Friday, 8 December 2017
Zerej is a masterstroke, a sort of luxury Sherry tasting pack consisting of four different magnums of seriously interesting and top quality wine from Sanlúcar in limited quantities. Armando Guerra had the idea and was helped by Ramiro Ibáñez, and the theme of the first release, Zerej I, back in spring 2015 was to show the effects of flor. It contained a 2014 barrel fermented Mosto with no flor and an eighteen month old Manzanilla from Viña Callejuela; an eleven year old Manzanilla Pasada from Juan Piñero; and an eighteen year old Amontillado from Delgado Zuleta. Only 120 packs of four magnums were available. Naturally Sherry enthusiasts were delighted and shared their magnums with friends and family, so the pack inevitably sold out very quickly.
Later, Armando was put in charge of top end wines at Bodegas Barbadillo and, among other projects, he and the firm’s oenologist Montse Molina set about creating Zerej II. This time the wines in the pack all come from Barbadillo and the theme is the effects of oxidation. They are a 2014 barrel fermented white, a nine year old Manzanilla Amontillada (labelled Amontillado), a twenty-five year old Palo Cortado and a twelve year old Oloroso. There are 240 packs containing one magnum of each, bottled in March 2017, and an explanatory booklet.