27th February, 2014 by Lucy Shaw
For the first time in recent history, González Byass has bottled six rare vintages of Palo Cortado and Oloroso dating back to 1967 for a multiple release.
Gonzalez Byass Palo Cortado 1978
The wines, dating from 1967 to 1994, will be available in the on-trade exclusively at The Connaught hotel in Mayfair and in the off-trade solely at Selfridges.
While Sherry is traditionally a blend of fortified wine from different harvests aged in the solera system, each year González Byass holds back a small amount of specially selected Sherry butts and ages them as individual vintages in American oak casks until they are ready for release.
The company currently has over 3,000 casks of vintage Sherry dating back to 1834 at its disposal for possible release.
Having closely monitored their development, González Byass’ chief winemaker Antonio Flores selected four vintages – 1967, 1975, 1989 and 1994 – to be bottled for the first time and join the current 1982 release.
In addition, GB’s celebrated 1978 Palo Cortado is being re-released after its initial run in 2010 as Flores deemed it in perfect condition to bring back to the market.
Keen to champion Sherry, The Connaught is devoting a page of its wine list at the Coburg Bar to the range, where each of the vintages will be available by the glass.
With just 30 bottles of each vintage released, the range went on sale at Selfridges this morning starting at £115 for a 75cl bottle of the 1982 Palo Cortado.
The 1989 Oloroso meanwhile, has a retail price of £155, while the 1978 Palo Cortado is selling for £240 and the “Very Rare 1967” has a £240 price tag.
There will also be the chance to purchase a mixed case of all six vintages for £999.
Selfridges head wine buyer, Dawn Davies, plans to put the six Sherries on Enomatic at the Selfridges Wonder Bar to give consumers the chance to try the unique bottlings by the sip. The price per sip has yet to be decided.