Saturday, 6 February 2016
La Bota de Manzanilla 32 15%, Equipo Navazos
Fairly deep colour; amber fading through yellow with the slightest tinge of green, legs.
Minerality and sea breeze at first with a briny salinity and traces of flor. Add that to a slight wild rawness and a hint of rope, and it means this could only come from Sanlúcar. There are traces of apple and a slight oily nuttiness, both indicative of very slight oxidation (as is the colour), yet it is still fresh and this simply adds to the wine's now deeper complexity.
Quite assertive and crisp with a decent acidity balanced by a slight caramel note. There are some oxidative notes for sure, not so far short of Amontillado without so many nuts, but Manzanilla cannot become Amontillado in bottle, though this must have been a Manzanilla Pasada when bottled and it still has lots of zip. It is very dry with considerable length and frankly delicious.
It is great to be able to get hold of an older bottling of La Bota to see how it is developing, and this is doing exceptionally well. It stimulates not just the palate but the mind. The wine was selected from 20 toneles (slightly bigger than butts) of the oldest Manzanilla at Sánchez Ayala and 600 bottles were filled en rama in October 2011, but Equipo Navazos were certain it would benefit from longer bottle-ageing like certain other wines had, so didn't release it. In May 2013 they tried it again and felt it still needed more time, and it was not released until November 2014, meaning that it had 36 months bottle-age before release. Now it has something like 50 months in bottle, I shared it with another aficionado, Julián Sanjuan who runs the excellent Los Patios de Beatas in Málaga, who pronounced it a "vinazo" (a stunning wine) and with whom I totally agreed, and it went beautifully with his bacalao negro (a very tasty form of cod with slightly darker flesh).