It is cheap and ubiquitous and doesn’t get the credit it deserves.
Tio Pepe in fact has just enough body and expresses the fruit of the palomino, sea air, and buried moisture of the albariza/fungal workings of the flor. It is a complex and enjoyable little wine.
It is also a product of patient ageing, constant labour, and miraculous biology:
- The average age of the wine is around five years (as opposed to the three required by the Consejo);
- Those years have not been spent idly loafing, but in a solera process requiring frequent tasting and selection; and
- The flor that has been merrily chomping down the sugar and alcohol during that time is a naturally ocurring miracle almost unique to Jerez.
Let’s face it, you may drink more interesting wines from jerez but you probably won’t get many five year old, artisan made wines for five euros from other areas.