LaCigarreraPasadanv Bodegas La Cigarrera, Manzanilla Pasada Sherry, Manzanilla Sanlucar de Barrameda, Spain.
Ninth generation sherry master Ignacio Hidalgo at Bodegas La Cigarrera, the oldest continuous sherry producer to live under one roof, has crafted a special Manzanilla from the family’s scared lot of aged Manzanilla, it is one of the finest I’ve ever tasted with the latest release of La Cigarrera Manzanilla Pasada. This small Bodega in the sea town of Sanlucar de Barrameda is very much influenced by the sea and tradition, as made fine Manzanilla since 1758, but it has only been since 1997 that these small Bodegas could in fact bottle their own from their own small lots, basically allowing for the craft sherry revolution to slowly take place, and today we are finally getting a glimpse of what that means with amazing barrel selection sherry getting the world’s attention in recent years with offerings from innovative sherry masters like Alvear, Equipo Navazos, El Maestro Sierra, Grant, Cesar Florido, Lustau and La Cigarrera leading the way. Why did it take so long? Well, the best and most unique sherries are the ones that are aged 20, 30 or 40 years at least, and that things are generally slow here in this remote area of Spain, it’s conservative and based on very traditional techniques, but what is being released these days is truly amazing, especially this gorgeous La Cigarrera Manzanilla Pasada crafted from 100% Palomino, a family heirloom lot of 20 plus year solera, that was even kept separate in the family’s Sacrista! This beautiful and textured dry and tangy/salty Manzanilla shows burnt orange, almond oil, zesty citrus and a unique wine like finesse and mouth feel, the Manzanilla Pasada is a rare style of sherry, it’s an older Manazilla that has it’s Flor, the yeast that covers it starting to fade off, allowing for richer and nuttier detail as in this stunning example. With layers of hazelnut, pecan, tropical and light floral notes, poached peach, sea salt/briny savoriness as well as nectarine, baked apricot and lemon/lime, but crisply zingy still, this is truly awesome stuff, served chilled and with impressive depth and length it is wonderful with olives and little salty fish, spicy dishes, cheeses and cured meats like Jamon Serrano, and while most Manzanilla Pasada is sold at 7 to 8 years, this La Cigarrera really stands out for it’s age, density and focus, this is a remarkable, rare and sexy dry medium bodied sherry to covet!
($44 Est. 375ml) 95 Points, grapelive

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