Leave your work worries behind and pick up a glass of sun-kissed, salt-waved, breezy, fresh, flowery goodness. If you could bottle a picnic on the beach by the ocean, Manzanilla would be it. The strong flor (yeast) creates a fascinating and totally unique flavour profile. Bright floral aromas, especially chamomile, freshly baked bread, and almonds. On the palate, it is dry and even more delicate than a Fino, with citric notes, apples, yeasty notes, and a touch of saltiness.
One of the very few single-vineyard Manzanilla wines.
The Las Cañas vineyard in the Pago Balbaina Alta is amongst the three best Albariza terroirs (albariza is the bright white calcareous soil unique to the region).
The Albariza soils are the result of marine sediment turned to chalk from an ancient inland sea. Mixed with limestone and clay, the soil is so bright it's even visible from space. An advantage of Albariza is its ability to soak up water like a sponge, sustaining the vines during the hot summer months. The only other place in the world with a similar soil composition is Champagne in France.
Read our blog post covering solera aged wines like Manzanilla here.
Annual Production: 40,000 bottles (ALBAE Wine Club has access to a limited number of 500 annually)
Type: Manzanilla (White)
Grape Variety: 100% Palomino Fino from Pago Balbaina Alta, Las Cañas vineyard
Viticulture / Farming: Traditional and Sustainable Farming
Ageing: 6 years, with 9 Criaderas (2800 butts of 500 l each, maturing in nine leves or Criaderas)
Winemaker (Cellar Master): Pedro Gallego
Bodega: Bodegas Barrero (former M. Sánchez Ayala since 1798)
Region: Andalucía, province of Cadiz, Sanlucar de Barrameda
Designation of Origin (DOC): Jerez & Manzanilla de Sanlucar
Micro-Climate: Atlantic / Mediterranean; mild and humid
Elevation: Between 60 and 90 meters above sea level
Age of Vines: Between 30 and 80 years old
Soil: Albariza (mainly Tosca cerrada); calcareous
- Drink now or keep for up to 5 years. Note: Manzanilla Oro and Amontillado Don Paco - wines that age at least for 6 to 10 years under the veil of flor, in over 20 year-old soleras - are those that mature best in the bottle.
- Extremely versatile: pairs with Tapas, Shellfish or Manchego, or any goat or sheep cheese, Ibérico ham, Paté or any Spreads, Poultry, Pasta or Pizza, Legumes or Meat, Seafood, all kind of fish, rice-based dishes, Sushi, Sashimi and spiced Asian or exotic dishes
- Chill to a temperature range of 9 to 12 Celsius
- If you are serving multiple wines from Jerez, such as Manzanilla, Fino, Amontillado, Palo Cortado, or Oloroso, we recommend to follow this order. You can serve an entire meal paired only with wines from Jerez and Sanlucar, the Land of Albariza. However, Manzanilla Gabriela Oro is ideal to drink on its own or with very fresh Seafood / Shellfish, as well as with high quality Ibérico Ham (pata negra)
The Palomino fino grapes come from the Pago Balbaina Alta, a terroir considered part of the "Jerez Superior' (this categorization could be compared to the best "Grand Cru" in La Bourgogne, France).
In the Land of Albariza (or Marco de Jerez, as named by the Consejo Regulador or Designation of Origin authority) there are six main "Pagos" ("Cru" and "Grand Cru" terroirs). Below this classification there are up to 300 "Sub-Pagos".
The six main Pagos are: Macharnudo, Balbaina, Carrascal, Añina, Maína and Miraflores. Balbaina, one of the largest, is divided in Balbaina Alta and Baja (High and Low).
A Terroir is defined by the soils, the weather or microclimate , the type of vineyards and grapes and their microflora, the type of viticulture or farming, and the human aspect, which is mainly defined by the experience or knowledge of the viticulturists on the aspects previously mentioned.
The two very unique elements of this region are the Soils and the Microclimate.
Click here to learn more about landscapes, soils and climate.
Click here to learn more about the different types of soils.
The other very specific element of these wines are the grapes. If you'd like to know more about the Palomino grapes, please click here.
If you are interested in knowing more about the "Pagos", the main "Grand Crus" of the region, please click here for Macharnudo,
and click here for Balbaina.
Vinification and Ageing
In the case of the wines from Jerez/Sanlucar (Sherry wines) there is another element that makes them unique in the World, their vinification and ageing methods.
The ageing is by Criaderas and Soleras, and there are two main methods; Biologic Ageing and Oxidative Ageing.
If you want to learn more about the Criaderas and Soleras, or the ageing methods please click here.
Manzanilla is the wine from Sanlucar de Barrameda by excellence.
If you want to learn more about Manzanilla, please click here.
The Manzanilla Gabriela comes from a Solera of 23 Toneles (casks of 750 l each) with over 20 years of age.
Manzanilla Gabriela, ages in a solera with 9 Criaderas (meaning 9 levels of casks, in total 2,800 Butts (casks of 500 l each.)
Each year they perform 4 "sacas" (extractions of wine from the solera casks), one "saca" each quarter, from 12 to 14 Toneles, out of the 23, selected by the Cellar Master. Then the Criaderas are refreshed (rociadas) with "sacas" of Manzanilla Gabriela.
Pedro Gallego (further information to come)
The wines from Bodegas Barrero have never been presented to any of the national or international wine reviewers, such as Guía Peñín, The Wine Advocate, Decanter, or Jancis Robinson. In reality, the quality of their wines can be considered beyond the need for accolades.