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#1 Florida Jim

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 04:09 PM

In an effort to continue my sherry education, I decided to splurge on the following bottles. I had heard and read a number of notes about this producer (although not these specific wines) and concluded that they must do excellent work.
After tasting these wines, I will be far more skeptical of other opinions as I did not care for either of these.

My tastes run to fresher, lighter versions; to wines that are appetizing and charming. As for instance, I recently ate at Nopa and, while waiting for a table, tasted a beautiful Bodegas Hidalgo La Gitana Manzanilla that that fit my criteria and made me wish we would be seated sooner.

But these recent purchases I found heavy-handed and tending toward pasada, in the case of the manzanilla, and amontillado, in the case of the fino. They were aggressive and powerful, and well beyond any sense of charm.

Equipo Navazos, La Bota de Manzanilla #22:
15% alcohol and about $40; smells of roasted (and burnt) nut liquor, alcohol and bread dough; acidic in the mouth with an attack so powerfully (and overwhelmingly) flavored that I catch myself wanting to spit it out; finished with a burn and a sourness I had not anticipated. No hint of salinity or sea air.
Perhaps, if I add an equal quantity of water . . .

Equipo Navazos, La Bota de Fino #24:
15.6% alcohol and about $60; much nicer on the nose than the above wine but tending still toward warm nuts; a bit thin in the mouth (which at this point is a relief) but chunky and in pieces, at times it seems to strain at freshness but eventually devolves into a listless, oxidized, old-fruit quality; finishes in a feeble and somewhat leaden manner.

It appears that I will continue to be a “cheap date.”
Best, Jim
Jim Cowan
Cowan Cellars

#2 balex

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 07:12 PM

I think sherry is one of those wines were sometimes less is more --

#3 nuxvomica

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 11:19 PM

Jim, you might like the fino (15) better - esp. served on a colder side.

i tried a bunch of La Botas here and in Jerez a few months ago, including the two you describe. Neither sounds like what i had and the bottles sound off - it's possible those particular bottles have been around for too long - according to one importer finos, manzanillas and pasadas fall off after some time. I'm not too surprised as I had some bottle variation experience myself, very unfortunate considering the prices (which are about 25% higher in NYC).

another one you might enjoy is Hidalgo La Gitana Manzanilla En Rama, which is bottled without filtering. It's fresh and lively, very exciting and delicious stuff but it has an extremely short shelf life. We tasted it straight from the bota with Hidalgo, who said that the're not able to ship to the US yet but are trying to work on it - it has to be consumed within 4 months of bottling. (He also said that some of the ramas out there are not truly ramas and to be aware.)

i was thinking of starting a sherry thread after the trip but just haven't had the time. i tend to like all styles (ok, PXs less so) and i do like the pasadas, amontillados, palo cortados, lots if aged stuff as much as the finos and manzanillas. I'll have to dig up my notes on 22 & 24. The 15 fino is like a grown up fino, richer and more complex.

La Bota Palo Cortado #21 was delicious - salty, nutty, salted caramel flavors (more salt than caramel)
“Eat me,’’ it says. “Eat me and die.’’ -- Jonathan Gold

Everything is always OK in the end. If it's not OK, then it's not the end.

#4 Sneakeater

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 10:06 PM

The only La Bota I ever tried was at a restaurant and it had the same problems as Jim's. My guess was that it had been hanging around too long.
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#5 nuxvomica

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 10:57 PM

The only La Bota I ever tried was at a restaurant and it had the same problems as Jim's. My guess was that it had been hanging around too long.

this sucks. a while ago, i wanted to cancel an order based on a taste at a restaurant but it was shipped already - i got lucky though as the retail bottle was terrific.
“Eat me,’’ it says. “Eat me and die.’’ -- Jonathan Gold

Everything is always OK in the end. If it's not OK, then it's not the end.