Another day, another vintage wine from el Marco. If only it were so. In fact the wines from el Marco that are differentiated by vintage tend to be the exception and this, in particular, is absolutely exceptional.
I have written about this project often – here is a bit of a compilation – and have been looking to this third bota keenly. The difference between botas one and two was marked – the additional year of flor turning a wine that was still fresh and fruity into something noticeably sharper – and while not as dramatic, the step up here is also noticeable.
Unless it is my imagination (or the light, or my eyes, or the warmup drinks) but the colour seems to have lost the touch of green that the first bota had and the gold has become just a touch older. Then on the nose it has definitely gained some sea air – a saltier presence there, which is backed up on the palate, where it has gained volume and backbone from the salinity.
Most importantly though it still has that lushness of fruit – has maybe retained a little bit of glycerol and the flavours are towards old golden delicious apples (the ones that have lost their green and turned yellow). The flavour has also gained something in intensity.
I appreciate that not many people get the chance to try this and it is a real pity – it is fascinating to see the difference that each year in bota makes (granted that the botas will evolve slightly differently). I only hope my notes give an idea of the process. In any event, three down now, only eight to go (to the vertical in 2025).