You have to say that is a fantastic presentation – and there is a little bottle shaped memory stick in there with promotional videos, tasting notes, press release, photos and pamphlet – a proper blogger could go to town with all this stuff. All I can try to do is express my gratitude to the chaps at Lustau who very generously sent this to me and congratulate them once again on three cracking wines.
The 3 en rama collection is, like the Almacenista collection, another great idea by Lustau and a concept with a lot of personality. They are selected en rama wines that have been aged in bodegas located in each of the three centres of el marco: Sanlucar (manzanilla), Jerez de la Frontera (Fino), and El Puerto de Santa Maria (Fino del Puerto). The wines are distinct and, in my limited experience, a good example of the characteristics of the three centres. As such they are a great introduction to the concept of the “other terroir”.
I couldn’t wait to get at them and they didn’t disappoint. All three are clean, fresh and defined. However good these wines may get with time in the bottle they certainly sing in these first few weeks (these were only bottled and released in April so we are a maximum of five weeks from the saca) and they all seem to have a brilliant curve of sweet notes to spicey saltiness.
- The Manzanilla de Sanlucar de Barremeda starts highest and sweetest – the freshness of the green apples on the nose and at the beginning are really quite something, then there is a real zing and almost drying saltiness in the middle and at the end a fresh, tasty sweet finish with a residual tang of that green apple.
- The Fino de Jerez de la Frontera has more of a vegetable, fresh celery semi-sweetness and a more intense, peppery zing. It seems to have more umami, more volume and a lower register, with an earthier nose and finish.
- The Fino del Puerto de Santa Maria was my favourite of the three last year and yet again it stands out. It has a fascinating ozone, sea weed and sweet herb nose and is just as complex on the palate – with sweetness, herbal menace and a really salty bite at the end, but then the freshest finish. Really a top, top class fino.
In summary three cracking good wines – and covering all bases. A light approachable manzanilla, a heftier but still elegant fino and a really top class fino del puerto.
The wines are also a poignant testament to the great skill of the late, lamented Manuel Lozano. He was some winemaker and will be greatly missed.