Bodegas Rey Fernando de Castilla is located in the historic centre of Jerez. Its story began with the aristocratic Andrada-Vanderwilde family, who for two centuries provided grapes and wine for the production of sherry in the area. In 1972 Fernando Andrada-Vanderwilde took over some old sherry cellars and brandy soleras from a couple of local bodegas, and changed the name of the company from Fernando III to Fernando de Castilla.
In 1999 Jan Pettersen, a Norwegian with 15 years experience at Osborne, bought the company and also acquired a neighbouring almacenista, Jose Bustamente. He also formed a partnership with a local grape grower to ensure consistent supply of high quality grapes, unusual for the smaller bodegas, who usually have to rely on co-operatives. He decided to focus entirely on high-end, complex sherries - in the process upgrading the bodega to one of the most interesting and highly regarded of the small independent sherry houses in Jerez.
Whilst the company also produces Sherry Vinegar, and their own range of brandies, the Sherries produced here are amongst the finest in Jerez - from the pale, dry and elegant fino to the most unique antique wines.
There are two ranges: Classic, and the premium Antique range. It is the excellence of the Antique range of intensely pure and complex single solera Sherries that has largely driven Fernando de Castilla's reputation as masters in the production and ageing of fine, unblended, untreated Sherries (they do not fine, clarify or aggressively filter any of their wines).
Grapes are sourced from Fernando de Castilla's partners vineyards in the Jerez district. The soil type is Albariza. Picking takes place in early September.
Fernando de Castilla deals only in prestigious, premium wines. The sherries are all from individual soleras. They are bottled without blending, cold stabilization or filtration of any kind in order to preserve the subtlety, purity and distinctive aromas of these premium wines. The products are all bottled in clear glass to show off the wonderful colour of the wines. Fernando de Castilla Antique Amontillado comes from a very old Fino (8 yrs old) which is refortified from 15.5% to 18.0% ABV and introduced into a solera of Amontillado where it spends a further 12 years.
A very serious and austere sherry with the classic greenish amber tint, typical of aged amontillados of a rich golden colour. There is a real tang to both nose and palate with orange peel, eucalyptus, varnished wood, fennel and a myriad of other flavours and sensations singing subdued screams against the background canvas of stark dryness and tense acidity defeated by the overwhelming complexities - a really sublime wine.
Ideal with consomme, hard cheeses or tapas dishes such as oxtail or chorizo sausage. Highly recommended with chicken liver parfait!