Thursday, 19 October 2017

Manzanilla Arboledilla “Poniente” 15%, Barbadillo

Brassy gold with golden highlights, a shade darker than Levante.
Slightly fuller, fatter than the Levante, it has the herbs but is slightly nuttier with the faintest trace of cinnamon and a hint more yeastiness yet less bitterness and it is also ever so slightly sweeter and rounder in style (though still bone dry) and slightly more mature and perhaps a touch more complex.
There is a certain generosity here, the wine is not quite as lean as Levante, its features are a little more integrated, less wild, but a little harder to pick out. Behind the slightly more "hecho" nature there is an attractive bitterness, a faint trace of fruit and perhaps less salinity. It is clean and very long.
Being the biggest firm in Sanlúcar offers Barbadillo a huge range of possibilities for interesting wines. This is a limited edition of two wines, just 600 bottles of each, from exactly the same bodega (the famous Arboledilla) and exactly the same solera (Solear) and with exactly the same age, and the only difference between them is that they come from butts at opposite ends of the bodega. A mere 200 metres apart, the wines show distinct differences. One comes from the Poniente (west) side of the bodega and the other comes from the Levante (east) side. Named after the trees planted on the east side of the bodega which protect it from the heat, La Arboledilla has virtually no windows on this side, while the west side has large ones which allow in cooler air. It is the largest bodega in Sanlúcar with a huge airspace allowing the huge number of butts in the nine-criadera solera to breathe. The wines were bottled in June 2017 en rama. It is envisaged that they will be released occasionally, when oenologist Montse Molina sees fit, and while they are lovely individually, it is wonderful and instructive to compare them. The bottles are sealed with a driven cork.
12.50 euros, Licores Corredera

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