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Tio Pepe Gonzalez Byass

Fino Sherry,


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Arguably the best known sherry from the largest bodega in Jerez, Tio Pepe has a light nose of dried flowers, almonds and olives, in a subtle way and a dry palate dominated by the chalky notes. Light and easy to drink, it is a good introduction to Fino Sherry

Variety:  Fino Sherry
Region: Jerez-Xeres, Spain
Winemaker: Tio Pepe
Size: 750 ml
Alcohol: 15.0%

Winemaker's Notes

Tio Pepe is pale golden yellow in color with a very unique nose of elegant aromas of yeast and toasted almonds. On the palate it is bone dry with flavors of almonds and a slight saltiness on the finish. Surprisingly fresh after 4 years of ageing with a long and complex finish. Serve very chilled. Perfect as an aperitif with olives, almonds and Spanish jamon however also ideal for dishes such as seafood and fish

John's Notes

In January 2020, I sat for the Fortified exam as part of my L4 WSET studies, and like many exams it included both blind tasting and wine theory components. And while the blind didn’t include a Sherry this time, I certainly drank a lot of Fino, Manzanilla, Oloroso, Palo Cortado, Pedro Ximénez, etc. in preparation

  • What wines were on the blind tasting you ask? A Basic Ruby Port, a Vintage Port, and a Rutherglen Muscat.  I correctly deduced 2 of the 3 (close on the third), but had to really scramble to get my thoughts on paper as I took too long on the wine theory section and left myself tight on time – probably no shocker for those of you who know me as time management is not my strength.  And yes, I passed

A few quick notes about Fino Sherry

  • Sherry is a fortified wine from Southern Spain that is meant to be served chilled
  • Most Sherry is dry and most Sherry is made from the Palomino grape
  • Fino is the lightest style of Sherry, and uses biological aging which essentially means that the wine is aged under flor (thick layer of yeast on the surface) which protects it from oxidation
  • The biological aging process contributes to aromas of hay, apple skin, bread dough and nuts
  • Sherry is produced via a Solera System; a system of maturation and fractional blending consisting of groups of butts (old wood vessels) or levels
  • In Spain, Fino is meant to be savored much like a whiskey
Nerdy Details

Winemaker: Tio Pepe, winemaker Antonio Flores

  • The Tio Pepe guitar player logo was first created at the end of the 1920s to symbolize the Andalucian origins of the brand
  • González Byass was the first Sherry winery to export the Fino style back in 1844 when they sent casks of this local style to the UK. This wine has now become a national icon and is the number one selling Fino in the world
  • The wine was named in honor of Gonzalez Byass’ founder’s uncle Jose Angel (Tio Pepe meaning Uncle Joe in Spanish)

Variety:  100% Palomino Fino

Region:  Jerez-Xeres, Spain


  • The area has a unique microclimate influenced by the surrounding Atlantic Ocean with its moist and cool Poniente wind as well as the hot and dry Levante wind coming from North Africa, and by the nearby rivers Guadalquivir and Guadalete
  • There is an average of 70% humidity and annual rainfall of 600 liters/m2 in the mild winters


  • All Tio Pepe vineyards are situated in “Jerez Superior,” recognized as the best area of the D.O.
  • The area is known for its white albariza soil which contains up to 60% chalk and has a large capacity for retaining moisture; important given the long hot summers, and since irrigation is prohibited
  • All grapes are hand harvested beginning mid-August and generally lasting 3 weeks


  • All grapes are carefully vinified and masterfully blended by Winemaker/Master Blender Antonio Flores who, like his father before him, personally checks every barrel at least once every three months
  • Tio Pepe is created using only the free run juice and must obtained using light pressure in the pneumatic press
  • Following fermentation to 11 – 12%, the wine is fortified to 15% abv where it then enters the solera system
  • The wine ages under the flor for a minimum of 4 years in American oak casks

Alcohol:   15.0%

Residual Sugar:  < 1 g/L

Pairs Well With:  Olives, cured meats, oysters, almonds


James Suckling (90):  This is the prototypical fino sherry with all the salty and yeasty character you expect. Also dried-apple, pear and lemon-zest character. Generous, but very dry and salty on the palate with a refreshing touch of austerity. Where are the olives? Drink now, if possible from a freshly opened bottle

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