In “Manolo’s” honour, and in the presence of his wife and three children, the mayor of Jerez and other members of the council, not to mention as many members of the wine trade who could squeeze in, Grupo Caballero offered a tasting of all seven wines of the Lustau Almacenista range.
Sergio Martínez, a pupil of Manolo, led the tasting which was full of fond memories of him, his level of skill and professionalism and his great legacy to Sherry, to which he devoted his whole life. Caballero-Lustau’s communication director, Federico Sánchez Pece, and Manuel Arcila, now retired but who also worked all his life at Lustau, and Lustau director general, Luis Luengo, all extolled his virtues, not only as a true professional, but also as a fine human being.
Lustau themselves began as almacenistas, selling finished wines to the big bodegas for their soleras, but now they are buying almacenista wines - the difference is that they are bottling them as they are, with the name of the almacenista on the label. And they are about to launch a new one: a Palo Cortado from Cayetano del Pino, something to look out for.
Another fascinating tasting was “The Flor Show No.1: Jura comes to Jerez”, the brainchild of Jesús Barquín of Equipo Navazos and Juan Manuel Bellver, director of Lavinia España. They led the tasting accompanied by Laurent Courtial, a Jura winemaker. Ten wines, seven from the Jura, were shown, with two Sherries (Fino Antique, Fernando de Castilla and Tio Diego, Valdespino) and a Fino from Montilla. This tasting was the first of a series to be held in various cities such as London, Lyon, Málaga…
Wines produced by crianza biológica (flor) are mostly associated with the Marco de Jerez and Montilla-Moriles in Andalucía, but there is also an outpost of flor in France: the Jura. This tiny wine region to the east of Burgundy and north of Savoie produces various wines but the star is the Château-Chalon, made from Savagnin grapes and aged under flor, and often referred to as “Vin Jaune”- or “Golden Wine” as Louis Pasteur, who came from Jura put it. While there are similarities, there are also differences. Jura wine is sold by vintage and with more focus on the vineyard, unlike the solera system so widely employed in Jerez. In the end, both wines are absolutely fascinating, and congratulations to Jesús and Juan Manuel for coming up with this great idea.