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One Of The World's Best Sherries:: Equipo Navazos

13/09/2016

Equipo Navazos has helped blow the cobwebs out of the world of sherry by making some awesome wines and in the processes becoming a very collectable item. They've become a star of the sherry world and we're prepared to call them one of the world's best.

The Equipo Navazos project was started by a group of Spanish Sherry lovers led by wine writer and sherry guru Jesús Barquín, regular contributor to World of Fine Wine and Professor of Criminology at the University of Granada. These “Sherryphiles” were aware, through their own extensive tastings, of a treasure trove of brilliant sherries that were sitting, unbottled, in the bodegas of Jerez, Sanlucar and Montilla. 

Bodegas often have butts or casks (bota) of sherry whose small volume makes it commercially unviable to bottle separately. The concept behind Equipo Navazos (Team Navazos) was to select specific bota of such wines for individual bottling, unfiltered or lightly filtered (sherry is typically put through a very firm filtration).

The wines were selected for their quality and for their distinct personalities, which would have been a shame to lose in a large blend. Initially these bottlings were intended only for a select group of friends and professionals. Yet the response was so enthusiastic that it became very clear to those behind Equipo Navazos that something important could come of this idea; namely that the opportunity existed to remind the world of just how great sherry could be.

To this end the project was expanded to allow for a small ‘commercial’ release of certain wines to a handful of international markets. After three years, Australia started to get a tiny allocation.

The Navazos aherries are drawn from several bodegas, and represent a variety of styles: Manzanilla, Fino, Palo Cortado, Oloroso, Pedro Ximénez, Cream and even a brandy. The wines are bottled in limited series, in successive numbered editions, dated and named “La Bota de….” (the cask of…). The date of each saca, or racking, has been precisely stated on the label so that it is possible to compare editions of the same solera.

Wine available:

Equipo Navazos Casa Del Inca Pedro Ximenez 2013

 Bright, brown coloured and perfumed vintage wine of wonderful freshness and intensity with leatherwood honey, nutmeg, molasses and fresh resin notes. 

Equipo Navazos La Bota Amontillado 61

This is a single vineyard wine, extremely rare in the world of Fino these days, from a revered vineyard to the North of Jerez. 

Equipo Navazos Fino Macharnudo Alto 54

Intense briny, seaweed-like, Sanlúcar character but also jasmine tea, sweet flowers and honey.

Equipo Navazos Bota de Palo Cortado Sherry 41

Has a very spicy and singular nose, very complex, expressive, with the nuances of a very old wine, walnuts, leather, cedar wood, incense, with extreme concentration with finesse. An exceptional, extreme, brutal (but delicate) wine.

Equipo Navazos Bota de Palo Cortado 48

It's sharp and pungent, really intense in the palate. It has notes of cigar ash, hints of malted cereals, peat, and smoke, with a super-intense palate with persistent flavors and an extremely salty, really concentrated ending. Simply superb!

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Paul Hervy