A fino en rama by Peter Sisseck. Peter is most notably known for his work at Dominio de Pingus, but he found himself in Marco de Jerez. One of Peter’s motivations in entering the wine world of el Marco lay in the fact that it has the world’s oldest continuous vineyard classifications. Even although the big company corruptors have done all they can to erase the signature of the land on its wines over the past 50 years, the pagos remain, known and named for many hundreds of years, if not respected much of late. And, Peter was totally fed up with the corruption and ignorance in his main place of work - Ribera del Duero.
Peter’s extremely neat rendition of how Finos grow in relation to flor – the wine lives between the velo de flor (live yeast) atop it, and the cabezuelas (spent yeast lees) underneath. The live yeast atop the barrel eats glycerol, acetic acid and alcohol, reducing volume in the mouth, rendering the wine’s bony skeletal edge (and imparting its floral scent). The dead yeast lees which sediment the floor of the barrel give back coating mouthfeel and texture. The cabezuelas are particularly deep in the Bodega San Francisco solera, adding heaps of mouthfeel and texture. Peter feels that these days the cabezuelas are disrespected and little understood, but represent the real wealth of fine old solerajes.
Peter plans an annual saca (removal of wine from barrel – sacar is to take) every spring, only taking about 80 litres per bota.
Lemon rind, dandelion, thyme balm, melon tendril, persimmon, straw, parmesan rind on the nose. The mouth’s flavoured with deep chalk, iodine, scents of a rockpool, with a hit of spice to finish - white pepper and anise. It’s gently graduated, the spice rolls beautifully, a hit of feijoa bitters is relieved by talcy tannin and acid twines in gently towards the end. It’s a wine of slow, profound reveal and resolve; there’s great clarity of purpose and journey, without force and it’s deceptively easy for a wine of considerable power.