Jerez hasn’t seen wines like these in 150 years. Rocío Áspera and Alejandro Narváez farm their white Pago of chalky vineyards outside El Puerto de Santa María without chemicals, a rarity in a region once known for producing the world’s most exquisite wines. Their attention to soil quality brings life to the magic of albariza: wines electric with scintillating minerality. Rocío and Ale make mosto, the colloquial name for unfortified palomino and popular favorite in the Cádiz province, elevating it to new heights with a subtle touch of dry pedro ximenez. They use fruit from their finest parcels in the barrel room, where flor transforms their superb mostos into vintage sherries, made in the same fashion as the great Jerez of the 19th century, without solera. Instead of fortifying their sherries with brandy from the interior as D.O. Jerez mandates, Forlong relies on natural concentration of alcohol, acidity, and crucial minerals in their fruit to support a healthy aging under flor. They concentrate their sherry must further with asoleo, or sun drying, a common practice in the region until the 1970s, when plummeting prices broke the region's back and fortification with cheap wine spirits from the peninsula's central plains took its place. The unadulterated purity of Forlong's outstanding fruit makes their La Fleur among the finest fino en ramas produced since the industrial revolution.
Albariza tastes like oyster shell, summer 2017
Ale with baby Tintilla de Rota in albariza, winter 2017