Valdespino "Inocente" Fino Jerez
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The NV Fino Inocente must be one of the few wines in Jerez that is still fermented in 600-liter American oak botas, which is an incredible amount of work compared with fermenting tens of thousands of kilos of grapes (or even more) in a big stainless steel tank. This method was the norm of yesteryear, but is so labor intense that it was discontinued in most wineries, and gives a big diversity of wines, as each barrel has its own character, which contributes to the complexity of the blend. Furthermore, the bottled wine is on average 8 to 10 years old. One other thing that makes it apart from other Finos is that the grapes are exclusively from the high part of the Macharnudo vineyard, so this is a single-vineyard Fino. The nose is very complex, showing the effect of the long lees contact: chalk, dried hay, aromatic herbs and salty almonds. The palate is full, but at the same time elegant and balanced, powerful and fine, with the texture of a Meursault rather than a Puligny. A very complex wine, that manages to be both powerful and elegant. Inocente is great value for money. Drink 2013-2016.
High-pitched, featuring talc, chamomile, chalk and jicama notes, followed by a pure, stone-tinged finish. Very graceful, lacy and long. Drink now. 2,500 cases made. (Web-2013)
Arguably our best and most serious fino, Valdespino is unique in that they still ferment their finos in older oak barrels, not in stainless steel like everywhere else. This special fino hails from the Macharnudo Alta vineyard, rated the best in all of Jerez for the quality of its albariza (chalk) vineyards. As an aside, Equipo Navazos Fino is sourced from Valdespino, proof of the terrific quality of their soleras. The quality of this wine for the price is simply incredible, and it should drink well for many years to be sure. Now available in a full size bottle! Cheers to that! (Joe Manekin, K&L Sherry buyer)