Sunday, 6 October 2013

La Bota de Fino No. 27 15%, Equipo Navazos

Autmnal ambery gold through pale yellow to slightest posible hint of green at very pale rim, legs.
Huge and complex; lots of flor, sandy beach, touch salinity, sour dough, olive brine, almond oil, traces cedar, dried scrub, even caramel and fino Sherry. Very dry and quite full, considerable age under flor, some autolysis yet only a little oxidation. Magnificent.
Full and assertive, beautifully balanced and showing some wood extractives, even a slight trace of tannin. There remains a strong flor influence, but there is also a whiff of oxidation from the thinner veil of flor. Autolytic flavours from dead yeast cells at the bottom of the butt are gaining prominence with slightly nutty, toasy, almost meaty notes. A fascinating, quite racy wine, with considerable length.
This wine comes from Valdespino's Inocente solera (69 butts) and was bottled en rama in March 2011 at just over 11 years of average age. The grapes were grown in Valdespino's Inocente vineyard in the Macharnudo Alto and fermented in wood, as is the norm at Valdespino, one of very few if any still practising this art. This provides some of the woody and oxidative notes - indeed some of the complexity - in the wine. The normal Inocente tastes quite like this direct from the solera, but for reasons of stability and shelf life, it is filtered before bottling, like most of its peers. This is even more exciting than an "Inocente en rama", though, as it is a careful selection of only 5,000 bottles made by Jesus Barquin and Eduardo Ojeda who are Equipo Navazos, the latter being winemaker at Valdespino as well.
UK around £25-30 an absolute bargain! UK agent Rhone to Rioja, or try Berry Bros, Gauntleys.

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