La Bota Palo Cortado #21: Exceedingly Rare, Mind-Bendingly Complex

Posted by CrushWine

The Rarest Sherry of Them All
Equipo Navazos La Bota Palo Cortado #21
141 Cases for the World; the Only Bottles in the Country

Palo Cortado is pretty much a freak of nature, confounding sherry's neat categories. It comes with the snappy steeliness of an amontillado yet some of the richness and dark tones of an oloroso. And for many sherry aficionados, it doesn't get any better...

Especially when it's a palo cortado from La Bota, sourced from very old sherry butts at Valdespino. These are mind-bendingly complex, wildly compelling sherries that epitomize the best of their category.

I've said this before but it merits repeating: If we had to name one sherry producer that highlights just what this undervalued - and, at times, seemingly forgotten - wine is capable of, it would have to be Equipo Navazos and their limited-release La Bota sherries. Equipo Navazos is one of the most intriguing, dynamic and compelling projects in the world of wine.

You can read our entire profile of Equipo Navazos and La Bota here, but to make a long story short, this is a small "team" of sherry lovers who essentially select the most extraordinary, singular butts from what are already superlative soleras. You could call it the best of the best.

Their choosy process certainly shows in the wines, which possess a spellbinding intensity, elegance and texture. It shows in their now cult-like following, too. Sherry lovers come out of the woodwork for these exclusive bottlings (translation: order quickly today if you're interested).

Today's offer is for La Bota's palo cortado #21. It comes from Valdespino, one of Jerez's best and most traditional producers, and it's sourced from the house's extensive stocks of very old wines, which average 25 years old. (It's worth mentioning that Valdespino's Palo Cortado Cardenal has a cult following of its own.)

La Bota #21 showcases palo cortado in all it's regalness and complexity. It struts with weighty caramel and nutty tones married to intriguing citrus flavors and a definite raciness. 

The problem with palo cortado is that it can be frustratingly rare. As mentioned above, it's basically a freak of nature - and a fluke: Palo cortado is a wine that's selected for its fineness and elegance to be a fino or amontillado, but it doesn't develop flor... so it instead ends up aging oxidatively like an oloroso. The fascinating genius of this rare, rare style is that it somehow maintains qualities of each. It's like the hermaphrodite of the bodega. And it represents only a tiny, tiny fraction of a bodegas' production. 

At the time of release in winter 2010, there were only 141 cases of La Bota palo cortado #21 - for the whole world. Today's parcel represents the only bottles currently available in the U.S. Keep in mind that in general, La Bota's releases are some of the most limited wines that we deal with. Allocations are often just six bottles of this and six bottles of that. 

The bottom line is that La Bota's palo cortado represents some of the best wine in the entire realm of sherry in what has to be it's most fascinating category. For the rarity and exceptional quality, pricing today is extremely sharp. As a result, we expect that this will move very quickly.

To order, please email us at or call the store at (212) 980-9463. Give us your maximum order, and we'll do our best.

Joe Salamone
Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits

Equipo Navazos La Bota Palo Cortado #21