nv Orleans Borbòn, Manzanilla Fina, Dry Sherry, Manzanilla-Sanlucar de Barrameda, Jerez, Spain.
The salty crisp Manazilla Fina by the historic Bodegas los Infantes de Orleans Borbón is a vibrant and brisk dry Sherry that is perfectly refreshing with oily almonds, sheep cheeses, cured ham, a mix of olives and or briny anchovies. We sometimes forget just how delicious these lighter and vibrant Manzanilla Sherries really are and especially as a aperitif with classic Tapas to satisfy an early evening hunger, while waiting for a late dinner. This Orleans Borbòn shows tangy citrus, along with delicate baked peach, quince, bitter herbs, walnut oil and orange rind with classic nutty oxidation and lip smacking acidity. I love this Manazilla style, with its Flor, a yeast that protects these wines while aging, less alcohol, terroir driven sherry, which should be served chilled, they are easy to enjoy, but more complex than a simple Fino. There are mass produced and generic versions of Fino, like Tio Pepe, but the smaller boutique Bodegas show more of an artisan quality and I highly recommend, the Orleans Manzanilla, as well as Lustau and Equipo Navazos for their exceptional lineups and ranges of limited edition examples of Sherry, from dry Finos to richly sweet Pedro Ximinez versions. Sherry largely gets overlooked in the wine world, and in particular the US market, making a rare niche for the brave enthusiasts and adventurers, as well as foodies that love Spanish cuisine. Though tricky to explain, Sherry is an important region and can be a fantastic tasting experience.
The seaside Sanlucar de Barrameda, set on its famous Albariza soils is a perfect location to grow Palomino grapes and its unique micro climate that promotes the development of Flor, which is what makes this Manzanilla so zesty and gives its sea side flavors. The historical fishing port of San Lucar de Barrameda in Andalucia is within province of Cádiz, near the Guadalquivir River, that runs from Jaén, down to the coast, and finally into the Gulf of Cádiz and Atlantic Ocean, all which means a cooler influence and a more complexity in the grapes at harvest. The Orleans Manzanilla Fina is made from 100% Palomino and was chosen from special casks, with two bottlings a year to preserve freshness it each release, these Sherries should be drunk within a year or so and not be cellared. These lighter Sherries beg to be enjoyed young with their delicate complexity still intact. This historic Bodega had its beginnings back in 1849, when, as the winery notes, that during an expedition of Andalucía, Don Antonio de Orleans, the Duke of Montpensier and son of King Louis Philippe of France, fell in love with this remote and ancient fishing village of Sanlucar de Barrameda and establishing an estate here. The Orleans family continues today and has produced an amazing selection of soleras, a multi year batch of Sherry that includes young and old wines. This zippy Manzanilla is definitely one to look for if you want to explore the unique world of Sherry, which are fortified with grape spirit to stabilize them, with Fino and Manazilla being lesser in finished alcohol at 15%.
($10 Est. 375ml-Half Bottle) 90 Points, grapelive