NAVAZOS − NIEPOORT 2011
12.5% alc. - 75cl
Production: Over 5,000 bottles
Available by October, 2012
Everything suggests that the origin of Andalusian biological ageing should be dated back to the second half of the eighteenth century, halfway between Sanlúcar (providing the wines) and Cádiz (providing the market and commercial channels in the form of the tabancos de montañeses where the beneficial effects of the flor were first appreciated).
Everything likewise indicates that in those days the practice of fortification was infrequent in the white wines destined to local consumption. We gather that from Agustín Fernández’s 1801 article on "Vineyard and winemaking practices in San Lucar de Barrameda", published in issue 213 of that admirable source of information that was the Semanario de Agricultura y Artes dirigido a los Párrocos. After stating that the best grapes were the "listanes" (palomino fino) and the best vineyards those of "tierras blancas" (albariza soils) he continued as follows:
“if the grapes are of top quality, the whites need nothing more; it is true that some add a quarter of refined spirit to stabilize them, but they risk the wines becoming coarse as a result of this” (p 59)
If to this we add the fact that the local classification of vineyards according to quality criteria was well settled at the turn of the 18th century, we can infer that the parameters that a top-quality wine of the age had to meet were the following: a) the palomino fino variety, b) sourced from the best vineyards, c) fermented in butt, d) using indigenous yeasts, e) aged under the layer of flor that was formed immediately after the fermentation yeasts finished their job, f) with no added alcohol. This wine, before the generalization of the term "vino de manzanilla” (for which Cádiz was responsible), was plainly known locally as "vino blanco" (‘white wine’).
It is no more and no less than that, a white wine, that we offer now as the fourth vintage of Navazos-Niepoort 2011, produced by Equipo Navazos following exactly the same rigorous quality criteria employed by the best winemakers of the Bajo Guadalquivir some 200 years ago: palomino fino musts sourced from a historic albariza vineyard, fermented in butt with indigenous yeasts that impregnate the vines and the fermentation vessels themselves, aged for more than six months under a layer of flor thanks to the action of more indigenous yeasts that take control immediately after fermentation, and of course with not a single drop of added alcohol.
In the Sherry District the 2011 vintage was balanced and almost "perfect", which has brought about-together with our increasing experience in the winemaking of this innovative, although rooted in tradition, wine- this edition to become almost immediately our favorite vintage of the wine in terms of definition, character and finesse. However, in any of its four vintages up to now, this is a wine we Equipo Navazos are especially fond of, perhaps because it is more our own "creation" than some of the others. We will always be grateful to our friend Dirk Niepoort for convincing us that a wine like this deserves to be made, and deserves to be brought inside a bottle to the many wine and food lovers all around the world who will be happy to drink it.
It is best enjoyed chilled at around 9ºC, with any type of hors d’ouvres and seafood, as well as lighter rice and pasta dishes, and soft cheeses of delicate flavors.
From the chalky soils to the glass, after a period under flor. Never before, in recent times, had tradition and future embraced with such authenticity in a bottle of Andalusian wine.
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