It is no exaggeration to say that I am very excited about this parcel that just arrived courtesy of the Cuatrogatos wine club.
The wine comes from old vines on a pago called “El Hornillo” and the 2012 vintage was of historic quality. Due to the extremely high quality of the wine/must a decision was taken not to include it in the criaderas of the bodega. Instead, Ramiro Ibañez (he of the Encrucijado, referred to in past posts) decided these 11 butts were good enough to be bottled as vintage manzanillas.
The 11 butts have been set aside and are being “statically aged” – ie under flor but not in a solera. There is no mixing, even between these 11 butts. Each year Ramiro will select one of the butts for bottling: for this reason, this bottling is Butt 1/11 of 2012 and is expected to have a markedly biological character. However, the character of the successive releases (each one 800 bottles or less – with purchasers of the previous year’s vintage having a preferential right to future bottlings) will clearly be different, and it is likely that there will be more oxidation (although time will tell). The last butt will be bottled, if all goes well, in 2025.
This wine has just arrived and deserves a rest after its long journey. What is more, I have a cold, and cannot possibly do it justice right now. I will, however, report further, and probably at some length.