Manzanilla Pasada Los 48 de Garcia de Velasco

This is a very coveted little bottle of wine amongst aficionados: a label that disappeared long ago but the guys talk of down there in hushed tones, and if you know a little bit about the area you will have seen the surname “Garcia de Velasco” in a few different famous family trees. It was somehow acquired by a good friend and brought to a fantastic lunch this summer in Cataria.

To be honest, the lunch might have been too much fun, because with all the laughter and, let’s be honest, other wines, I neither took notes nor have as clear a recollection of this as I would like. What I do remember was a wine whose minerals had almost precipitated into chalk particles and whose fruit had turned to musty, incense like spices. Still an elegant sup with a very light start and a mouth watering finish and flavourful but dry as a bone in the middle. As so often happens, I found myself wishing I had met this bottle 20 years ago.

Legendary stuff and you can still see why.

 

 

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Manzanilla pasada Maruja

This is an absolutely class wine, one of the very best manzanilla pasadas you will find and one that just seems to get better and better every time I happen across a bottle.

It has a beautiful rich colour which is very nicely shown off by the clear glass bottle and as a result just looks incredibly appetising. The nose is no less inviting: wonderfully savoury, with a combination of sea-air, haybales and spices and herbs (an old spice box from the back of the larder).

And it certainly doesn’t disappoint when you tire of swirling it around the glass and finally take a glug. The profile is superbly elegant: a sharp, zingy start and a long fresh, mouth watering finish, with no edges in between but rather a smooth crescendo to a very intense mouthful of flavours. Savoury, spicey, umami and sweet like a meaty, tomatoey curry sauce – one of those curries with stewed apricots in them. It is the intensity, depth and completeness of those flavours – foreshadowed in the nose – that for me really set this wine apart.

Anyway, this bottle was gone in a blink of an eye. Must get myself two or three more!

 

 

The flock again

A growing obsession with these perfect little bottles, packed to the brim with zingy, zesty manzanilla (pasada) and emblazoned with beautiful creatures of fur and feather.

This was the pioneer in the en rama stakes, and in the seasonal saca stakes – they started these in 1999 (my little collection representa only four and a half of the nineteen years of sacas). More importantly it is one of the very top manzanillas around: full of character, ageworthy and subtly different as each season comes along.

Looking forward to the 20th anniversary celebrations next year (hint)!

Manzanilla pasada Maruja

Had lunch at Surtopia yesterday. It was fantastic as always, a superb carpaccio de tarantelo in particular. But the wines I had just blew me away, starting with this absolutely superb manzanilla pasada.

No apple or chamomile here, pure savoury power from start to finish. Beautiful colour – they are quite right to sell this in a clear glass bottle – an intense, dark gold. Then it has a nose of salty spices and vegetables that every time I put nose to glass reminds me of a Bombay Aloo. But the sensations really start when you straighten the elbow: a really intense palate with a zingy start, intense spice, a kind of stewed richness, clove like and bitterness and really intense zing, heat on the tongue at the finish.

If you are looking for something fruity look elsewhere, but this is a pure thoroughbred manzanilla pasada and a glorious wine on any measure.

La Bota de Manzanilla Pasada 60 – Bota Punta

Not much of this left now (they have half a glass here in Media Ración) and we will miss it once its gone. Every time I come back to it it seems chalkier, more savoury and more mineral – with a warming, mouth watering, salt and pepper finish.

Maybe it is the time in the bottle, the time the bottle has been open, or maybe just my imagination (or the alignment of the stars) but seems to have a shade less of the almost fruit-like toffee that I remember when it first came out. Looking back at old notes I definitely enjoyed it more last year and the year before.

Still a superstar wine though – drink up it you can find it.

Solear en rama Autumn 2016 – the Little Bustard

Been a hard few days at the coalface and this is just the sort of pick-me-up a fellow needs.

Lovely aromas as soon as the cork popped out of the top of the bottle, a gorgeous old gold colour, buttery mouthfeel and creamy buttery flavours to it too. Really lush, even as it sizzles the saliva out of the old taste buds.

Just what I needed. Absolutely top drawer.

La Bota de Manzanilla Pasada 80 – Bota Punta – in Angelita Madrid

Madre mia. Good grief. I love these wines. Pure noughtiness. What a cracking juice this is …

A worthy successor to the illustrious 20 and other noughties that followed it, this is potent but vertical and elegant. Not as broad in the beam or packed with flavour as some manzanillas pasadas, but sharp, long, and a beautiful profile.

Also a really interesting contrast to the Bota 59 and the Bota 60 that I have had recently. Where those were gentle and mellow this has a zip and sharpness to it.

And finally a word for the bar of Angelita – stuff like this and Fino La Barajuela 2014 by the half glass, among many others. Absolutely cracking.