González Byass Viña AB Amontillado Sherry

Pale amber color; almonds, hazelnut, apricot, saline, yeast on the nose; almonds, minerality, orange peel, saline and hints a slight bitterness on the palate.

González Byass Viña AB Amontillado Sherry

Dry; flaunts richness and dry nuttiness. Basically dry, but 16.5% ABV and the amontillado process gives illusion of touch of sweetness. In amontillado process, the first stage of aging in under the veil of flor—as happens with fino and manzanilla—but then the flor disappears and the wine is exposed to oxidation. The wine spends 12 years in American oak in traditional solera system. Excellent acidity at 2.8 pH.

Palomino grapes are fermented to 11-12% ABV, then fortified to 15.5% and enters the solera system. The temperature and humidity in the Jerez cellars causes layer of yeast known as the ‘flor’ to form on the surface of the wine. Flor is the most important influence in fino wine as it protects the wine from oxygen and engenders unique aromas and character.

The wine spends a minimum of four years under flor in the solara system. The wine then moves to the Viña AB solera for eight more years. The flor die as a result of lack of nutrients and increased alcohol concentration, which allows the wine to oxidize, providing more depth and complexity. Twelve years is relatively young for an amontillado. Viña means vineyard in Spanish, and AB refers to Andrés Botaina, the original owner of the vineyard that supplied the grapes.

González Byass facility
Tio Pepe solera

Manuel Maria González created González Byass in 1835. The operation remains in family hands today, now in the fifth and sixth generation. Gonzáles Byass is located in Jerez de la Frontera, Andalusia—the heart of sherry country. The “Sherry Triangle” is made up of Jerez de la Frontera, El Puerto de Santa Maria, and Sanlucar de Barrameda. The region has a unique microclimate influenced by the surrounding Atlantic Ocean and Guadalquivir and Guadalete rivers.

Tio Pepe founder Manuel María González Ángel

Jerez de la Frontera, Jerez is a city in Andalucía in southwest Spain and the center of the Jerez region and sherry production. Sherry is a mere English corruption of the term Jerez, while in French, Jerez is written, Xérès. True Sherry can only be made in Andalucía, where the soil and unique seasonal changes give a particular character to its wines. The process of production—not really the grape—determine the type, though certain types are reserved for certain grapes.

Palomino grapes dominate production of dry sherries and is the grape used in this effort. The palomino grapes are planted in the white Albariza soil, with high chalk content which is excellent for retaining moisture. The soil conditions, combined with over 3,000 hours of annual sunshine, fresh, humid breezes from the west, and warm, dry breezes from the east form the ideal marriage with the palomino variety to produce an array of sherry styles.

Iconic Tio Pepe “Bottle Man” in front of the Gonzalez Byass winery

González Byass is best known for it Tio Pepe brand. Viña Amontillado is a part of that brand and is made in the same facilities.

González Byass Viña AB Amontillado Sherry is graceful, elegant 12-year-old wine that nicely balances ripping acidity, minerality, and a soft, smooth body. This is the entry-level amontillado from González Byass. Works as an aperitif or classically paired with with tapas; excellent with nuts, hard cheese, cured meats, which shouts you will enjoy with charcuterie board. Pair with seafood—mackerel, oysters, sardines; white meats; rice dishes; even works with asparagus and artichokes. Served well chilled to expose the aromas. $17-20 (375 ML)

González Byass USA website

Tio Pepe ambassadors
Tio Pepe solera
Tio Pepe portrait