Manzanilla Maruja 


Tree up and a fella deserves a cooling glass. Here we have the Manzanilla Maruja from Bodegas Juan Piñero, where the enologo is none other than Ramiro Ibañez.

This is from a solera originally used for fino by Terry (you may recall I happened upon a venerable bottle of fino Maruja). The fruit is from El Hornillo and was fermented in the “lagar” at the vine itself using naturally occurring yeasts. It is then aged in a solera with no fewer than 8 criaderas and has spent an average of around 8-9 years under flor.

The wine is a really serious creation.  Has a solid, slightly dark gold colour to it and a big nose that just shouts sea air – lots of salty ozone – yeasty hay bales and, at least at first, a little apple.

Very salty on the palate – really zingy on the tongue and quite full bodied in texture. Massive power and length but very mineral – I don’t get quite as much juice or fruit out of it as I expected. (It suggests a serving temperature of 12-15ºC but second time around I have tried it in the 10-12ºC range and I think it expresses a little better by just muting that salinity a touch).

A serious, salty and mineral manzanilla – just maybe lacking some fruit and aromatics for my taste.

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