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Including a rare group of the great Sherrys of Equipo Navazos, and more special Sherry and fortified wine.
From Equipo Navazos: 'Gaspar Florido used to market two very old wines sourced from their soleras at their old cellaring facility at calle Rubiños, in the heart of the “Barrio” in Sanlúcar de Barrameda. When they decided to seize the real estate fever and sell their urban bodegas they had to move those butts to a shabby facility on the road from Sanlúcar to Trebujena. There is where we had the opportunity to sample them for the first time, on a visit with Álvaro Girón to already old Gaspar in June 2006. We were very positively impressed by their quality and consistency, especially in contrast with the lack of distinction–to put it mildly–of the context there and then. There were quite a few butts of the outstanding GF-25 and only a few of GF-30, a very old and absolutely spectacular wine. It is precisely from the latter that this La Bota de Palo Cortado nº 48 “Bota Punta” is sourced. In fact it comes from a sister cask of the one from which we extracted our La Bota de Palo Cortado nº 41 “Bota NO” ten months before. Only a few months later, early in 2007, Bodegas Pedro Romero purchased Gaspar Florido, and since then they have remained marketing GF-25 under the usual label “Jerez Viejísimo”. In Gaspar’s opinion–perhaps questionable but not lacking solid ground–such wines see how the distinctive features of amontillado, palo cortado and oloroso are blurred by their very age. That is why he used to label it simply “Jerez”, which after all merely honors the sanluqueña tradition of referring to the local palo cortado as “jerez cortado”. It is indeed a very old palo cortado, and so we have labeled it as such.'
The Ponzi vineyards are located in the Chehalem Mountains of the Willamette Valley in one of the newest sub-AVA's of Laurelwood District. The Ponzi family has owned and maintained this property since the late 1960's and is currently run by Ana Maria Ponzi with Luisa Ponzi as their winemaker. Together they petitioned to designate the Laurelwood District as its own AVA because of its unique Laurelwood soil; composed of basalt base with ice age windblown sedimentary soils.
The former owner says that his father purchased this wine - he thinks not later than 1950.
The former owner says that his father purchased this wine - he thinks not later than 1950.
From Equipo Navazos website: This is a very old wine, from the same bodega in the ancient "de la Balsa" quarter in Sanlúcar de Barrameda in which La Bota de Amontillado no. 1 and no. 9 "Navazos", and La Bota de Amontillado no. 5 "NPI" were selected before. All these wines belong in fact to the same lineage. This edition no. 23 comes from only two boots whose age is midway between the previous ones, probably closer to the first two than to "NPI". As all the amontillados of this house, it shows marked manzanilla character, sharp freshness in the palate, as well as the depth of a exceptionally well conducted maturity. La Bota de Amontillado no. 23 "Bota NO" is closer to a wine for reflection than to a festive consumption with food. However, it provides some memorable harmonies. Try it, for example, with a good ox or lamb curry, or simply with the freshest raw oysters you can find.
From the Equipo Navazos website: Since the 1980s and until very recently, the amontillado soleras of Rainera P. Marín were made of very different soleras labeled within the cellar as "Manzanilla Pasada": from the third criadera of Amontillado "M. Pda." all the way to the little shrine of 1/3 "M. Pda. Viejísima", including solera 1/10 "M. Pda. Vieja" (from where we sourced our edition number 31 "Bota NO" of La Bota de Amontillado). After its purchase by the Estévez Group, the greater part of these confusingly labeled stocks (corresponding to the solera and criaderas of Amontillado "Manzanilla Pasada") was strictly restructured. The finest and deepest butts were selected, their contents refreshed with true (and unfortified) manzanilla pasada (this is a natural amontillado), in order to create an amontillado solera that was slightly over 100-butt strong and located at third and fourth in one same row. Throughout June 2012 we have selected a dozen of these butts which shine for their superior freshness as well as intense notes of aromatic herbs, baked sweet potato, and caramel. The resulting blend is a delicious amontillado, extremely dry, long, serious, complex, but also perfectly drinkable. The estimate average age of this wine is around 18 years.
From Equipo Navazos: 'Gaspar Florido used to market two very old wines sourced from their soleras at their old cellaring facility at calle Rubiños, in the heart of the "Barrio" in Sanlúcar de Barrameda. When they decided to seize the real estate fever and sell their urban bodegas they had to move those butts to a shabby facility on the road from Sanlúcar to Trebujena. There is where I had the opportunity to sample them for the first time, on a visit with Álvaro Girón to already old Gaspar in June 2006. We were very positively impressed by their quality and consistency, especially in contrast with the lack of distinction--to put it mildly--of the context there and then. There were quite a few butts of the outstanding GF-25 and only a few of GF-30, a very old and absolutely spectacular wine. It is precisely from the latter that this La Bota de Palo Cortado nº 41 "Bota NO" is sourced. Only a few months later, early in 2007, Bodegas Pedro Romero purchased Gaspar Florido, and since then they have remained marketing GF-25 under the usual label "Jerez Viejísimo". In Gaspar's opinion--perhaps questionable but not lacking solid ground--such wines see how the distinctive features of amontillado, palo cortado and oloroso are blurred by their very age. That is why he used to label it simply "Jerez", which after all merely honors the sanluqueña tradition of referring to the local palo cortado as "jerez cortado". It is indeed a very old palo cortado and so we have labeled it as such. Today these butts are stored at the Sacristía of Pedro Romero, back to the heart of the "Barrio" and actually very near their original location. There is where we had the opportunity to revisit them and sample them exhaustively and, ahem, exhaustingly, in order to select our favorites for this edition of "La Bota": it is a truly extraordinary wine for its unlikely balance between sheer authenticity, concentration, and finesse; genuinely amazing, with so much character and personality.'
