La Bota 9 de Amontillado “Navazos”

Saca of October 2007
D.O. Jerez-Xérès-Sherry
20% alc.
Limited release: 1,400 bottles (75 cl.)
Bodega: Miguel Sánchez Ayala S.A. Sanlúcar de Barrameda

09p

Almost two years have passed since Equipo Navazos launched, almost by sheer chance, its project “La Bota de…” It all started with the visit of three wineloving friends to the House of Sánchez Ayala in Sanlúcar. There were stored some sixty butts of an extraordinary amontillado of great finesse, that retained an evident manzanilla origin in its steely elegant profile, in spite of the twenty years it had spent without running (‘refreshing’) and its more than thirty years of average age. Its owner was kind enough to sell them one of these butts (actually two, since the level was low due to the important loss alter so many years) and that is how everything started.

It was time to return to the origins and replenish stocks of a wine that had become painful to open because each bottle was a real treasure: La Bota de Amontillado Navazos. A name that takes after Edgar Allan Poe’s short story, a wine that hooks the sceptics and seduces the connoisseurs. It is one of those unlikely examples of complexity presented under apparent simplicity that help overcome the otherwise justifiable myth that a first approach to amontillado must be a tough experience.

Navazos, the namesake of this series and also of the team of connoisseurs who have selected and circulated it, is a term that describes a specific farming technique used in Sanlúcar: the practice of excavating the farmlands in order to benefit from the moisture of the freatic layer—which is very close to the surface there, given the proximity of the river Guadalquivir estuary. The name of the street where these bodegas can be found, Banda Playa, clearly suggests how close the river used to be not so long ago. In fact, the entire neighbohood, now built, consisted of navazos farmlands, also known as tidal farmlands.

Warning: opening a bottle entails certain risks. Upon pouring a glass, its aromas invade the room and its aromatic intensity will make one feel as if trapped inside a butt of great amontillado. Please remain calm; there is nothing to worry about, and much to enjoy…

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