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Equipo Navazos Manzanilla En Rama Sherry
Country: SPAIN/ Region: JEREZ / Appellation: SANLUCAR DE BARRAMEDA DO / Varietal(s): PALOMINO FINO --- Equipo Navazos is not a Bodega, but rather a collective of Spanish sherry lovers led by wine writer Jesús Barquín and Eduardo Ojeda, technical director of Grupo Estévez. In December 2005, this private group found several dozen barrels of exceptional 20 year old Amontillado. Realizing the shame that so many fantastic sherry butts were lying around in bodegas, often in volumes too low to be of commercial interest for bottling separately, but too fine to be part of a large-scale solera blend, they split the bottles titled La Bota de Amontillado among friends and colleagues, and started a sherry revolution! Equipo Navazos sources its wines from different bodegas around the Jerez area, selecting all the barrels for their quality and character. They are especially unique in that their sherries are bottled ‘en rama’. This means that no aggressive filtration or clarification have been used in the bottling process; only a minimal light filtration, without any cooling. The result is a throwback to traditional methods of bottling finos as they come, preserving their natural complexity and depth, rather than the extreme clarification that has dominated the market in recent decades. This wine is a Fino en Rama from Jerez de la Frontera, the main town where sherries are produced (the word "sherry" derives from the historical name of the town). It is made with 100% palomino fino grapes from the vineyards Cartera and Macharnudo Alto, located four kilometers West-Northwest of Jerez de la Frontera. The Fino en Rama Navazos ferments with local yeasts and, after a small fortification so as to increase its alcohol content from 12.5% to 15%, the wine enters the solera system where it has aged under a layer of flor for an average of five years. This is a great chance to get an outstanding en rama Fino at a fraction of the price of the ultra-rare La Bota Fino releases from Equipo Navazos! An impressive nose of flowers, apricots, peaches, and sea salt yields to a round, pure palate that is firm, bright, and saline. Delicious chilled as an aperitif, with a tapas platter of nuts, hard cheeses, and olives, or with chicken with olive tapenade.

Clos Lentiscus Rosé 41°N Brut Nature 2013 - ORGANICALLY GROWN
Country: SPAIN / Region: CATALUNYA / Appellation: PENEDÈS DO / Varietal(s): CARIÑENA --- Located in the rugged Garraf Mountains just north of Tarragona, Clos Lentiscus sits between the massive Montserrat mountain and the Mediterranean Sea, in Sant Pere de Ribes. Founded in the 14th century, the farmhouse of Can Ramon has a long history in viticulture, dating back to early commerce with Southern France and the American colonies. Unfortunately, in the 19th century, due to the problems of phylloxera, industrialization, and the Spanish Civil War, the property fell into decline. In 2001, after the death of their father, brothers Manel and Joan Aviñó returned to the family estate to find a land depleted from years of conventional agriculture. Determined to restore the estate to its full potential, they adopted a biodynamic philosophy that is in many ways a return to traditional winemaking methods of generations' past; farming biodynamically, following lunar cycles for planting, pruning, harvesting, and bottling, fermenting using native yeasts, and avoiding additions or enzymes, and dosage. The property possesses shallow soils full of marine fossils, which provide many microelements and minerals that the vines easily absorb and grant a unique mineral character and great aging potential to the wines. Clos Lentiscus Rosé Brut Nature is a single varietal carignan (samsó) rosé sparkling wine. The carignan (an ancient grape of the region) used for this specific sparkling wine was cultivated from vines that were planted in 1939 in Torrent de Ribes, which is inside of the Massif of the Garraf Natural Park. This was fermented using indigenous yeasts in stainless steel vats, then underwent unprovoked malolactic fermentation in bottle. No sugar was added after disgorgement. Bone dry, this beautifully expresses the ancient seabed it lies on, with a saline, mineral character offset by blueberry and wild strawberry flavors and hints of brioche. A superb aperitif!

