By: Joe Manekin | Spanish & Portuguese Wine Buyer
Here it is, the email I've been waiting to send all year. We've waited, we've diligently peppered our suppliers' inboxes with special order requests, and now we finally get to enjoy the fruit of our labor with...EN RAMA-RAMA!
A Fino or Manzanilla bottled "en rama" is a minimally processed, freshly bottled Fino or Manzanilla, one that perfectly exhibits the traits we love in these wines: marked salinity, bracing citric qualities, "almendrado" or almondy flavors, and an unmatched complexity and intensity of flavor due to an extended, careful ageing under flor. If you've traveled to Jerez, Sanlucar, El Puerto, or even Sevilla or Cádiz, and want to relive your Sherry experience, there is no better style than Fino and Manzanilla en rama. And, if you simply want an introduction to the beauty of Sherry, I would also argue that there is nothing better than en rama bottlings.
I encourage you to try some or all of these, identify your favorites and buy what you want before they disappear until the next wave of en rama bottlings hit (which will likely not be until spring 2014).
2006 Alvear Fino en Rama (500ml) - $14.99
Gonzalez Byass Tio Pepe Fino En Rama Jerez de la Frontera - $20.99
Hidalgo La Gitana Manzanilla en Rama - $29.99
Valdespino "Deliciosa" Manzanilla en Rama (375ml) - $14.99
Finally, a brief note on when to drink these. Many people (including folks at some of these bodegas) encourage consumption within 4-6 months of the bottling date. Others, myself and Equipo Navazos included, respectfully disagree. I have found these wines can continue to develop complexity, soften and deepen in flavor with bottle age (2006 Alvear is a great example of this). It simply depends on the bottling and on your taste. Drink now for a delicious, citric driven salt bomb and/or stash a few away for what may turn into an equally stunning, very different expression.
Spanish, Portuguese, Latin American Wine Buyer
K&L Wine Merchants
Ph: 877.559.4637 ext. 2748