Manzanilla de añada Callejuela 2012 – 1/11

So here we go – a wine I have been looking forward to tasting for weeks and one of the most exciting projects in sherrydom, as I wrote back when it first arrived. (I am going to try and be objective but I will be honest and admit that I just want this project and the guys behind it – including the Cuatrogatos Wineclub – to succeed for a lot of reasons.)

First impression – the colour. It is a solid looking, relatively dark gold (the clear bottle can play tricks on your mind and make you expect something slighly paler) and doesn’t seem to shine like an older wine can (this has, after all, been “only” three years under flor). Maybe a slight hint of green – maybe not.

The nose is a cracking mix of fruit and yeast – smells like fresh herbs, green tea (or even that german appley type tea) and apple/cider. Again, having read all about the old vines, the exceptional harvest and select fruit it is hard not to want to smell fruit here, but in the presence what seems more remarkable is how rounded and mellow the nose is: none of the piercing quality of some mostos/younger wines.

On the palate, it is big and voluminous in texture and, even in this day and age where one is accustomed to a 6 or an 8 year old manzanilla en rama, it has a great saline zingyness to it. It is compact and integrated and the fruit and fresh herbs are there in quantity: what it might lack in contours and definition it makes up for in flavour, and there is no sourness or bitterness in the finish.

Not the most elegant manzanilla (how could it be on such short notice?) but as fresh and full flavoured as it is fascinating. An excellent first instalment and I am really excited to see what this project will achieve.

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