There is a growing fashion in Spain for top restaurants and wine bars to have their own bottlings of wines and to be honest I am not sure how I feel about it. On the one hand if it generates interest – and I can see that in some cases it does – and if the restaurants are good then I can see it could have a positive effect. On the other hand, so many “special” bottlings floating around can give the impression that the “normal” stuff is a bit less special. Also you have to admit that the places we are talking about tend to have done their bit for the cause so I guess there are more pluses overall.
Anyway pardon the soliloquy but this here is one of the guest bottlings of which I speak. This is a special selection of Juan Piñero’s classic manzanilla, la Maruja, which has been bottled on this occasion for legendary San Sebastian wine bar and sherry temple Essencia. To give it an additional level of abstraction, they in turn very generously supplied a few bottles to Madrid’s very own Angelita, where I had it, so you could say here I am drinking something doubly exclusive.
More importantly, it is a very nice way to start what will almost certainly turn into a pretty long lunch (they tend to here). Fresh, punchy, seaside air and esparto grass on the nose and a sharp, fresh and slippy but full flavoured mouthful to match. Really gets the juices flowing in every sense of the word.
Lucerita, by the way, means something along the lines of “little star” and as a name for this little gem it couldn’t be more apt.