Monday, 25 January 2016

Manzanilla Gabriela 15%, Sánchez Ayala

Bright, paleish sandy gold with light legs.
Attractive and compact with considerable elegance. There is lots of flor but it doesn't quite dominate, there is dry scrub mixed with bread dough and a marine salinity but all in perfect balance giving complexity. It smells dry rather than damp and yet has a sophistication which inspires the immediate need to drink it. And I will:
Remarkably similar to the nose at first before it opens out revealing a super complex wine wrapped up in a cloak of easy sophistication. For the (ridiculously cheap) price this is a very elegant wine which nonetheless retains all the racy, salty flor-driven Manzanilla character - but on a silver spoon. This is a lovely wine, grab it if you can.
The grapes come from the Las Cañas vineyard in the Pago Balbaina and are fermented with natural yeasts at the vineyard. The wine is aged for about 5 years in a solera with no fewer than 9 crideras. You can tell from the character of the wine that the bodega is in the Barrio Bajo, close to the sea - in fact it was once surrounded by navazos, the now all but disappeared fields cut out of the sand dunes which in their day were on the coast before the sea level receded.
5.90 Euros

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