Just enjoyed a week’s holiday in Sanlucar de Barrameda, home to manzanilla. I tried a few over the course of our stay, as follows:
After we arrived I went out to look for a supermarket and came across an Aldi. Totally different wine stock to the UK stores with just one manzanilla, made by Bodegas Baron. Most locals buy their manzanilla in bulk, from the local bodegas.
Very light and very cheap at around €2.49.
I read about a good wine shop in the town centre – Albariza – and went there the following morning. Lots of interesting manzanilla with, as is customary, all varieties of sherry sold in bulk, from barrels:
This was their manzanilla, blended by the owner’s father and sold en rama (unfiltered). Rich, mouth filling and very long at a bargain €4.50 a litre. It was a very hot week (30C+ every day) so I kept the glasses in the freezer.
Next, from another new wine shop Mar 7, opposite the Argueso bodega, this very interesting drink:
Their own label with no information about the maker, this wine had a pronounced smell of almonds, something I’ve never encounter before. Quite light and a pleasure to drink. €10.
We tried two San Leon manzanillas. The one on the left is a special bottling and was very full with the characteristic woody finish, good value at €5.50 for 50cl. The other is their standard drink (37.5cl, around €3 from the bodega) and one of my favourites. Lots of character and obviously related to the white label bottle.
The en rama revolution has been evident in this country for a while and most of the big bodegas have followed the lead of Tio Pepe in offering a version. I’ve tried La Gitana before – Tanners in Shrewsbury sell it while the Gabriela, a new name for me, was probably the drink of the holiday (€11 for a bottle). Very balanced, complex and moreish. The bodega was only a few streets away and I’d have liked to have tried some of their other wines, but we ran out of time.
Finally two more old favourites (both 37.5cl and around €3) which I always like to retaste since they are not easily available, if at all, in the UK. Las Medallas is the premier wine of Argueso and is rich and complex. The Barbiana is much lighter and great with seafood – Sanlucar is renown for the quality of its prawns.
Finally, back home a manzanilla we haven’t blogged before – Equipo Navazos no. 59 – a pasada (aged) style, unlike any of those drunk in Sanlucar. Heavier, more aromatic and much more expensive. Very classy with great depth of flavour like all the wines from this producer.