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NAVAZOS − NIEPOORT 2008

White Wine

12,5% alc.

Limited release: 4,500 bottles (75 cl.)

Available since August, 2009

Everything suggests that the birth of biologically aged wines in Andalusia happened in the second half of the eighteenth century, halfway between Sanlúcar (which provided the wines) and Cádiz (which provided the primitive wine and food shops owned by northerners where the beneficial effects of flor were appreciated).

Everything also suggests that in those days the fortification of white wines destined to local consumption was infrequent. So writes in 1801 Agustín Fernández, after stating clearly that the best grapes are the “listanes” (palomino fino) and the best vineyards the “tierras blancas” (albariza soils), in his article “Cultivo de las viñas y modo de hacer el vino en San Lucar de Barrameda” (‘Vine Growing and Wine Making in Sanlúcar de Barrameda’), published in issue number 213 of the admirable source of knowledge that was the Semanario de Agricultura y Artes dirigido a los Párrocos (‘Agriculture and Arts Weekly for Parish Priests’):

“White wines, as long as the grapes are of the best quality, need no further treatment, though it is true that some add a quarter [of a liter] of spirit for safety. There is always the risk of dulling them somewhat.” (p. 59).

If to this we add the fact that by the early eighteenth century there was a consolidated qualitative classification of the local vineyards, we can infer that the quality indexes of the age were the following: a) the palomino fino grape, b) sourced from the best vineyards, c) fermented in butt, d) making use only of wild yeast, e) aged under the veil of flor that would grow immediately after fermentation had stopped, f) without fortification. This wine, before the name manzanilla (come from Cádiz) became generalized, was locally known as “white wine.”

This Navazos-Niepoort 2008 is precisely that, a white wine, elaborated by Equipo Navazos and Dirk Niepoort following the same rigorous criteria of the best winemakers two centuries ago: palomino fino grapes sourced from a historic albariza vineyard, fermented in butt making use only of wild yeast, and aged without fortification under veil of flor for some four to five months, thanks to the other equally wild yeasts that take control of the butt immediately after fermentation has finished. And of course not a single drop of extra alcohol in the blend.

We suggest serving it cold, at 7/9ºC, with every kind of appetizers and seafood, as well as rice and pasta dishes, and mild cheeses.

From the chalky soil to the glass, stopping under flor for a while. Never before in recent times had tradition and future been so genuinely blended inside a bottle of Andalusian wine…

Many thanks to Prof. Dr. Ernesto Suárez Toste 

for his invaluable help in the English version of this web

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