The visit of some good friends gave me an excuse to open this special manzanilla and see how it was getting on in the bottle after nearly a year. It is a vintage or “de añada” manzanilla from palomino fino harvested in 2012, fermented and fortified to around 15% and set aside for “static ageing” in individual botas instead of in a solera. There were 11 botas in total and this is the second bota to be bottled (hence the 2/11), on this occasion with around three and a half years under flor.
It is a lovely crystal clear gold colour with just a hint of green to it – exuding fresh green apple, and it did indeed have a sweetness to the nose and at the beginning of the palate, but more like the slight sweetness of fresh almonds, but then some spicey and bitter grapefruit notes that I associate with the time in the bottle (at least I don’t remember it quite as bitter). An exuberantly zingy mouthful and also quite full bodied, maybe even a touch heavy at the back end.
My feeling, looking back at my notes from July, October and November last year is that I enjoyed it a little more back then, particularly in November, and that this may be a touch quieter even only four months later. Unfortunately only two bottles left and one is being saved for the great vertical of 2026, but if I happen upon a stash in the next few months I may need to have another dip.