Sanlucar de Barrameda, Spain. This wine spent some four and a half years under flor before being bottled gently (en rama) so as to deliver a Manzanilla in the bottle that tasted as though it were being served straight from the cask. This is how Manzanilla used to be bottled before sterile filtering became the standard in Jerez. These two features - age and cask bottling - already make this unique by comparison to all other Manzanilla in this price range. Then there is the quality. It has almost the same deliciousness rating as the horizon-expanding La Bota Manzanilla releases - super tangy, spicy, pungent, salty, chalky, cool, refreshing and long - but understandably, it is less intense, less complex and more youthful. Nonetheless, it is damn delicious. Those who have been working with the super rare and much pricier Navazos La Bota sherries will be delighted to have a more accessible entry-point wine to share with a wider clientele. As far as texture, flavour and persistence are concerned, it remains light years ahead from the more common, conventional, heavily filtered Manzanillas out there. The name and label may be familiar to those who know the history of Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution.
This manzanilla is ready for providing a delicious drinking experience since the very moment of the bottling. However, if properly cellared, it will slowly mature, gradually transforming part of its freshness into fine complexity.
Equipo Navazos is perhaps the most significant thing to have happened in the world of Sherry for a very long time. It has some of the most influential people in the fine wine world raving about the quality of these wines, and they are talking about the quality first and the fact that they are Sherries second. These are wines to make Sherry sexy again. They are also as rare as hensâ€™ teeth and are being sought after with the same urgency that wealthy Burgundy collectors seek out the wines of DRC or the greatest Montrachet.