Sherry is undergoing an awakening not only in this country, but in the region itself.
Within Sherry, the slow move away from the aggressive filtration of Finos and Manzanillas testifies to this. Simply put, something is lost when sherries are given a high amount of filtration. En Rama (or very, very lightly filtered) sherries reveal another level of complexity and texture.
In a climate where values seem very difficult to find, Deliciosa En Rama stands out as a great deal in how much pedigree and complexity it delivers.
I tasted a sample brought in from Spain and was blown away. I've always been a fan of the regular Manzanilla Deliciosa, but the En Rama version brought another dimension of flavor and energy to the saline elegance of Deliciosa. It was really, really lovely.
For the debut release, they've chosen to bottle it in the spring when the flor is at its peak. The flor's impact is strongly felt here: there's a yeast-y richness combined with the delicate citrus and sea breeze notes that only Manzanilla delivers.
Manzanillas are fino sherries made close to the ocean, in Sanlúcar. These are the most delicate, feather-weight dry sherries out there, with the ocean atmosphere adding a bracing lightness.
As with the regular Deliciosa, the En Rama is around 5-6 years of average age - it's able to boast the complexity and depth that comes with age while still maintaining some energetic youthfulness.
The process of aggressive filtration began in earnest in Sherry during the 70s and 80s when a corporate and industrial mentality captured a large part of the region. Soon enough, the public demanded the pale, light sherries that the process produced. While there are plenty of good examples of highly filtered sherries, a good deal of dynamism is lost. Thankfully, the pendulum is swinging back.
As I mentioned at the outset, Valdespino is one of the undisputed greats of Sherry, and it's really great to see them bottling En Rama. We suggest that you stock up. The level of refinement and complexity, not to mention the value, is too impressive not to.