Thursday, 3 December 2015

Manzanilla Ecologica Entusiastica 15%, Delgado Zuleta

Deepish for a young Manzanilla, mid strawy gold, brassy highlights and light legs.
Unusual but attractive, an interesting mix of flor and fruit with elements of dried fruit such as apricot and a slight butteriness. Naturally being a new solera it lacks some of the complexity that would impart, but there is plenty of the briny doughy character and a certain salinity. It is a bit like mosto aged under healthy flor. It is really interesting.
A slight cider note gives way to flor bitterness then that hint of fruit kicks in. I think the fruit might come from the Mantua Castellano grape, a traditional variety which might unofficially be in the wine. It is quite intense and rounded in the mouth then gets drier towards the end. For a young wine it has amazing character and I can't wait to see how it develops in the years to come.
This is the first organic Manzanilla on the market, and was released on the 9th October. It is suitable for vegetarians and vegans alike. The project goes back to 2011 when Pepe Cabral, a grower of ecological Palomino grapes and co-founder of Mostelé, a group of organic growers, decided it was time there was an organic Manzanilla. Previously he had been working with the cooperative AECOVI Jerez but they went bust. 

The paperwork was double the usual, what with the Consejo and the Organic certification which comes from both the EU and Andalucian bodies. He approached Jorge Pascual the director of Delgado Zuleta, who was very interested. After the 2012 harvest 1,000 litres of must from 1 hectare Pepe owns in the Pago Burujena near Jerez were put into two specially prepared ex La Goya butts in the DZ bodega Don Rafael. The must was fortified with organic spirit and left to age, and as the 2013 and 2014 musts arrived a tiny solera was forming. 2 sacas are envisaged each year. It wasn't easy for a big bodega to make such a small quantity, and this might well have some influence on the character.

In October 2015 a very small saca was made (1,100 bottles)with a view to launching the wine and finding out what the public thought of it. While the wine is made exactly the same way as all Manzanilla - albeit with organic grapes - the presentation is very innovative. The en rama wine had a deep colour for its age so a clear glass bottle was chosen to highlight it and it has a driven organic cork. The label is from a painting by the Russian artist Igor Andreiev. The packaging was all done by Pepe Cabral. The successful launch took place at DZ with the new wine being presented by its makers: Pepe Cabral, Jorge Pascual and Salvador Real, the DZ oenologist. I hope and believe this will be just the first of many organic Sherries.
18.15 Euros. Only available in Sanlúcar as far as I know.

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