Single Vineyard, Cult Sherry
La Bota de Fino "Macharnudo Alto" #27
This is Where the Sherry Re-Awakening Starts
#27 is the newest release from one of the most intriguing, most compelling projects in the world of wine...
And slowly - ever so slowly - the world is waking up to just how good sherry can be.
A large part of this awakening can be attributed to Equipo Navazos and their limited release La Bota sherries.
These are beginning to firmly establish themselves as cult wines. And rightly so. Simply put, the quality at La Bota is undeniable, and the wines have accordingly ended up on the short list of those in the know.
|Eduardo Ojeda in the Macharnudo Alto Vineyard.|
Needless to say, finding La Bota sherry in any quantity has become very difficult. Often, allocations don't exceed six bottle quantities. (We're thrilled to have a touch more than that today.)
The history of Equipo Navazos is fascinating - and you can read our entire profile and the story of La Bota here - but before going any further it's worth mentioning that this project wasn't originally intended to be commercialized or make money.
It instead came out of two sherry lovers' desire to get their hands on some extraordinary Amontillado, and a "team" that went on to essentially select the most extraordinary, compellingly singular butts from what are already superlative sherry soleras.
This hunt for singularity, for particularities, is extremely important in the context of the region, where the solera system is typically meant to promote standardization. Equipo Navazos rigorous selection process certainly shows in the wines, which possess a spellbinding intensity, elegance and texture.
For their latest release, the Fino #27, Eduardo Ojeda and Jesús Baquín (the two whose palates are behind La Bota) selected their favorite amongst the 69 butts that make up Valdespino's famed Inocente solera, a fino sourced from Macharnudo Alto, a single vineyard that boasts the highest altitude in Jerez and that's famed for the purity of its chalk soils.
Valdespino's Inocente Solera is around 11 years old, and following Equipo Navazos' standard procedure, it's bottled with only the slightest filtration. Both of these qualities are unusual: the majority of finos clock in at three to five years of age and are aggressively filtered.
The resulting wine shows a finessed complexity with a fascinating texture that's buttery and silken, with gently oxidative notes along with candied citrus, a salty tang and defiantly long finish.
where La Bota's fino is sourced
On my recent trip to sherry country, it was heartbreaking to see a region with such an illustrious history of making world class wine facing such a funk of weak sales today. One famous vineyard is now a golf course, another has solar panels competing with vines, and one producer confided to me that the value of the wine was so low, they could only afford to buy machine-harvested grapes.
And yet: It's also clear that there are still people who know and love sherry, who take immense pride in it, and Eduardo Ojeda of Equipo Navazos is very obviously one of them. I had the great privilege of spending a day with Ojeda, visiting both Valdespino and La Guita. Tasting through butt after earmarked butt with him, he kept saying, "I want to show you the particularities." His system, his intimate knowledge of each butt's character was incredibly impressive and unlike anything else I saw during my time there.
If this region is to be rediscovered, it will be people like those at Equipo Navazos that will fuel new interest. As evidenced on my trip, these people are sharp, thoughtful and steadfastly dedicated to showing the world what sherry is capable of.
While the La Bota sherries aren't cheap, they are still silly values for the quality. Do not dally if you have any interest, as we've garnered a very thirsty audience for these now-cult wines. As for time in the cellar post-purchase, prior releases that we've opened recently offer compelling evidence that the wines age easily for five years, and I'd feel safe betting that aging them longer won't be an issue.
To order, please email us at email@example.com or call the store at (212) 980-9463.
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