest in the spring”.

Patrick Schmitt, 18.05.2010

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