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Equipo Navazos I Think Manzanilla Saca de Julio 2016 NV 375ml

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$26.50

$22.53

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Excusive cask-bottling for Australia, UK and US. 15 percent alcohol, Sanlúcar de Barrameda. From the stellar Equipo Navazos stable, the latest ultra-fine I Think Manzanilla was drawn from butt, en rama, in July 2015. Like previous bottling's, this is a wonderfully potent, briny wine with deep, silky texture and plenty of sustained, tangy flavour. 

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 'tree of life' label may be familiar to those who know the history of Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution. The note below refers to a previous bottling. 

"...Regularly released, the NV Manzanilla I Think, Saca de Octubre de 2014 is the autumn bottling of this Manzanilla from Sanlúcar which fermented in stainless steel at controlled temperature and aged in a solera system for some four/five years before bottling. This has the freshness of the recent bottling, a tad less flor-infused than the earlier bottling, though is very balanced and pleasant, true to its origin. 2,592 half bottles were produced." 91 points, Luis Gutiérrez, Wine Advocate #216

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Importer Note:

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 hens’ teeth and are being sought after with the same urgency that wealthy Burgundy collectors seek out the wines of DRC or the greatest Montrachet. This makes sense: these wines are every bit as profound, deep, long and complex as any bottle of DRC (and that is no insult to DRC!)  

The Equipo Navazos project was started by a group of Spanish Sherry lovers led by wine writer and Sherry guru Jesús Barquín, regular contributor to World of Fine Wine and Professor of Criminology at the University of Granada. These “Sherryphiles” were aware, through their own extensive tastings, of a treasure trove of brilliant Sherries that were sitting, unbottled, in the bodegas of Jerez, Sanlucar and Montilla. Bodegas often have butts or casks (bota) of Sherry whose small volume makes it commercially unviable to bottle separately. The concept behind Equipo Navazos (Team Navazos) was to select specific bota of such wines for individual bottling, unfiltered or lightly filtered (Sherry is typically put through a very firm filtration). The wines were selected for their quality and for their distinct personalities, which would have been a shame to lose in a large blend. Initially these bottlings were intended only for a select group of friends and professionals. Yet the response was so enthusiastic that it became very clear to those behind Equipo Navazos that something important could come of this idea; namely that the opportunity existed to remind the world of just how great Sherry could be. To this end the project was expanded to allow for a small ‘commercial’ release of certain wines to a handful of international markets. After three years, Australia started to get a tiny allocation.

The Navazos Sherries are drawn from several bodegas, and represent a variety of styles: Manzanilla, Fino, Palo Cortado, Oloroso, Pedro Ximénez, Cream and even a brandy. The wines are bottled in limited series, in successive numbered editions, dated and named “La Bota de….” (the cask of…). The date of each saca, or racking, has been precisely stated on the label so that it is possible to compare editions of the same solera. This also enables precise tracking of the evolution of the wines, as these wines are expected to evolve in the bottle (it’s Sherry, but not as we know it). These are once off bottlings and once the bottles for each La Bota… release are spoken for, there are no more.

To give you an idea of the sensation these wines caused in Spain; in 2008, when the first wines were released commercially, Spain’s best known wine writer, Jose Peñín, named one of them (La Bota de Fino, Macharnudo Alto No 7) as his Wine of the Year.  In the other major “wine of the year” award in Spain, voted on by an eminent panel of 60 wine critics, sommeliers and wine merchants,  Equipo Navazos' La Bota de Palo Cortado, Bota Punta and La Bota de Manzanilla, Las Cañas were voted second and fourth best wines of the year respectively. Those critics in the West lucky enough to taste the wines have also got very excited, as you can see from some of the quotes above.  

Not only has Jesús Barquín set the world alight with the wines released under the La Bota labels, but he is also helping to challenge a great many Sherry conventions. You will see from some of our notes from time to time that Barquín and his team think that quality Sherry benefits from bottle age (both before and after opening). Even true Manzanilla, according to Barquín, should be given at least six months to recover from bottle shock and simply evolves, rather than deteriorates. Barquin is not talking about conventional, heavilly filtered sherry, but rather unfiltered or lightly filtered, full bodied style produced by Equipo Navazos. These wines, due to their complexity and intensity, will be best enjoyed in white wine glasses. At any rate, we do not recommend the typical copitas nor any other little glasses for wines of this quality.

Additional Information

Volume (ml)375ml
How it's madeMostly regular production techniques
Product typeWine Fortified
VintageNV
CountrySpain
RegionJerez
Sub-RegionManzanilla

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