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).
Pedro XimÃ©nez grapes are harvested and dried for up to 2 days in the hot September Spanish sun.
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 these wines. After fortification ageing takes place in a solera system. The initial wine has a sugar content of around 300 grammes per litre and is very concentrated. Having spent a long period, around 20-30 years, in barrels the final sugar content of the Antique PX is around 450 g per litre and the colour has developed over a period from a dark mahogany into an intense black.
Contains all the drama and intensity you would expect from a 20 year old plus, 500g/l sugar PX, and you can drink it too. There is coffee, liquorice, sweet tobacco, prunes, figs, raisins, tea and a dozen other fleeting scents with a surprising lightness and delicacy. An incredible, seductive, luscious and wonderful to drink sherry.
Ideal with chocolates and chocolate based desserts, ice creams and pastries as well as certain cheeses. Best served at 10-12 degrees Centigrade.