Hidalgo La Gitana Manzanilla Sherry (500ML)
#37 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2018
The standard of type and leader both in Spain and abroad. Manzanilla is the rarest of all authentic sherries, being uniquely site-specific in origin. Matured beneath a constant veil of yeast (called flor) as only occurs in beachfront and protected cliffside bodegas of sanlucar, giving Manzanilla a dry, haunting delicacy analogous to fine Champagne.
Bodegas Hidalgo la Gitana was founded in 1792 and since then the company has passed from father to son. Today is one of the few wine companies owned and controlled by the family and run by the eight generation in direct line of the founder. It has held a preeminent position in Sanlúcar since the 19th Century. The house manages 200 hectares of vines, all farmed organically. Most of them are located in the Pagos of Miraflores and Balbaina. The ?agship wine, Manzanilla ‘La Gitana’ (The Gypsy Woman) is named after a famous Flamenco performed known for her beauty. The wines have received numerous awards, both nationally and internationally.
“Great wines start at the vine, we take care of the vineyard the same way my father and grandfather taught us and passed generations taught them, respecting nature and letting take its course, that is reflected in the uniqueness and elegance of our wines” Fermin Hidalgo
The wines have been created between Bodegas Hidalgo La Gitana wine making team and the legendary winemaker Basilio Izquierdo with over 120 years of combined experience they have been able to achieve top accolades. The winery in Rioja is located in the town of La Guardia in Rioja Alta and the Atlantic influence is noticeable in the minerality and elegance of the wines. The soil is calcareous mixed with clay. The oldest vines are 100 years old and the young ones 40 years. The highest quality of French and American oak is used during the aging process. The wines from Ribera del Duero come from the Valladolid All the wine making process is meticulous overseeing from the vine to the bottle.
Known more formally as Jerez de la Frontera, Jerez is a city in Andalucía in southwest Spain and the center of the Jerez region and sherry production. Sherry is a mere English corruption of the term Jerez, while in French, Jerez is written, Xérès. Manzanilla is the freshest style of sherry, naturally derived from the seaside town of Sanlúcar de Barrameda.
Sherry comes from only one place in the entire world, Andalucía, Spain where the soil and unique seasonal changes give a particular and unsurpassable character to its wines. The process of production—not really the grape—determine the type, though certain types are reserved for certain grapes. Sherry's main grapes include Palomino, Pedro Ximénez and Muscat of Alexandria.
Tasting Notes for Sherry
Sherry is a fortified wine that comes in many styles from dry to sweet. Fino, from Jerez, and the similar style called Manzanilla, from the humid and cool, coastal town of Sanlúcar de Barrameda, are the lightest and driest styles, and are meant for early consumption. Their creation is dependent on the action of flor, which are benevolent film-forming yeasts that make a floating veil on the surface of the wine, which aid in protecting it from oxidation. Amontillado happens when a Fino’s layer of flor fades and the wine starts to oxidize. Quite simply it is an aged Fino that has a darker color and richer palate. When flor yeast dies unexpectedly, the result is Palo Cortado. A Palo Cortado Sherry can behave like Amontillado on the palate but often show a greater balance of richness and delicacy. Oloroso never develops flor but is oxidized for anywhere from five to twenty five years, becoming aromatic and strong like a fine bourbon. A sweetened Oloroso is a Cream sherry; a Pale Cream is one that has had the color removed. Pedro Ximénez and Muscat, representing a tiny proportion of production can make some amazing single varietal sweet sherries but the vast number of styles are primarily based on the Palomino grape.
Perfect Food Pairings for Sherry
For Fino and Manzanilla, think Spanish tapas: baked anchovies, patatas bravas, olives, cold cuts and manchego. For Amontillado and Palo Cortado, dishes like roasted turkey, grilled tuna, artichokes and asparagus will go well; dark chocolate could pair with these too. Rich poultry and foie gras will work with dry Oloroso. Cream Sherry and sweet Pedro Ximénez should be enjoyed with dessert or cheese.
Sommelier Secrets for Sherry
Most Sherry produced is dry and meant to pair alongside traditional Spanish food. The British and American markets have traditionally focused on the sweet ones.