I haven’t been drinking a lot of manzanilla lately, I had a couple of glasses on the beach at San Sebastian a month or so ago but that’s been it. Quite shameful really, it’s such a joyous drink. So I was very happy to see this little half bottle in a box of gear from Negociants a couple of weeks ago.
A new manzanilla from new importers Outlandish Imports. It’s always good to see someone importing something new, I’ve got a couple of whites from these guys to look at too. Jose Estevez is a fairly large group In Jerez, they also make Valdespino. Plus this gave me a chance to test out my new toy, a Canon 85mm F1.8 lens.
There doesn’t seem to be much good news in the paper these days. Words like economic meltdown, recession, jobs cuts and such seem to be on every page. It’s a good thing the only market I follow is the local farmer’s market, all these tales of woe could drive a man to drink. If you have done your wad in the market, at least you can find some reasonably priced sherry to dull the pain.
So this is the big daddy from Argueso, the award winning San Leon. I’ve written this up before, but as it turned up in a box of samples I tought it would be worth while re-visiting. If you had a look in my fridge at home you’d find at least a bottle of La Goya and a bottle of San Leon ready to go. For me, these are the best two examples of Manzanilla that are available in Australia, they are both regularly shipped out so you can usually find something that was bottled about 4 to 6 months ago, which is about the best we can expect on the other side of the world from Sanlúcar de Barrameda.
Yesterday I wrote about the younger brother of this manzanilla, which was all about edgy acidity and freshness. This guy is a year older and is more about flor complexity, softness and the barrels. I like both, but we finished the bottle of the 4 year old on the day, this was left…
You may know these guys from their very popular San Leon Classica Manzanilla. Most of the Manzanilla that gets shipped out to Australia is about 8 years old. However, this is a very young manzailla, with 4 years in wood. This leaves it with a bright, fresh outlook and a touch of flor character. It’s manzilla with the training wheels on, but at the same time I love the freshness and vibrancy. Fresh bottles will be very important with this style, Bibendum are regularly shipping this stuff out so you’re in good hands.
I’m getting to the end of the box of Gonzalez Byass sherries. It has been great to be able to look at almost the entire range at all quality levels, the good thing about these wines is that they are available just about everywhere in Australia. This oloroso is a straight palomino, there is no indication of age on the bottle or on the website however.
I think this is the first Palo Cortado I have done a full post on, which is strange as I love the style. So what is Palo Cortado? Well it’s not a fino and it’s not an oloroso, it’s a wine that goes a bit wierd in inital stages of againg and doesn’t show the traits of either fino or oloroso. It’s a rare thing when it happens naturally, however there are now bodegas that make an artifical style. Don’t ask me how that works, I have no idea.
The heating at Casa Tinto y Blanco is not really up to scratch at the moment, so a glass or two of good sherry is in order to keep yourself warm in the Melbourne winter. I’m not sure if it’s the warming effects of the alcohol or the intoxicating effects, but after I couple I don’t seem to notice the cold anymore. So I’m very thankful to Broadway Liquor for sending in this, it’s an excellent example of old Amontillado.
I got home last night and decided that a bit of cooked up chorizo and some mushrooms in cream and garlic was the menu for dinner. The mushrooms need a splash of sherry or wine, so what better excuse to open a bottle. Plus I have some Tio Pepe copitas I bought back from Spain years ago, so Tio Pepe was the drink of choice…