It is that time of year again. You are wondering what to get for that special sherry blogger in your life. Well worry no longer for I have the answers.
There is a school of thought that the old standards are the best, and there is no doubt you can’t go wrong with a bottle (or two) of La Panesa, Solear en rama, Maruja pasada, el Fossi or Tresillo. You certainly cannot go wrong with the white Sanlucar wines of Ube, the unique Encrucijado or the awesome Pandorga, and I must be doing something right if wines like this are such a regular part of my diet.
On the other hand and since it is Christmas you might be thinking bubbles. If so, just go with it. The palomino bubbles of Mr Angulo, the sherry dosed chardonnay or xarel-lo of Colet Navazos, or even just some Salon or Selosse from a decent year: there is room for all chez Sharquillo.
But if you are looking for something extra special, there are a few things I would relish in particular:
10. First, I am curious to see what Peter Sisseck does with Fino Camborio. One of the big names of the “new Spain” has acquired one of the great old soleras – the last release of which was an absolute belter – and the combination is fascinating. Part of me hopes he doesn’t change anything (and it’s not exactly as if I need an excuse to get another bottle or two) but the possibilities are there.
9. Las Viñas de Callejuela 2014 – to be honest I would settle for more of the 2015s (and I bet they will be better for a year in the bottle) and I look forward to the 2016s but from the little I have seen/sniffed/swallowed of the 2014s they are going to be absolute corkers. In fact as I write this I can imagine the Blanco brothers in red suits with big white beards – merry Christmas fellas!
8. That brings me on to the new crop of Mayeteria Sanluqueña. There were some little gems this year and this is a project that if there is any justice is set to grow and grow.
7. Beyond a picture on twitter I have absolutely no idea what they are doing but even so I am intrigued to the point of anxiety by the potential fruit of the fruit of the Leclapart Muchada union. (Sisseck, Leclapart – it looks like something really is changing down there.)
6. I am almost ashamed to have to include Las Tres Miradas in this list. There is really no excuse for not having tried them yet. The guys at Alvear have kept me informed of the numerous tastings and there is no doubt in my mind of the potential either: the lads at Envinate know a few things about distinctive and approachable wines.
5. Back onto more familiar terrain and I personally cannot wait for the Fino and Oloroso la Barajuela 2014 (and frankly anything from La Barajuela). I have been lucky enough to try the fino twice already and it was awesome but if Willy thinks it wasn’t ready for the bottle then who is going to argue with him? All I can say is when it is ready it looks like being a monster fino, and if that is the fino …
4. And still I want more. Having been up and had a look at the vineyards nearly 18 months ago a chap is getting impatient with regard to Willy Perez’s wines from la Esperanza and El Caribe whatever they are. Come on Willy, get on with it!
3. And that Christmas carol line about King of Kings brings to mind Primitivo Collantes’ UVA Rey – wine of an unspecified nature from a vineyard of this regal old variety planted by the unsung hero of Chiclana. Once again all I know is that I saw a bottle on twitter alongside some of those cryptic descriptors that experts use, but knowing the man I reckon it is going to be tasty.
2. As I write this list I am getting more and more excited about the year ahead and one of the reasons is the relaunch of La Riva, one of the famous names absorbed by Domecq in the boom years and recently acquired by Ramiro Ibañez and Willy Perez. They have a white wine and a fino from the original vineyards and some little cellar dinosaurs in the pipeline and they will find me lying under the tap with my mouth open.
1. But what I am most looking forward to is Pitijopos Vol III, which this time around – possibly the last – is due to cover some of the legendary vineyards, and the old way South is watering at the very thought of it. But it almost doesn’t matter what the wines are like: if anyone ever does anything as important as the Pitijopos in Jerez again I will be very surprised, and there will probably never be another box of wines created with more genuine passion.
I appreciate it is a long list, but just think of my little eyes lighting up on Christmas morning …