Gonzalez Byass Brandies
09 Wednesday Mar 2016
Five generations ago, the Gonzalez Byass legend awoke in the southwestern outpost of Spain’s Jerez. Today, the “everyday” Soberano is distilled in a continuous distillation system while the Lepanto brandies are carefully curated in pot stills imported from Cognac.
This full-on Airen was aged for a year in American oak, using the classic Spanish criadera system. This wine exhibits both a youthful fruit exuberance and a clearly creamy and buttery dynamic, too. The attack is spirit-y, though pleasantly round and viscous given its nine grams per liter of residual sugar. It definitely packs some punch, too, as there’s noticeable alcoholic fire in the belly of this one. Rough around the edges, it’s easily a choice for hearty cocktails though less of a sipper as it lacks acidic precision and shows a short spectrum of flavors. The medium-minus finish tastes of burned caramel apples, cinnamon and maple syrup-drenched pancakes.
Lepanto OV Brandy de Jerez
Made exclusively from Palomino Fino, this is a “true” Jerez Brandy. Lepanto Brandies are the only to be double-distilled then aged solera-style for a minimum of 15 years in Jerez. The OV is aged in barrels that previously contained the house’s famous Tio Pepe Fino Sherry, then again for an additional three years in barrels that aged old Oloroso or Vintage Sherries. This beauty is deep copper in color. It smells of dried cinnamon stick, aged firewood and roasted hazelnuts. The balance is delicate and the finish lingers with finesse. This is a terrific brandy to sip after dinner, possibly with a Dominican cigar.
Lepanto PX Brandy de Jerez
This Palomino Fino brandy has a roasted walnut skin core with a pale yellow rim. From sniff to sip to finish, it is sumptuous. This is the most complex and rounded brandy of the trio with layered dried apricot, Marasca cherry and pineapple flavors as well as sweet spices and smoked hazelnuts. Though cranking in 22 grams per liter of residual sugar, it’s almost unnoticeable as there is an enormous body of flavors and solid medium acidity to structure this big package. The lingering finish tastes of iced pecan cinnamon roll yet feels impressively dry. It’s sure to seduce!