From the stellar Equipo Navazos stable, this Manzanilla comes from a 60-strong cask selection made by Navazos founders' Jesus Barquin and Eduardo Ojeda that was plucked from the production of La Guita, one of the most famous (and finest) Manzanilla producers (and where Ojeda oversees production in his role as the Technical Director of José Estévez). As always, this current bottling was drawn from its barrels, en rama (directly). This is how Manzanilla used to be bottled before sterile filtering became the standard in Jerez. The current batch was bottled in July this year (you can find the bottling month and year on the back label if you look carefully!) and it's a wonderfully potent, briny yet seductive wine with a deep, silky texture and plenty of sustained, tangy drive. Four and a half years under flor, and being bottled gently, direct from cask, has also delivered a wonderful, pillow texture, a vibrant orange/gold colour and some nutty development. It's a much deeper colour than almost all other Manzanillas on the market, which are typically very clear as they are so young and sterile filtered. Here the wine looks pretty much as it did when drawn from the cask. The age and the direct-from-cask bottling already make this unique by comparison to all other Manzanillas in its price range. This is a particularly good version of this wine. It has almost the same deliciousness scale as the horizon-expanding La Bota Manzanilla releases but, understandably, it is not quite as complex as it is more youthful. Nonetheless, it is damn delicious. As far as texture, flavour and persistence are concerned, it remains light years ahead from the more common, conventional, heavily filtered Manzanillas out there.
Drink with sushi/sashimi or fried sardines.
Varietal / Blend: Palomino
Decant: Not necessary
Farming Practices: Conventional
It all began in December of 2005 during a visit to a small and antique bodega in Sanlúcar, when these Sherry lovers “discovered” several dozen butts o fan exceptionally fine old amontillado that had spent twenty years without running, unsold. They selected the equivalent volume of a butt and bottled it privately under a brand name that evokes Edgar A. Poe’s popular story “The Cask of Amontillado”: La Bota de Amontillado “Navazos”. These scarce 600 bottles triggered the hunting activities of Equipo Navazos (‘Navazos Team’). Another two selections, still exclusively intended for private circulation, would appear along 2006. The results aroused great enthusiasm among this reduced circle of partners, and limited releases of later selections appeared in the market through several important distributors that had participated in the venture from the beginning. Since the summer of 2007, backed by the enthusiastic support of a small number of good friends who are also distributors and importers, a small amount of these bottles is made available for the general public: La Bota de Amontillado “Navazos”, La Bota de Fino “Macharnudo Alto”, La Bota de Palo Cortado “Bota Punta”, La Bota de Manzanilla, etc.
Later, the number of bottles in circulation has increased, always within the boundaries of an artisanal approach: a few thousands of bottles at the most, sometimes a few hundreds only. Also, Equipo Navazos have increasingly involved in the different phases of production, working closely with the producers from the very vineyard sometimes, and even by partnering with friend winemakers in the development of some specific wines and brandies made under our direction.
The wines of the series La Bota are bottled in limited series, in successive numbered editions of dated releases (the date of each saca or withdrawal has been precisely stated on the label) so that aficionados can deliberately compare different editions of the same solera if they so desire. This also enables a precise following of their evolution, since—like all great wines—these are expected to evolve during their bottle life. The first editions were made available exclusively within a private circle, so, should you find any one around by chance, its origin will be invariably the reduced quota of one in the thirty or so private “partners” whose support and enthusiasm have made this thrilling project possible.