Most Enjoyable Wines of 2013 – Equipo Navazos Sherry
2013 was my year of Equipo Navazos sherry. (You can read more about their story at this link.) I started as I meant to continue with a bottle of La Bota de Manzanilla No. 32 on New Year’s Eve. Other bottles of La Bota No. 32 followed over the course of the next few months, each bottle as enjoyable as the first. But I didn’t just limit myself to one manzanilla. ‘Fino Fridays’ became a frequent occurrence, and bottles of La Bota de Fino Nos. 27 and 35 were enjoyed with sushi from Michie Sushi and jamón from Black Pig. Sherry had never tasted like this before to me. Come to think of it, neither had sushi.
La Bota de Amontillado No. 37 and La Bota de Palo Cortado No. 34 were two of my favourite sherries of the year – both fantastically complex and delicious. Towards the end of the year a bottle of La Bota de Manzanilla No. 42 took a “fino Friday” by storm and confirmed to me that there are few better food pairings in the world than sashimi and manzanilla – maybe 2014 will have to see the start of ‘Manzanilla Mondays’, or perhaps ‘Navazos Nights’ will suffice.
There were some sweet sherries too. Sips of La Bota de Pedro Ximénez No. 36 at the annual Wines from Spain tasting in Dublin were glorious but also finally convinced me to visit the dentist for a long overdue filling. La Bota de Viejo Cream No. 38 showed me that there was far more complexity to this style of sherry than I had encountered previously.
But the Equipo Navazos sherries didn’t just elicit superlative taste experiences. There was the buyers guilt that set in almost immediately after I opened my delivery of La Bota de Manzanilla Pasada Nos. 39 and 40. I still haven’t opened these two bottles, but if they are anything like the bottle of La Bota de Manzanilla Pasada No. 30 that I tasted this autumn then I’m in for a treat. I also keep reminding myself that despite their price tags, in relative terms, these sherries are incredible value – a sense of value which required further recalibration when I tasted the amazing La Bota de Palo Cortado No. 41 at The Great Sherry Tasting in London in October. There was also the intrigue that accompanied La Bota de Vino Blanco “florpower” – an unfortified dry white wine aged under flor and whose flavours reminded me of old traditional Rioja. I can’t wait to open a bottle of it at home.
Across the board, these sherries provided me with so much enjoyment in 2013. I have no doubt that 2014 will see more of the same – let the ‘Navazos Nights’ commence!
Equipo Navazos sherries are imported into Ireland by Celtic Whiskey Shop / Wines On The Green and are available in their shop (online and Dawson St., Dublin) and also in Black Pig (online and Donnybrook, Dublin).