Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Manzanilla Maruja en rama saca 2018 Magnum 15%, Juan Piñero

Brassy amber gold, some depth, with ambery gold highlights.
Definite pasada nose (though there is no mention of pasada on the label) and quite intense. This is a serious wine. While there is an attractive salty bitter flor edge up front, there is much more going on here with notes of butter, esparto, olive brine and traces of autolysis, oxidation and seaweed, all beautifully harmonious and deeply Sanluqueño. Lovely.
Full and intense, this a is a Manzanilla pasada in all but name, and an excellent one at that. Perfect acidity, dry, mature and packed with flavour. Tangy, salty and super complex with a texture that reflects both the cabezuela and the chalky soil.  Bitter almond, trace oxidation and that buttery almost rancio character all combine to make this wine delicious.
Following the growing trend to bottle quality wines in magnum, this is Juan Piñero´s limited release (I think it was 100 magnums) from selected butts of the delicious Maruja en rama. The solera consists of 8 criaderas and a solera, from which regular sacas are done and the wine has an average age of 8-9 years. That is certainly enough - in terms of age at least - to make it a pasada, but the firm´s official pasada is over 12 years old. The must to feed the criaderas is supplied by Viña Callejuela and comes from their pago Hornillos vineyard, not a million miles from Juan Piñero´s excellent bodega. I regularly buy Maruja on draught there, which has some pasada pretensions, but this wine is definitely more intense, showing how effective the selection of butts can be. After all, the consultant oenologist is Ramiro Ibañez.
30.70 euros, Licores Corredera

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