Fino Williams Colección Añadas 2009 – Saca de February 2017

They are back, the Williams Coleccion Añadas by Williams & Humbert, probably the leading champions of añada wines in el marco. Here by the glass (or two) at Territorio Era.

And this new saca is even more like the old one – maybe even better. The gorgeous colour, the sweet hazelnut nose and the sweet/salty combination in the palate – incredible hazelnut sweetness tempered with a mineral saltiness – and a zingy finish,  which again leaves a long nutty sweetness in its wake.

Not comparable to other finos, or even amontillados, that I can think of (except the ones in its own family of course). A unique wine and a fantastic advert for finos de añada.

Amontillado Cuatro Palmas 2016

The end of a superb dinner at Angelita and an appropriately superb finish. 

One of the most elegant of the old amontillados available, this 2016 saca is right in my wheelhouse. Whereas I remember more orange in a previous saca this is a deeper chestnut in colour and has a more nutty profile, dryer and finer in profile even. It strikes me that the elegance I associate with it may come from the finely integrated salinity – zingily present but not excessive and not separate from the rest of the wine. Also the concentration of the wine is not overdone – has a better balance of flavour and acidity/alcohol than some bigger beasts. 

A really fine old wine out of the very top drawer. 

Encrucijado 2014 

Another taste of this – currently available by the glass at Angelita – and it seems to be improving by the day. I enjoyed it the first time I was able to try it a couple of months ago, but really enjoyed it in Palo Cortado at last week’s tasting and am loving this too. Seems a sharper, more defined entry and then that elegant, butterscotch structure. 

Really worth trying if you get the chance so get down to Angelita! (On the other hand, looks like it is getting better in the bottle so mine is staying buried in the minibar.) 

Amontillado El Tresillo 1874

What an absolute gem of an amontillado, ladies and gentlemen. Not had a glass of this – for far too long – 2015 if this blog is to be believed. So a happy reunion when I was given this last night by David Robledo at Santceloni, paired wonderfully with a rodaballo confitado in jus de champignon. In fact it showed its class in general – concentration of flavour but elegant, dry and fine.

It was a night of fantastic pairings, and this followed a a 20 year old malvasia madeira wine from Henriques & Henriques. That comparison was itself fascinating – and may have added to the impression of dry elegance in the amontillado, but I also found the amontillado more aromatic, and expressive in aromas of caramel, sawdust and citrus, even a suggestion of brandy.

Fantastic stuff – no way will it be another year before the next glass.



CGWF17: Part 4 – the Barajuelas 

I have written about these wines before but would never miss the opportunity to have another dig, so when I heard the capsule coming off from across the room – even early doors – my feet seemed to move by themselves.

First the Fino 2013, a wine with a massive range from low to high, with a yeasty fruity nose, big intense concentrated fruit, sharp, deep salinity and a crisp finish. A fruit full fino, or a superpotent white wine with added mineral kick. Absolute belter whatever you call it.

Second, the as yet unreleased Oloroso 2013 – here the minerals are turned down a touch but if the fino was full bodied this is immense. That oxidation is still getting to grips with the wine – not caramel juice here just concentrated fruit with a bit of burn to it. Above all there is an impression of solidity about this wine. Love it and hope it will be released soon.

Not a bad breakfast by any standards. 

La Bota de Manzanilla Pasada 70 – Magnum

I read somewhere on twitter that a magnum is the ideal size for two people, provided that one isn’t drinking, and in the case of this wine at least I fully agree (my apologies for not giving the source but I didn’t take note and often get these things wrong). The guys at Coalla Gourmet had this as their wine of the week recently so I did the prudent thing and picked up a brace (you never know when a friend may pop round).

I wrote about this wine as recently as November but to be honest it is one that is so good it bears repeating. It is the latest in a long line of excellent manzanilla pasadas drawn by the guys at Equipo Navazos from the solera that also houses La Guita – and having got to know the La Guita en Rama (note to self: must be time for a new saca) there is a clear family resemblance. But whereas the en rama is chalky and delicate with a citrus influence this has a much more robust character. Sharp, zingy minerals there but also richer fruit, more in the line of roasted apple. It also has the lovely rich texture of these older biological wines. (And this is old alright: they estimate that it has been an average of 13 years in the making.)

Really a fantastic wine, I vote for a release of double magnums!

La Bota de Manzanilla Pasada 60 – Bota Punta 

An absolute masterpiece. Of all the high quality wines that Equipo Navazos have released, I think the releases I have most enjoyed (with maybe one exception) are the “noughty” manzanilla pasadas. They have released wines from this one solera as Botas 10, 20, 40, 50, 60 and 70 and the ones I have tried (40, 50, 60 and 70, and no more than a glass of 20) have been absolutely outstanding wines.

You can read all about this one on the excellent ficha on the web and it is not the first time I have had it. In my experience, each new bottle I have tried (see here for bottle one and here for bottle two) seems to be more aromatic, silky and intense. As you can see, it has a beautiful deep rich gold colour. On the nose there are sweet herbs and esparto grass (the stuff they sole your espadrilles with) and then on the palate it is a bomb of flavour and buttery salinity.

Elegance personified – lovely stuff.