For years now EQUIPO NAVAZOS has made a strong bid for the potential of wines aged under veil of flor, at their natural abv levels (unfortified). This spurred the release of our original Navazos-Niepoort series–the fifth vintage of which will hit the market in 2013–as well as a number of experiments researching on palomino fino further aged in butts and tanks. The evolution of these wines, sourced from different vineyards in the Sherry region, has been carefully observed for the past five years.
La Bota de Florpower no. 44 MMX is the most refined result from that research effort: an unfortified white wine, exclusively from the 2010 vintage (a date that cannot be printed on the label due to bureaucratic impediments, hence our use of MMX on the capsule, cork, and lot number on the backlabel). Bottled at 11.5% alc after losing over 1% to the effects of the flor yeasts, the wine is 100% palomino fino sourced from Sanlúcar vineyards (mainly from the Pago Miraflores) and fermented in stainless steel tanks. After fermentation–towards December 2010–it was moved to 15 butts where it aged under flor for 8 months. By late July 2011 the wine was transferred to a single stainless steel tank where it remained under the–now milder and subtler–effects of flor until its bottling on July 23rd, 2013.
Recently Josep Roca, co-owner and maître d’ at El Celler de Can Roca (Girona) commended this wine in a moving and passionate article worth translating here:
“The prevailing stance in Jerez is that the qualitatively determinant processes in wine production take place in the cellar, while the role of the vineyard lies in a distant background. Thankfully, after decades of this, we are witnessing a much needed vindication of both soil and vineyard practices–paying due homage to a tradition, long abandoned, that used to produce the best wines in the nineteenth century: wines called “natural sherries” in order to tell them from fortified versions.
Those were palomino varietal wines, sourced from Pago Miraflores, barrel-fermented with indigenous yeasts, aged under veil of flor, and bottled unfortified. EQUIPO NAVAZOS, the Navazos team, after the successful NN venture with the Macharnudo vineyard (Jerez), are now teasing us with La Bota de Vino Blanco MMX Florpower 44 (Sanlúcar), a song to the innocence of unfortified wines. Sourced from the Miraflores vineyard, 8 months in butts, totaling 32 months under flor, bottled unfiltered. A transcendental wine, like chamber music of a restrained, nuanced, and subtle beauty.
It invites us to share in the secrets of its fruit, of its origin. The nose is intense, pungent, with aromas of apple, fresh almond, frangipane, yeast, baking leaven, haystack, sticky cistus, chalk. Pleasant mouthfeel with a charming biological presence that combines the lively acidity of a young savagnin from the Jura, and the saline fat of a meursault. A prelude of aromatic boldness, spiritual delicateness, and savory freshness. Its liveliness and tension are originally dressed in a mixture of sunlight and saltiness, the dryness of fresh walnut and a background of acacia honey. Brilliant. An open door for the wines of Sanlúcar to shine at the same level as the greatest white wines of the world, as foretold by our soil sages Columela, Clemente, and Boutelou.”