UBE Maina 2015

Like the other UBE wines this is a 100% unfortified Sanlúcar palomino by Ramiro Ibañez at Cota 45, but whereas the first two in the series were from Carrascal (de Sanlúcar) and Miraflores, this is from Finca la Charanga, a vineyard on Pago Maína that is a byword for producing the most corpulent, flavourful wines in Sanlúcar. The reason may be partly climate, since it is tucked inland a little way from the coast, but is probably more strongly linked to the soil involved, since the albariza here is of the barajuela variety (layered like the deck of cards for which it is named) and in addition the pago is said to be very high in marine fossils – the famous diatoms.

For whatever the reason, it is the most “horizontal” of the Sanlucar wines and I enjoyed this bottle immensely. On the nose this time I really noticed leaves, herbal tea in there but real green foliage as well, and dried apricots underneath. Then on the palate it has that savoury quality, like bouquet garni and coating the sides of the throat. It is a really meaty white wine, and although I once described this wine as broader than it is tall it is, in fact, really long. There is salinity there but it doesn’t cut through and there is fruit on top, again reminiscent of dried apricots.

Once again I feel obliged to point out that these palomino white wines need time in the bottle and you get the most out of them when you have time to enjoy them in relaxed fashion over the course of an evening. If I was organizing a cata I would treat them like a chablis – big decanter, on ice if you like but not too cold, and let them breathe for a goodish while before showtime. (Or maybe I am reading this all wrong. Maybe the truth is that they are great from the beginning but it takes my little mind time to adapt to them.)

Absolutely top drawer. .

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