Bodegas Albamar Rías Baixas DO Albariño "Alma de Mar" 2015 - SUSTAINABLY GROWN
Country: SPAIN/ Region: GALICIA / Appellation: RÍAS BAIXAS DO / Varietal(s): ALBARIÑO --- Xurxo Alba of Albamar makes albariño al alba del mar (next to the sea), in Cambados, in the O Salnés sub-region of Rías Baixas. His family has been farming and producing albariño for generations but it wasn’t until Xurxo finished his oenological studies that they started bottling and commercializing their own wines in 2006. The family owns approximately 2.5 hectares but source from about a total of 10 spread throughout this region dominated by small estates. Xurxo and his fellow farmers work as naturally as possible in the vineyards, and in the winery, all fermentation is done spontaneously using native yeasts. His Finca O Pereiro vineyard is located just 50m from the ocean near where the Umía River spills into the Atlantic. Planted by his family in 1984, this small plot is composed of sand and clay soils and is the source for Alma de Mar (spirit of the sea). In 2005, Xurxo finished planting a part of this vineyard that had been left unplanted because of its predominant clay soil which can be quite difficult to work in such a rainy region. Despite the poor drainage and his family’s hesitation, Xurxo was convinced it would make wines of superior quality. And while the vines have very low yields, the concentration in the grapes gives the wine much more structure and a richer texture in the mouth. Fermented in stainless steel tanks with native yeast, the albariño is aged on its fine lees for about five months, then filtered lightly before bottling. Pale yellow in color, this offers up sophisticated aromas of vibrant citrus and orchard fruit, all underscored by lovely chalky minerality and a faint hint of bitter crushed herbs. Dry and lively, juicy Meyer lemon and pear flavors dance across the palate with tangy acidity before finishing with a light touch of chamomile and robust minerals that evoke a day at the shore. As the label suggests, this is a sure winner when paired with seafood, particularly simply prepared crustaceans, mollusks, ceviche, or white fish.

Sistema Vinari "Chateau Paquita" Mallorca 2015 - SUSTAINABLY GROWN
Country: SPAIN/ Region: MALLORCA / Appellation: MALLORCA / Varietal(s): CALLET+MANTONEGRO+MONASTRELL --- Young up-and-coming winemaker Eloi Cedo named this wine Chateau Paquita after his mother. Sistema Vinari is Eloi’s side project apart from his participation in Bodega 4 Kilos Vinícola, a collective of conscientious winemakers dedicated to putting Mallorca on the winemaking map, as well as recovering the island's native grape varietals such as callet, mantonegro, and fogoneu. Eloi himself, a native of Montsant, has worked with Oriol Castells of Alvaro Palacios in Priorat and Luis Antoine Luyt in Chile before settling in Felantix. Located in the Mediterranean, the island of Mallorca has a warm yet fresh climate protected from mistral winds by the mountains in the northwest. The vineyards are located in different areas ranging from 100 to 200 meters of altitude and are planted largely on red clay rich in iron oxide (perfect for the callet grape). Eloi relies on organic and biodynamic methods, working as naturally as possible to maintain the true expression of the unique grapes and terroir of Mallorca. The resulting wine is unsulfured, unfined, unfiltered, and incredibly clean! Begun in 2010 as the result of a bet, Eloi used the first bottles of his Chateau Paquita in a swap for other local products from like-minded people, with 2012 being the first commercial vintage, and an immediate hit. This, the 2015 vintage, is a blend of 65% callet, 20% mantonegro, and 15% monastrell. The first two are fermented and macerated using a small percentage of whole clusters and stems while the monastrell undergoes carbonic, both of which occur in stainless steel. From there, everything is transferred into 500 liter used oak barrels for 6 months and later racked back into stainless steel for another 3 months of natural stabilization. Lastly, the wine was aged for about 5 months in bottle before it was released. At only 12% alcohol, this is unique among most Mediterranean reds! Callet and mantonegro lend the wine spice and structure, while the monastrell (and the carbonic fermentation it undergoes) contributes fruit, freshess, and a compelling drinkability. Bright cherry color in the glass, the nose bursts with succulent black fruit: currants, black cherry, and blackberry. On the palate, though, it evolves into a different beast all together, full of concentrated fruit character, fine mineral nuances, and a lengthy finish. Fresh and a little bit freaky, this is a great summer red for natural wine lovers to get to know! Try it with grilled flank steak or chicken with mushrooms.