That rarest and most wonderful of wines - La Bota Fino (Amontillado) "Montilla" #45

Posted by Joe Salamone

"A superb, unique wine"
La Bota Fino (Amontillado) "Montilla" #45
A High Point for Cult Sherry Producer

This is an offer that I've been waiting to do for three years.

That was when La Bota's previous and first release of old Fino from Montilla came and went in a flash. In short, it was earth-shattering and then, unavailable. I’ve been waiting for the next release ever since.

To be honest, I had always thought that finos from Montilla were a bit too heavy for my tastes, but La Bota's Fino de Montilla (#24) was a revelation. It was incredibly finessed and ridiculously complex. It remains one of my favorite finos of all time.

The painful part was that (this being La Bota) it was very, very limited and disappeared from the market once word got out. Since then I've been waiting for the next release, which has felt like forever.

La Bota's #45 is sourced from a special fino solera that's somewhere around twenty years old at Bodegas Pérez Barquero, one of Montilla's benchmarks. The wine from this solera hasn't been commercialized by Bodegas Pérez Barquero.

This gets to the heart of the Equipo Navazos La Bota series. You can read more here, but I'll just say that Equipo Navazos represents one of the most exciting projects in the wine world. It represents a few sherry fanatics' meticulous search for extraordinary, singular soleras and specific barrels within those soleras. This is a deeply original project and the results have been life changing for many wine drinkers. It put sherry back on the map for a new generation of drinkers.

La Bota's Fino de Montilla represents one of the high points in a killer line-up of wines. For me, they can hang with great wines from anywhere in the world. In his book Sherry, Julian Jeffs talks of "that rarest and most wonderful of wines, an old fino."

La Bota's #45 boldly displays what's so special about old finos. It combines what seem to be contradictory flavors into one seamless, integrated palate. As flor begins to die (this happens after a number of years), fino begins to transform into its oxidative brother: amontillado. On the one hand, there's the freshness, brightness and saline-mineral snap of a fino. On the other hand, the calm, dark savory flavors, the nutty, caramelized notes that occur as a fino moves toward oxidative aging and becoming an amontillado. Combined, it's a thing of beauty. If the category of Fino Amontillado were still allowed to be used, that's what the #45 would be called.

The Wine Advocates' Luis Gutierrez calls the #45 "a superb, unique wine" and placed it as the top fino in his review. This is a shockingly good and shockingly singular wine. Montilla shares the familiar chalky soils that are found in Jerez and Sanlúcar. The major difference is that whereas these areas focus on the Palomino grape, it's Pedro Ximenez that rules in Montilla. Compared to Palomino, PX brings with it more richness and texture. The combination of the rare age of the fino and seldom if ever seen elegance for a PX-based wine makes the #45 totally unique.

For sherry lovers, especially fans of La Bota's Manzanilla Pasadas, this is a don't miss. Over the next few years and beyond, this is only going to get better. Given this and what will be a long wait between releases, we've created special 3-pack pricing.

To order, reply to or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone
Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits