Remarkable Sherries from the 'Navazos team'
Equipo Navazos are making Sherry sexy
again. Most people in the wine trade know and recognize that Sherry
is one of the most interesting styles of wine, and also one of the
best value – you can get serious, complex, interesting sherries
for relatively little money. But until recently, no one seemed to be
able to give the wines of Sherry and Montilla the sort of buzz that
they deserved. Now everyone is talking about Equipo Navazos wines,
which are bottlings of specially selected barrels from the region’s
The project started as a private
consortium of Sherry lovers, who, in 2005 found a remarkable barrel
of 20 year old Amontillado, which they produced 600 bottles from,
titled La Bota de Amontillado. The following year releases 2 and 3
were made, still intended to be private and shared among the 30 or
so partners in the project.
In 2007 the wines started being released
more widely. Each release is chronologically numbered and with the
date of withdrawal from cask indicated on the bottle. At the time of
writing, 21 is the latest of these releases. In addition, there is a
table wine from Palomino Fino made in conjunction with Dirk Niepoort.
The wines are brilliant, and while they
are expensive by Sherry standards, they easily justify the prices
asked. My only quibble is that they use the standard Sherry closure
– a T-top with an agglomerate cork. These are bad news because
they carry a high risk of cork taint and also allow a relatively
high level of oxygen transmission. These wines deserve a better
closure than this, and then we’d be able to see them develop in a
more controlled manner in bottle. Yes, much sherry is oxidized
during the long ageing process and thus resistant to further
oxidation, but not all.
Distribution in the UK is by Paul Shinnie;
in the USA it is by Eric Solomon.
Navazos Niepoort 2008
A table wine made from Palomino Fino that is based on the great
wines that were made from the best vineyard sites without any
fortification some 200 years ago. The grapes here were sourced from
a historic albariza vineyard, fermented in barrel using only wild
yeasts, and aged without fortification under flor for four to five
months, with no fortification. The complex, nutty, salty nose is
quite fine. It has some fino sherry character. The palate is fresh
and intense with nice lemony acidity and a salty mineral tang. Very
fresh, lively and complex with a long nutty finish. Serious. 92/100
Equipo Navazos 18 Fino
From Valdespino. Intense, taut, complex nutty nose with bracing
freshness. The palate is complex with intense nuttiness and hints of
mushroom and spice. Amazing depth and a long finish. Brilliant.
Equipo Navazos 10 Manzanilla Pasada
From La Gita. Yellow/gold colour. Restrained, well balanced nose
of nuts and herbs with some citrus and grapefuit notes. The palate
is broad-textured, soft and mineral with lovely delicacy and
complexity, some bready notes and fresh minerality. Very interesting
with incredible length. 94/100
Equipo Navazos 16 Manzanilla
From Sanchez Ayala. Golden colour. Powerful, intense, nutty
aromas on the piercingly fresh, almost pungent nose. The palate is
broad, fat and nutty but with a lively, intense, salty, citrussy
core. Very long finish. This is an intense, complex wine that's not
your typical Manzanilla. 94/100
Equipo Navazos 17 Palo Cortado
By Fernando Castilla. Orange colour. Very lively, citrussy nose
is fresh but also quite broad, with nut, herb and grapefruit notes.
The palate is explosively intense, showing lively citrus fruit as
well as rich nutty depth, and complex herb and mineral characters.
Light but intense, this is a paradoxical wine. 96/100
Equipo Navazos 19 Cream
By Valdespino. Brown colour. Sweet, complex, warm raisiny nose.
The palate is superconcentrated and intense with some sweet raisiny
notes but also lively, spicy, mineral, nut and citrus flavours. Warm
and complex, this has an eternal finish. 95/100
Navazos La Bota de Palo Cortado No 17 Bota Punta, Jerez
stunning sherry is quite rare: just 600 half bottles were produced.
Amazingly complex nose with notes of nuts, herbs, lemon and old
casks. Fresh and intense with wonderful complexity, as well as some
toffee and nut richness. Good acidity. 94/100 07/09
Navazos La Bota de Manzanilla Saca de Enero de 2009 No 16A
interesting take on Manzanilla, showing floral, aromatic, nutty
notes on the nose. It’s broad, complex and softly textured in the
mouth with delicious tanginess and apple notes. Remarkable stuff
with real complexity. 92/100 07/09
remarkable Sherry tasting
(unless otherwise indicated)
Find these wines with wine-searcher.com