Out with friends tonight, I drank sherry for the first time on this London trip. (Two whole days in London without sherry! Almost unthinkable.) Both the Fino and Antique Oloroso from Bodegas Rey Fernando de Castilla, now owned by Norwegian Jan Pettersen, were quite good, if not exactly my style. Very rich, it seems, which isn't necessarily what I'm looking for. But they were both highly satisfying.
Speaking of sherry, the Sherry Council of America just conducted an online chat with César Saldaña, Director General of the Consejo Regulador of Jerez. The first question posed was mine—I am quoting the transcript of that section:
Moderator: The first question comes from Peter in France. Peter asks, "Why is Sherry filtered so heavily? Equipo Navazos has proven with their La Bota wines the Sherry can be shipped even without a heavy filtration. So why don’t more companies offer en rama Sherries or try to filter less heavily?"
César Saldaña: The main reason why many houses tend to filter their Finos and Manzanillas is because they try to enlarge as much as possible the shelf life of the wine.
But you are right, Peter. Heavy filtering is something that improves the shelf life but also has an impact on the wine's intrinsic characteristics.
This is why more and more companies are offering "en rama" wines with very little filtering. Obviously, this requires a much better control of the distribution system so that the wine gets to the consumer within a much more limited shelf time.
OK, decent answer, especially considering that it's politically sensitive and that he has to be diplomatic about it. But this is curious: "This is why more and more companies are offering 'en rama' wines with very little filtering." Really? Other than Barbadillo, of course, do you know of any other bodegas that are currently offering en rama wines in commercial distribution?