Bodegas Barrero 1798
Amontillado Don Paco - 40+ Years Old
An extremely rare single-vineyard Amontillado Muy Viejo (very old Amontillado) 40+ years old!
Fragrant and complex, subtle hints of toasted nuts, iodine, salt and old oak, with an enchanting and intense nose.
Fully bodied but smooth as hell, very round and endlessly long on the palate, gentle oak tannins. A big and structured wine. If you know you know, and if you don't...you're missing out.
Annual Production: 460 Bottles (The club has access to 150 annually)
Grape Variety: 100% Palomino fino from Pago Balbaina Alta, Las Cañas vineyard
Ageing: 40+ years, from a very old Solera with 3 Criaderas (a total of 13 casks of 500 litres each and two particularly old ones called "Del Abuelo" and "De la Abuela")
Winemaker (Cellar Master): Pedro Gallego
Bodega: Bodegas Barrero (formerly 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
Vineyard: "Las Cañas" in Pago Balbaina Alta
Elevation: Between 60 and 80 meters above sea level
Age of Vines: Between 20 and 60 years old
Soil: Albariza (mainly Tosca cerrada and some Lustrillo); calcareous
Viticulture / Farming: Traditional and Sustainable Farming
Elevation of the Bodega: Zero meters of altitude, right by the mouths of the Guadalquivir river
- Drink now or keep for up to 15-20 years. Note: Manzanilla Oro and Amontillado Don Paco - wines that age for at least 6 to 10 years under the veil of flor in Sanlucar are those that mature best in the bottle.
- Pairs well with tapas (particularly seafood), Manchego or any other cheese with structure (for example aged Reggiano), great with Ibérico ham, Paté or any Spreads, Poultry, Pasta or Pizza, Legumes or Meat, especially Duck or Game, Seafood or deep-water fish, rice-based dishes, Sushi, Sashimi and spiced Asian or exotic dishes, as well as on its own just with some fried or roasted almonds with coarse salt.
- Ideal at 18 Celsius, but can be chilled to a temperature range of 12 to 14 Celsius so that time in the glass will raise it to its best expression.
- If you are serving multiple wines from Jerez/Sanlucar, we recommend following this order; Manzanilla, Fino, Amontillado, Palo Cortado, Oloroso. You can serve an entire meal paired only with wines from Jerez and Sanlucar, the Land of Albariza
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.
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.
Amontillados start always through Biological Ageing, under veil of flor, for a number of years, normally until the flor dies or starts to die. Then the Oxidative Ageing starts.
If you want to learn more about the Amontillado ageing process, please click here.
The Amontillado Don Paco comes from a Solera of 13 Butts (casks of 500 l each) with over 50 years of age, and two more Toneles (casks of 750 l each), even older.
This solera is refreshed (rociada) every four years with some Amontillado from a much larger solera, the Navazos Solera, with 65 Butts, where many of these casks have not been refreshed for many years, giving more concentration and aromas to the wine.
This Amontillado solera of 65 Butts is in turn refreshed with manzanilla from the Gabriela Oro Solera, which has 9 Criaderas for a total of 2,800 Butts and one more Criadera composed by 23 Toneles (casks of 750 l each). This means a unique Manzanilla with 10 levels of maturing and Biological Ageing. This is what makes this very old Amontillado one of the most aromatic and balanced ones from Sanlucar.
Pedro Gallego (more information to come)
The now famed "Equipo Navazos" took their name from the Navazos Solera, the solera that refreshes the Amontillado Don Paco.
Their first bottling ever, in December 2005, was from one of the 65 casks of the Solera Navazos.
Obviously Jesús Barquín and his friends wanted to impress all the group of wine aficionados friends with their initial selections and bottlings.
They selected Bodegas Barrero (at the time still named M. Sánchez Ayala).
In January 2007 they bottled a very small quantity of the Amontillado NPI (200 0.375ml bottles), which was again distributed amongst their group of friends. One of these friends was Luis Gutierrez, Robert Parker's expert reviewer for the wines of Spain, Argentina, Chile and the Jura in France.
All these aficionados were deeply impressed by the quality of these wines.
You can read the story of the Equipo Navazos in Luis Gutierrez's book "The New Vignerons, a new generation of Spanish wine growers" published in English in December 2017 (pages 51 to 53.)
The Amontillado Don Paco has been used to refresh from time to time the NPI Solera (a non-commercial Amontillado), with over a hundred years and a single cask (of 750 l.)
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.