This blog may appear to be turning into an elmundovino.com appreciation society but it is not the case. I have of course always held them up as an authority but this recent apparent burst of enthusiasm is a symptom of Murphy’s law of periodicity. It is simply that, like buses in the London rain, you wait a long time for them to do a piece on sherries and then they come along again and again and again.
After a tasting of Equipo Navazos by Victor de la Serna last week they published the results of a tasting of finos, manzanillas and some bigger beasts by Victor de la Serna, Juancho Asenjo and Alberto Pérez Marín and then today they have published a further tasting by Victor de la Serna, Alberto Pérez Marín, and Jens Riis.
Really top class tastings all of them: in the first tasting all the latest Equipo Navazos releases; in the second tasting, the Palmas series by Gonzalez Byass and leading en ramas of the likes of Solear, Pastora, Fernando de Castilla, and la Guita (and a glimpse of the Callejuela Manzanilla de Añada 2012 2/11) and in the third some more of the latest releases by Equipo Navazos, some classics from Valdespino, a series of sacas of the great Tradición Fino, the wines of Juan Piñero and the Williams & Humbert añadas (which Victor de la Serna actually tasted with the author last week).
Overall the scoring is very high (which is no more than you would expect), and looking through both notes and scores I am proud to say these experts and I seem to be of a mind in most things. It was in particular an honour to taste the Williams & Humbert wines with Victor and I fully agree with his notes and scores – was in the process of writing up my own and will clearly have to work harder.
Only two differences that I can detect: they didn’t seem to have enjoyed the wines from el Puerto (other than the excellent 3 en Rama) as much as I do, while I may need to revisit the Valdespino classics. (I also need to get my hands on more of the Piñero wines – while I love the Maruja the others have somehow evaded me to this point.) Interestingly, in the second tasting they compared the Solear en Rama summer 2016 (aka the Teal) with its 2015 counterpart (the Rednecked Nightjar) and found that the year in bottle had given the 2015 an extra dimension. So much so that the tasting was accompanied by an op ed questioning the apparently still commonly held notion that en rama wines are for immediate consumption. I for one fully endorse that view (and the good news is that I have been able to get some more of the Nightjar). Then in the third tasting, on the other hand, they had at least one en rama manzanilla with a couple of years in the bottle that they didn’t rate as highly as I did when it was fresh. Clearly, time in the bottle giveth but also taketh away.
Overall, a really excellent trio of tastings, a good snapshot of some of the more important series of wines around and great to see that I am not alone in thinking these wines are all top quality.