From Equipo Navazos: 'Gaspar Florido kept in his cellars an amazingly older wine than his very old GF-25 and than its even more extremely old GF-30 (from the casks of the latter we have sourced two editions of La Bota de Palo Cortado, namely those numbered as 41 and 48). A true gem of a wine, an extraordinarily essential beverage that was marketed under the brand name “Ansar Real” almost with an eyedropper and at a very high price, nevertheless proportional to its rarity and to its outworldly quality. There still survive a couple casks of this wonderful wine in the hands of Bodegas Pedro Romero. One of them has a marked character of palo cortado, and this is the one which we have selected for the present edition, in the interest of its immediate comparison with his “younger” brother, bottled in parallel as La Bota de Palo Cortado 48 “Bota Punta”. ' We cannot find proper adjectives to describe La Bota de Palo Cortado 47 “Bota NO”. Anyone who may have been impressed by the concentration and sharpness of the edition number 41, will now be incredibly amazed by the wild nature of this number 47. A powerful wine, perhaps excessive we admit, but it is precisely for this reason that it fascinates us so much. Any true wine lover should grab the opportunity to try a gem like this while we can still enjoy the increasingly improbable privilege of having access to them.'
This is a half bottle. Yes, the price is what it is, but this might be the best bottle of sherry you could put your lips to. Cream does not adequately describe this wine. This is a single cask wine, probably never refreshed, thus the wine in this bottle is over one hundred years old. Sweetness, yes, but perceptibly dry at this point. There are layers of dried fruits, wildflower honey, tobacco, spices, smokey minerals... Everything is cracking here. Nearly indescribable complexity. The way the flavors wrap around your palate is mind-blowing. Simple as that. The Sherry equivalent to a frst growth Bordeaux. cb
The sherries of Rey Fernando de Castilla are unlike any others. Despite a strong family resemblance among the various bottlings exemplified by elegant herbal depth, precise structure, and intense yet beautifully integrated acidity, each sherry is utterly unique. The Palo Cortado Antique qualifies as a VORS (though Fernando de Castilla's inspired proprietor, Jan Pettersen, rejects such classification) and positively jumps from the glass—warm but vigorous with mouth-watering orange rind and toasted hazelnut notes, lavender, spicy cinnamon, burnt sesame seeds, raw butternut squash and Fernando de Castilla's trademark herbal palate and long, energizing finish. -AR
The top example of sherry's inherent complexity and Valdespino's particular allure, Calle Ponce is created by diverting the best Inocente and Tio Diego barrels into a separate solera that averages over 25 years of combined biological and oxidative aging. A sultry, heady nose of brown sugar, cinnamon toast, black cherry, hazelnuts, anise seeds, rum raisins, and fresh figs runs right into a dry but full-fruited mouthful of tart white grapefruit, orange oil, spearnint leaves, celery root, coriander seed, fennel fronds and a long, lovely finish of meyer lemon, cloves and coffee. Hereby voted most likely to blow a sherry lover's mind for under $50. -AR
Lopez de Heredia Rosado is a Spanish national treasure. It is the only wine of its kind, having 10 plus years of aging in barrel and bottle. This vintage is great, with notes of cranberry, hazelnut, and citrus with the usual signature of crunchy Lopez acidity. This is the last vintage of rosado until the 2008 vintage. It's time to stock up. cb
The Trout Gulch vineyard in Santa Cruz County sits at relatively high elevation (about 800 feet), about 4 miles from the Pacific Ocean. Planted in 1980, the site is planted to the old Wente clone of Chardonnay, considered by many to be the heritage selection of Chardonnay in California. The vines are dry-farmed and are about 35 years on average. There's similar fruit flavors to the Arnot-Roberts 2014 Watson Ranch Chardonnay from Napa Valley (ripe lemon, donut peach), but possesses more saline, herbal, and vegetal undertones, as well as a creamier texture on the palate. Jonas Mendoza
This is Pax Mahle's second vintage from Sun Chase, a young vineyard in the south of the Sonoma Coast AVA, where the Petaluma Wind Gap meets Sonoma Mountain (close to Gap's Crown and Black Knight vineyards, which fans of Wind Gap know well). Heady floral and rich herbal aromas intertwine with deep, shimmering red berry fruit, citrus oils, spicy tobacco, leathery earth, taut tannins, and wonderful length. A gorgeous wine, perfect for Pinot Noir lovers who switch between Burgundy and California frequently enough to know that the line is blurred! Ariana Rolich