Equipo Navazos Nights: La Bota de Amontillado No.49
In 2007 Gaspar Florido was purchased by Pedro Romero and some of the oldest sherries, which used to be marketed as ‘Jerez viejisimo‘ and absent of any other classification, were moved to the Pedro Romero bodegas where they remained until certain casks were bottled in their entirety by Equipo Navazos. These old, rare sherries (about 50-80 years of average age) are classified according to their organoleptic profile – No. 49 “Bota A.R.” being the sole amontillado alongside a quartet of palo cortados (41, 47, 48 and 51).
I’ve had the good fortune to try a number of old sherries over the past few months. What has become clear to me is that there is a tipping point above which the sherry, in drinkability terms, becomes merely a curiosity. This is one of those sherries that is bottled right on the edge of that drinkability curve. Amontillado at its brilliant zenith.
Exploding from the glass with incredible intensity, this is a sherry you could sniff for hours. It’s astoundingly complex, so much so that even I found myself reluctantly slipping into aroma bingo – almond paste, iodine, pine, resin, spices and citrus peel are some the notes that emerge with air, but leave it sit for a while and the seasoned wood, musky old furniture, smoke and incense aromas take over. Similar to my experiences with two of its siblings, I found this to be somewhat of a chameleon – constantly changing. The intensity carries through to the hugely concentrated palate. Unsurprisingly, there’s a really pronounced salinity here, and it’s certainly more viscous than you’d find in a younger sherry, but crucially none of the elements slip into the realm of peculiarity. The smokey finish goes on for ever – a truly stunning wine.
Equipo Navazos sherries are imported into Ireland by Celtic Whiskey Shop / Wines on the Green. The range is available in their Dawson St. store with many releases also available in Black Pig. The UK importer is Alliance Wine.