Today I tasted…. Equipo Navazos 37 La Bota de Amontillado “Navazos”
Until very recently, Equipo Navazos sherries couldn’t be had in Edinburgh for love nor money. Thanks to our pals at Drinkmonger, a small but perfectly formed selection is now available. This sherry obsession of mine is about to become more expensive, I fear!
Equipo Navazos is a passion project, there’s simply no better word for it, led by Jesus Barquin and Eduardo Ojeda. They both have pretty busy full time jobs, the former as a professor of criminology at the University of Granada and the latter as enologist and technical director at Grupo Estevez, and yet have made the time to search out exceptional barrels of sherry from various bodegas for limited release.
Their project has developed somewhat since then, and they are also now involved in the development of sherries, brandies and other wines, but more of that in another post. Let’s talk about the liquid amber pictured here:
The ‘La Bota de…’ range of Equipo Navazos sherries are named for the solera they come from, and each release is numbered so that it can be referenced to the date of its saca (removal from the barrel). A limited amount is bottled each year, so with this numbering system the idea is that we can taste successive years’ development of the same wine.
The bottle I tasted was from La Bota de Amontillado ‘Navazos’ – taken from the Sanlucar bodega of Rainera Perez Marin where the Equipo Navazos story all began in 2005, when the team discovered some barrels of exceptional old Amontillado and began a small limited release. The saca date for 37 was August 2012.
The colour is a lovely glowing amber, and it was a little hazy on first pouring. The haziness settled once it had been in the glass a couple of minutes. On the nose it was yeasty, savoury and a little meaty, but it also still had a hint of sea breezes, whispering of its past as a Manzanilla.
The first taste was clean, fresh and tangy, followed by nuts, nuts, nuts. A long hazelnut and walnut finish ending with a resin and caramel aftertaste. Seriously, just fabulous.
This is a really interesting sherry – the aromas and flavours are totally different, and there’s no clue on the nose to what’s coming when you take a slurp. It also manages to be clean and complex at the same time. I drank it solo first, and ended up enjoying a couple of glasses whilst chilling on the sofa. I then paired it with some roast chicken and a very acidic tomate frito sauce. Wow! Against the saltiness and acidity of the sauce, the sherry became beautifully buttery and the caramel flavour really came to the fore.
At £46 this isn’t an every day sherry unfortunately, although I’d happily make it my daily tipple if I won the lotto. Long and complex, changing from moment to moment in the mouth, this is a sherry I could drink all day and simply never tire of it.