Another fascinating side by side (aka excuse to drink two quality wines together). And these are two quality Sanlucar wines. The Maruja manzanilla pasada (april 2017) and the La Guita en rama (october 2015).
For all that they have in common they are also quite different: the Guita (probably the younger wine) is deeper in colour, higher and more chalky/metallic in register and maybe a little warm and briney in the finish, while the Maruja is more savoury, more intense, is slippier and has a little more herbal breadth, with the salinity coming across as spicey rather than hot.
I personally am a big fan of La Guita – it really has a unique chalky character – and am really looking forward to the new batch this winter but frankly I doubt that this bottle of La Maruja will even make it to next week …
This here is as different from your “vinegar flavoured condiment” that it is possible to get. This here, is the real thing.
A generous gift from a friend (searching on line to find out more about it I discovered how generous) this is a limited, numbered edition 10 year old “gran reserva” vinegar, here being utterly wasted on a mixed salad by the ignoramus responsible for this blog. (Having said that, ever since I have been wracking my tiny brain for suggestions of what dish is good enough for such a vinegar, with no luck so far).
How to describe it? Well it is to your standard white wine vinegar what a VORS oloroso is to a mosto – incomparably more intense. Full bodied and dark in color, it has the most unbelievable aroma (I knew I had made a mistake right away) and is even more incisive taste wise. A really intense experience.
Really worth looking out for this stuff – a really eye opener.
The Williams & Humbert 2006 Fino was a pioneer, the first vintage fino I ever tried, and one of the finest too. It was followed by the fantastic Colección Añadas and happily now by this new release, complete with the stylized Williams’ bottle and a flamenco inspired brand name (tempt, as in temptation), with future releases likely to be similarly monikered.
It is not quite the same style as its elegant predecessor. The 2006 had just over eight years of static biological ageing but this one nearly ten, and I feel you can sense a little more oxidation. It is slightly darker in colour, slightly more potent in alcohol and has more sweetness in flavour.
But like the 2006 it has a wine-like fruit and texture that sets it apart from your solera finos, and in common with the other wines from the Colección a racey, spirity character. It is lush and tasty, not as aggressively saline as some solera wines and that touch of oxidation and acidity makes its finish sweet and spicey.
Excellent stuff, full of character and personality. An excellent vintage, you might say.
Once again in Territorio Era, where else, and trying yet more new wines. This time the wines labelled as “Las Botas”. A barrel selected manzanilla and fino chosen from two distinguished soleras – San Leon Reserva Familiar and Camborio – and bottled en rama by Raul Villabrille, sommelier at the legendary El Campero in Barbate.
Two excellent wines, no doubt. The manzanilla has the benefit of a good age in solera, is aromatic with haybales and herbs but not over the top, then full bodied and full flavoured on the palate but fresh and elegant, with a nice compact profile overall. The fino too is a cracker. Maybe not quite as aromatic as the manzanilla but has a sharper salinity and that horizontal muscle. Again a full bodied and full flavoured wine with a nice shape to it – a sharp entry, sharp fresh finish and a nice package in between.
A great example of the value of barrel selections – and en rama bottlings of familiar wines.
Another long lost label – this one once of Ruiz Mateos, later absorbed by Garvey, recently acquired itself by Fundador – but David at Territorio Era has somehow got his hands on a few bottles, including this one dated 2006. A middle aged amontillado with a deepish colour, relatively quiet, nutty nose (with a bit of reduction first up that soon blows away), then a palate that is relatively mellow and roasted-nutty with a little bit of bitterness from the time in the bottle.