La Guita Manzanilla, Sanlucar de Barrameda, Spain
Jerez, Spain. “Manzanilla” is a style of Fino sherry, aged in the town of Sanlucar de Barrameda. Sherry is one of the most complex and diverse wines in the world, which I won’t dive into here…well maybe I’ll just dip my feet in: There are many different styles, some oxidized, some not. From “PX” a chocolaty dessert wine made from the raisined Pedro Ximenez grape, to Fino style sherry, a light and somewhat satly white wine made from the Palomino grape. What these wines have in common is the Solera System. This is a system for aging wines by fractional blending, this allows the finished wine to be a blend of different vintages that can date back to the 1800s. The most important thing to note is “flor”, a layer of yeast that develops on top of the wine once it’s in barrel. This special yeast is what gives Manzanilla, Fino and sometimes Amontillado style Sherry its character.
Manzanilla and Fino Sherry alike often have high toned citrus notes, briny salinity and rich texture. This combination of flavor and texture matched perfectly with my chicken picatta. The fresh lemon, capers and butter-fried chicken fused so well with this wine.
Sherry’s popularity amongst our forefathers gave it a dusty reputation. And yes, this particular bodega dates back to 1825, but the wine’s fresh character and complexity (especially for the price) cannot be matched.
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