The Solear series was one of the pioneers of the “en rama” trend – with Barbadillo releasing for each of the four seasons every year since 1999 – and not only was it the first but it is a reliable favourite of mine.
I include above the now traditional family photo of my budding collection of these brilliant manzanillas. Had I known back in 2012 I was going to start this blog it would be bigger, but careless consumption intervened (although the guys at Barbadillo very generously found me a couple of back issues to complete the sequence (only one of each though so haven’t been able to crack them open)).
In any event, the flock currently includes:
- Winter 2013 aka the Blacktailed Godwit;
- January 2014 aka the Black Kite;
- Summer 2014 aka the Yellow Wagtail;
- Autumn 2014 aka the Stonechat;
- Winter 2014 aka the Serin/Siskin;
- Spring 2015 aka the Golden Oriole;
- Summer 2015 aka Rednecked Nightjar;
- Autumn 2015 aka the Dormouse (see also here and here);
- Winter 2015 aka the Razorbill;
- Spring 2016 aka the Roller;
- Summer 2016 aka the Teal/Garganey;
- Autumn 2016 aka the Little Bustard;
- Winter 2016 aka the Egyptian Vulture; and
- Spring 2017 aka the Winged Stilt.
These really are brilliant manzanillas: full bodied and tasty as they come, and although not precisely the same wine each time, they provide a great opportunity to contrast sacas from the different seasons (and against other manzanillas and other wines). They are also quite a distinct style of manzanilla en rama – I would call them a full bodied, full flavoured style.
I reckon my favourite of the above was the Dormouse – just a little more oxidation and a little less flor influence – but the Teal/Garganey has caused a very good impression first up. I wish I had a case (of magnums) of each and every one but my limited storage infrastructure will not allow. If anyone does organize a decent vertical I fervently wish to be invited!