Fino unveils its own Sherry
London restaurant Fino is celebrating its 10th birthday with the introduction of a bespoke Sherry from Bodegas Hidalgo.
After a barrel tasting in Sanlucar de Barrameda earlier this year, Fino co-owner Sam Hart selected an en rama version of the bodega’s manzanilla pasada expression, Pastrana. This older style, which is made from wine averaging about 12 years of age, comes from grapes grown on the Hidalgo family’s Miraflores estate.
Around 1,250 bottles were filled this month and are currently being shipped to the UK. They are expected to go on sale in Fino, as well as the Hart brothers’ other London restaurants Barrafina and Quo Vadis, by the end of the month, priced at £36 for a 75cl bottle or £6.70 a glass.
Describing the limited edition’s mature, unfiltered style as “going back to how Sherry was originally made,” Hart explained: “I remembered Javier telling me that they used to drink manzanilla older and thought it would be interesting to bottle an older style that was like his grandparents used to drink.”
As part of this historical approach – and building on a recent trend for en rama Sherry releases – Hart added: “We decided it would be fun to bottle it en rama too because there are some characters that get lost in the filtration process.”
Javier Hidalgo, director of Bodegas Hidalgo, highlighted the modern day logistical improvements which have made possible the recent proliferation of en rama styles from houses including González Byass, Lustau and his own bodega.
“Nowadays you can bottle in Sanlucar and drink it in Copenhagen two days later,” he remarked. “You don’t need to stabilise it as strongly as in the old days.”
Although observing: “I wish that everyone drank en rama,” Hidalgo stressed that he would not be expanding production of this particular expression beyond the limited edition created for the Harts.
Instead, he pointed to his company’s existing en rama offer, saying: “We have the La Gitana en rama coming again in April. We have done it three times now and every time we have gone up – it was about 800 cases last time. However, given the shorter shelf life of the style, he noted: “We only make it when we have the orders.”
In addition to this limited edition Sherry offer, Fino will be marking its 10th anniversary with a new logo, as well as a refreshed menu, wine list and cocktail offer. This will be accompanied by a revamped website, which is due to launch at the end of March.