González Byass “Leonor” Palo Cortado Sherry

The unicorn of Sherries! Somewhere between the ethereal lightness and almost floral and dried fruit citrus characters of an Amontillado and the more powerful, nutty, caramelized characteristics of an Oloroso. A Palo Cortado takes a magical and mysterious path to become the complex character that it is. Aged for a time under a protective biological layer called Flor, and then further exposed to oxygen when the Flor dies away. There's no real set of rules for a Palo Cortado in the Sherry making world, but this rare style sits comfortably, deliciously in the middle of the range of other styles. Totally dry on the palate, but with mouthwateringly complex and deep characteristics. Sit back with this one a while and revel in everything that slowly unfolds as you sip.

With a histroy that’s nearing 200 years, González Byass is one of Spain’s most well-known and well-regarded sherry bodegas. Famous for their extremely recognizable Tio Pepe Fino Sherry, they make Sherry styles across the board, from bone dry and impossibly finessed finos to the unctiously sweet, dark nectar of Pedro Ximenez. (Ask us about those!) The expertise and committment to character and quality of this bodega is always consistent, which is why we have a particular fondness for their drops. 

Not totally sure what Sherry is? That’s ok. There are so many different styles of Sherry that it can be quite confusing, and many people find they have preconceived notions about what it is and whether they like it or not. In reality, people often have only ever tried one or two of the many styles that are out there. We guarantee, there is a Sherry for everyone! 

So here’s a very rough run-down. Sherry is an oxidized style of wine that comes specifically from Jerez, Spain (like Champagne can only come from the region of Champagne in France). All Sherry is made from white grapes! Usually it’s made with the Palomimo grape, but there are a couple exceptions, which include Moscatel and Pedro Ximenez. All Sherry is fortified, (starting at around 15% and going up to about 21%) so the alcohol level will be slightly higher than a typical table wine. Sherry styles range from being a light coloured, dry everyday-drinking table wine, going darker and sweeter in increments, all the way to Pedro Ximenez, which is the deep, dark, indulgently luscious style we typically think about pouring over ice cream. Palo Cortado is bone dry, and has delicately fresh, bright aromatic aspects, but also beautiful depth and texture on the palate. It can be one of the most interesting and versatile styles in the range, and quite rare, too. 

Sherry is considered by some to be one of the most food-friendly types of wines in the world! (Remember that there are many different styles of Sherry as well.) Spain is certainly a country that takes pride in its food and its wine, so it makes sense that a centruries-old wine like Sherry would have to work well with food.
So! Do like the Spanish. Serve this gorgeous Sherry slightly chilled and paired with…well, the variety is endless! You can enjoy this wine as a little afternoon tipple with some juicy, briny olives and salty cheese or nuts. Or if you’re feeling adventurous, go outside the box and think savoury mains like game dishes, caramelized seared pork, or curries on the mild-medium side like Penang or Rendang. It’s amazing what the complexity of a wine like this can work alongside and elevate. 






About This Wine

Albariza soils (high chalk content)
Savoury dishes with game meats like pheasant, game hen or venison. Deeply-flavoured curries, mexican inspired dishes with a chocolatey mole sauce, hard salty cheeses or smoked, salted nuts.