Apart from selling delicious Spanish wines straight to your doorstep, part of our job here at Simply Spanish Wine is to encourage you to broaden your tasting horizons and try new wines and new grapes. So we thought we'd shine a light on three still wines made with the Palomino Fino grape.
Palomino Fino, or plain Palomino as it’s usually referred to, is generally known as the grape behind all those litres of sherry that get produced in the Marco de Jerez. It’s ideally suited to sherry making – it stands up well to drought and produces a reliable crop of grapes which tend to be quite low in both acid and sugar and which can oxidise quite easily. That makes them the perfect raw material for gentle ageing in the criaderas y solera system to produce marvelous sherry bursting with character and complexity.
But Palomino is not just the staple ingredient in Fino, Manzanilla or Amontillado. Increasingly you’ll also find it in everyday still wines from down south, as more visionary producers like Willy Pérez or the Equipo Navazos team explore the full potential of the grape that Spanish wine expert, Sarah-Jane Evans, has described as a “sleeping giant”.
These winemakers are turning Palomino’s relative neutrality to their advantage and using it to make delightfully light, refreshing white wines that reflect the limestone-rich, dazzling white albariza soil of Jerez.
They’re also harking back to winemaking traditions of the past. The eighteenth-century term “vino de pasto”, for example, is making a bit of a comeback. Originally it was a term applied to the most drinkable, everyday wines from each bodega. Sometimes these wines were fortified, sometimes not – the important thing was that they were approachable, easy-to-drink vinos de mesa for the everyday.
And that’s what characterises today’s Palomino wines. They are easy to drink, light and fresh. But that doesn’t mean they are run-of-the-mill table wines – far from it.
Whether it’s the bready, mineral notes of OVNI, the hints of raisin, pineapple and banana that you’ll find in El Muelle de Olaso, or the mouth-watering sapidity of Ás de Mirabrás, modern Palomino wines are full of character and individuality, and they offer a refreshing change from Spain’s more typical white wine grapes.
They’re also absolutely perfect for sipping by the pool as the Spanish summer gets into its stride.
Take a look at our Palomino wines below and try them for yourself.