“If you are embarking upon a journey into the wonderful world of sherry, then I cannot think of a better springboard than Equipo Navazos” - Neal Martin, The Wine Advocate
When most people think of sherry, they think of their grandmother sipping on a glass of cream sherry taken from the back of the cupboard where it has sat untouched for over a year. This common misperception offers an advantage for sherry drinkers as it keeps the wines from the Jérez region at extremely low prices, making them one of the best-value for money wines in the world.
With our upcoming Armit Wines Festival Español in September we decided to open a few bottles of Equipo Navazos sherries to taste as part of the lead up and we weren't disappointed.
Equipo Navazos is a small negociant business created in 2005 by two friends: Eduardo Oleja, technical director at Grupo Estevez, and Jesús Barquín, a criminology professor at Granada University, who were fortunate enough to source rare and high quality butts of sherry and bottle them under the Equipo Navazos name. The wines of the La Bota series are always bottled in limited quanities, unfiltered and unfined, and have successive numbered editions of release dates making it easy to keep up to date with the most recent releases.
Equipo Navazos is a sherry lover’s sherry. As a members of the Armit Wines team described them: “it’s Sherry on steroids!” These wines are extremely intense and complex, in some circumstances the Fino and Manzanilla styles are more akin to those of an Amontillado. They are loved not only by our Armit Wines team, but are also highly acclaimed (and scored!) by critics like Jancis Robinson and The Wine Advocate.
Traditionally, Fino style sherries are dry, delicate wines with tangy notes and flavours of citrus. Manzanillas are also a Fino style sherry, but the wine is aged in Sanlúcar de Barrameda (rather than Jérez), taking on a saltier component than Finos and tend to be lighter in style. Moving onto Amontillado styles and we find them with more oxidative characteristics that are nutty, rich and complex. Palo Cortados can be a funny mix of Fino style and Amontillado style, as they start out ageing as a Fino, but lose the protective flor that then allows the wine to become more oxidative. This also has a nuttiness about it, but with more freshness on the palate. Equipo Navazos does not always tend to follow these rules and the wines that they create have an added depth and layer about them which truly sets them apart.
We have managed to secure a small parcel of these very rare and sought after wines and are extremely pleased to be able to offer them out to our clients. Below is our selection which we believe represent Equipo Navaros, and sherry, in the true essence that they were created. We have also included scores and tasting notes. Please contact us with enquires and orders.
|VINTAGE||WINE||CASE SIZE||PRICE||WA SCORE||JR SCORE|
|2010||No 53. La Bota de Florpower MMX "Mas Alla" White Wine||6 x 75cl||£114.00|
|NV||No 52. La Bota de Palo Cortado 'Sanlucar'||6 x 75cl||£190.00|
|NV||No 45. La Bota de Fino "que va para Amontillado"||6 x 75cl||£160.00||96||18.5|
|NV||No 42. La Bota de Manzanilla "Navazos"||6 x 75cl||£90.00||94||17|
|NV||I THINK Manzanilla "En Rama" (2012)||12 x 37.5cl||£78.00||16.5|
2010 No 53. La Bota de Florpower MMX "Mas Alla" White Wine - This is an unfortified flor-aged palomino fino wine.
Bruised apple characters with extreme notes of honeysuckle and floral components. There is almost a cider-likeness to the nose. The palate displays a richness of complexity with orange rind and citrus fruits. The soft texture of the wine is rounded off with a creaminess on the finish. 17/20 Armit Wines
No 52. La Bota de Palo Cortado 'Sanlucar'
Wow! This has such amazing complexity. The aromas jump out of the glass and is definitely a wine to be consumed with food. The nose is deceptive as it displays raisined fruits and prums, seeming very sweet. It is much drier on the palate with orange and nectarine flavours. Wildly textured and intense with loads of subtle characters giving the wine complexity and an extremely long finish. 18.5/20 Armit Wines
No 45. La Bota de Fino "que va para Amontillado" - The name means 'a fino on its way to becoming an amontillado' - ideally they would have liked to classify it as both fino and amontillado because it is more of a continuum than two discrete categories. From Pérez Barquero, Montilla. Due to be bottled in June 2013. Average age of wines 15 years.
Very smoky. Mid gold. Some walnut but has great salty freshness and amazing tanginess. There's lapsang and all sorts of nutty aromas. Intense and so long. Swings between salty fino (when colder) and amontillado (as it warms up). Really savoury and roasted notes on the finish. Salty caramel. Fabulous. 18.5/20 Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com
The NV La Bota de Fino 45 is from Montilla-Moriles, produced with Pedro Ximenez grapes aged under flor for a very long time (maybe close to 15 years) on its way to becoming an Amontillado (it would be called a Fino Amontillado if such a category existed), sourced from the Perez Barquero winery. It displays a deep golden color and a nose of yeast, chalk and bread dough, showing its age, with a hint of caramel and roasted nuts. In the palate is has a slight rusticity, supple and saline, very long, ending dry. It reminds me of some previous Manzanillas Pasadas from them. A superb, unique wine. Drink 2013-2018. 96 Points. Luis Gutierrez, The Wine Advocate
No 42. La Bota de Manzanilla "Navazos"
Was due to be bottled, after very light filtration, late March 2013. Incredibly salty – like a seaside swimming pool. Very stony too. Quite medicinal. Herbal and intensely medicinal on the palate. Delicate and fresh and fragrant with a touch of lapsang souchong's aroma. 17/20 Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com
The NV La Bota de Manzanilla 42 from the Balbaina vineyard in Sanlucar has a pure biological profile, saline, with iodine, sea shell, aromatic herbs and a touch of smoke. The palate is extremely fine, saline, pungent, sharp, balanced, intense and elegant. My experience with previous bottlings of this wine is that the wine evolves in bottle, getting more intense, losing the saline edge, mellowing up but getting more complex at the same time. You should experiment and keep a bottle to see if you like it. Drink 2013-2018. 94 Points. Luis Gutierrez, The Wine Advocate
I THINK Manzanilla "En Rama" (2012)
This is a great introduction for people new to the Equipo Navazos range. An amazing wine to sip as an aperitif.
The nose displays rich aromas of hazelnuts and orange peel, with undertones of white peach pulp. There are lovely high notes of perfumed floral characteristics adding another layer to the complexity of the wine. The palate is creamier, and a nuttiness, than expected on a Manzanilla. It finishes with that classic saline finish that cleanses the palate. Wonderful and refreshing!
16/20 Armit Wines
Saca (bottled) April 2012. Very very pale tawny – deeper than the average Manzanilla. Very positive and lively and dense. Burnished! 16.5/20 Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com
Wine arriving: 3-4 weeks
Subject to remaining unsold
Priced per case In Bond