Jean-François Ganevat Y’a bon the Canon & J’en Veux Encore

The cult of natural wine elicits raw emotion among wine lovers, deeply polarising opinion between those who with one broad stroke dismiss the wines labelled as such as flawed by imperfections, and its disciples who evangelise over the vibrancy of such wines, embracing their unpredictability and funkiness as one would an unpasteurised farmhouse cheese. Jean-François Ganevat is an indisputable star of the natural wine movement, whose wines have an unpredictable and exciting wildness that sometimes needs a little taming, whence they become elemental and quite charming.

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50 Years A Fino – Bottled 1967

A special bottle of Fino Sherry produced to mark the marriage of Doña Pilar and Luis Gomez in 1967, making this a Fino with 50 years in bottle. Would I want to drink the entire bottle, possibly not? Nevertheless a fantastic experience demonstrating how much potential biologically aged sherries have to develop in bottle over half a century.

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Vintage Sherry Two Ways – Williams Colección Añadas & 1980s Tío Pepe

Closed by the Consejo Regulador with a wax seal and red ribbon, Añada sherries, produced from a single vintage, have seen a renaissance in recent years. With an established tradition of vintage sherries from as far back as 1920, Williams & Humbert’s Colección Añadas is a new venture under oenologist Paola Medina, aiming to produce unusual biologically aged Añada sherries at an accessible price. From one vintage sherry to another, though this time not from a single vintage, is González Byass’ ubiquitous Tío Pepe, bottled in the 1980s, then aged for several further decades, giving an enlightening experience into how biologically aged sherries can develop in bottle.

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Viña Santa Petronila Fino & Cream En Rama

Claiming to be the smallest, and unequivocally one of the smallest bodegas in the Marco de Jerez, Viña Santa Petronila is within a stones throw of Jerez , surrounded its own old vine albariza vineyards. Norwegians Brita Hektoen and husband Agustín are the current custodians of this Casa de la Viña, catering for events and accommodating guests, alongside operating a working bodega where they produce superb but extremely limited wines.

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Skinny Dipping – Calzo della Vignia 2015 & Azienda Agricola Casale Trebbiano 2004

Amongst the world’s oldest wine making regions, Tuscany is widely renowned for historic Chianti estates, many nowadays producing on an industrial scale. But look a little deeper and you’ll find numerous innovative winemakers returning to traditional methods and forgotten varieties, to produce intriguing and beguiling wines. Two mavericks in the region are island newcomers Castellari Isola del Giglio and historic Azienda Agricola Casale, both of whom follow minimal intervention philosophies to make long skin maceration ‘orange’ wines.

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Rising Sanluqueña Stars – Manzanilla Sacristía AB & Velo Flor

While many Sherry houses can trace their roots back hundreds of years, Antonio Barbadillo Mateos and Bodegas Alonso are amongst a few rising stars defying convention with fantastic results. The work of Antonio Barbadillo Mateos, of the Barbadillo dynasty, Sacristía AB is a Manzanilla de autor, bottled from a selection of butts at Bodegas Yuste. At Bodegas Alonso, the wealthy Asencio brothers eventually plan to bottle Manzanilla offering beginning to end, vineyard to bottle traceability, but for now, Manzanilla Velo Flor is an astonishing creation from bought in wines.

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Tasting Entusiástico Manzanilla and Goya XL at Delgado Zuleta

Claiming to be the oldest bodega still active today, Delgado Zuleta’s story begins in the 18th century, passing through family hands and surviving mergers along the way. Widely known for their ubiquitous flagship Manzanilla, named after the  famous flamenco dancer Aurora Jauffre ‘La Goya’, Delgado Zuleta have today ventured into more innovative releases. Bottled under cork in a conventional clear glass wine bottle, their Entusiástico Manzanilla encourages people to enjoy as they would any other unfortified wine, and challenges the perception that sherry can’t age. Their sought after Goya XL needs no introduction.

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Bodegas César Florido Fino En Rama

Located on the coast, south west of Sanlúcar, Chipiona’s sandy soils largely are dedicated to growing Moscatel. Only a stone’s throw from the Atlantic ocean, Chipiona’s climate allows the flor to grow year round, making its Finos particularly unique. Bodegas César Florido is the only bodega in Chipiona to export any sherry, and with the single Bota No. 22 providing only 600 halves to go round, their Fino En Rama is a rare opportunity to taste a Chipiona Fino.

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