Bodegas Barrero 1798
Manzanilla Gabriela Oro - En Rama - 8 Years Old
One of the very few single-vineyard Manzanilla En Rama wines in existence.
Rama means branch and en rama translates to on the vine or figuratively speaking: raw. That is exactly what makes Manzanilla En Rama wine so special, it's as unfiltered and as close as possible to being straight from the cask. At its core, Manzanilla En Rama is the freshest, most alive and dynamic version of this style of wine.
One of the crucial characteristics of biologically aged sherry, such as Fino and Manzanilla, is flor. This naturally occurring layer of yeast lives on the surface of the wine, inside the barrels. It consumes sugars, alcohol and other components of the wine and adds nutty, saline and yeasty aromas. It also blocks oxygen from coming in contact with the wine, resulting in a bone-dry and pale style of sherry.
Manzanilla Gabriela Oro En Rama undergoes only the lightest filtration to take out the biggest particles of yeast and wood resulting in a deeper colour and more intense flavours than its more filtered counterparts. Cloudiness in these wines is a good thing!
Furthermore, Manzanilla En Rama undergoes a meticulous selection process; only the casks with the strongest layer of flor are selected from the solera to become En Rama versions of the wine.
Manzanilla Gabriela Oro En Rama, is particularly special in that the Palomino Fino grapes come from a single vineyard, Las Cañas, in the Pago Balbaina Alta, known to be amongst the three best Albariza Terroirs.
Aged for over eight years in a ten-tiered solera system (10 criaderas) at the old Bodega San Pedro, built in 1798, in the Barrio Bajo of Sanlucar, right beside the Guadalquivir river estuary. This bodega is the most exposed to the favourable "poniente" (westerly Atlantic winds).
Enchanting and complex, very fresh, with hints of olive and esparto grass and some cider notes. Very balanced acidity with some umami and briny flavours, starts of clean and slightly bitter but quickly mellows off towards a long, dry, satisfying finish.
An amazing wine to enjoy and impress.
Annual Production: 3,750 bottles (ALBAE Wine Club has access to a limited number of 300 annually)
Type: Manzanilla (White)
Grape Variety: 100% Palomino fino from Pago Balbaina Alta, Las Cañas vineyard
Ageing: 8 years, with 10 Criaderas (from one of 12 selected, out of 23 Toneles; barrels of 750 l each)
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
Elevation: Between 60 and 80 meters above sea level
Age of Vines: Between 20 and 60 years old
Soil: Albariza (mainly Tosca cerrada); 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 10 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.
- 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.
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 Oro comes from a Solera of 23 Toneles (casks of 750 l each) with over 20 years of age.
This solera has one Criadera that is refreshed with Manzanilla Gabriela, which ages in a previous solera with 9 Criaderas (meaning 9 levels of casks, in total 2,800 Butts (casks of 500 l each.)
Therefore, the Gabriela Oro solera has 10 Criaderas, 9 from Gabriela and one more for Gabriela Oro.
Each year they perform 4 "sacas" (withdrawal 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.
The Amontillado solera of 65 Butts (the Navazos Solera) is refreshed with part of the "sacas" of Manzanilla Gabriela Oro Solera, when needed.
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.