50cl: Manzanilla La Gitana
Manzanilla is the lightest and driest of all sherries and can only be produced in the town of Sanlucar de Barrameda where the unique micro-climate allows a special growth of flor (yeast) to grow on the surface of the maturing wine, protecting it from oxidisation. La Gitana is an absolutely classic example of this unique wine; it is beautifully balanced, fresh and delicate with a touch of sea-saltiness and a pure, nutty-fruit zestiness. This wine exudes freshness and there is a distinct aroma of a salty breeze and seaweed on the beach in the morning. It has an ultra clean lazer-sharp crispness. This wine has not much more alcoholic strength than some white burgundies. Best served from the fridge with seafood and tapas. A little is also great poured into soups. Once opened it should be kept in the fridge and will keep well for up to 3 months. (15% abv)
Founded in 1792 by Don Jose Pantaleon Hidalgo, this is one of the oldest sherry companies and today, is run by Javier Hidalgo from the original premises in the centre of Sanlucar de Barrameda, situated at the mouth of the Guadalquivir River. Vinicola Hidalgo is one of only a handful of bodegas that remains independent and totally family controlled and our initial tasting of their sherries was a real eye-opener. Theirs are real sherries made from old soleras and are the product of a artisan-craftsman ethos, with all the grapes sourced from their own vineyards situated on albariza soils in Balbaina and Miraflores, two of the very best Jerez DOC's. Wine-making is very traditional and all the Hidalgo sherries are matured in American-oak botas, something which is becoming rarer and rarer.
Sanlucar de Barrameda