Sacristía AB Manzanilla
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Antonio Barbadillo Mateos, a member of the extended Barbadillo family legacy, which has been producing wines in Sanlúcar de Barrameda since 1821, embarked on his personal venture in 2010. Having spent numerous decades growing up and working on the family estate, he chose to establish his own endeavor.
Antonio does not own a winery, instead, he follows a unique approach. He collaborates with various Sanlúcar producers, handpicking casks that captivate his attention “for their candor”. He then bottles these wines during specific seasonal extractions known as "sacas," operating under the brand name Sacristía AB. This choice of name reflects his dedication to quality, with "AB" denoting his initials, and "sacristía" referring to the term used in the region for a corner within a winery where the finest wines are stored.
Previously, Manzanilla Sacristía AB was sourced from 32 butts within an 80-butt solera at Bodegas Sanchez Ayala (where the Manzanillas of Equipo Navazos’ La Bota got their fame), the largest independent bottler of sherry.
Sacristía is bottled in miniscule sacas, usually two a year and always completely en rama to ensure a maximum and pure expression of flor development and aromatics. As of the Primera Saca of 2014, this base wine has been sourced from sleeping Manzanilla treasures that lie beneath a thick layer of flor in Bodegas Yusta, a dusty old cellar in the backroads of Sanlúcar.
WHAT MAKES THIS WINE UNIQUE?
The man behind these magic is Antonio Barbadillo of the historical Sanluqueño winery, Barbadillo. This delicious Manzanilla is from an area called Las Canas, which is located within Pago Balbaína. The wines of Sacristía are the true definition of an 'en rama' Manzanilla with zero filtration, even just before bottling. Nada! This 10 year old Manzanilla has a thick and healthy flor from multiple criaderas.
2017 94 W&S, 2015 93W&S 'Year's Best Fino & Manzanilla"
100% Palomino Fino from Las Canas, within the Pago Balbaina. Tended in albariza soil.
LOCATION, SOIL, CLIMATE:
Sanlúcar de Barrameda, a historic fishing port located in the northern province of Cádiz, Spain, sits at the mouth of the Guadalquivir River as it flows from Jaén into the Gulf of Cádiz and the Atlantic Ocean. The region boasts Albariza soil, primarily white and calcium-rich chalk, which withstands the hot, dry summers of Andalucía by forming a protective crust over sun-soaked vineyards, preserving moisture for the vines beneath. The area's altitude ranges from 200 to 400 feet above sea level. Sanlúcar de Barrameda enjoys cooler temperatures than Jerez de la Frontera, averaging highs of 22°C (72°F) and lows of 13°C (56°F), with abundant sunshine totaling around 3,000 hours per year. The majority of the 584 mm (23 in) of yearly rainfall occurs between September and December. The region's unique positioning near the sea grants it high humidity and direct exposure to the beneficial Poniente wind, which provides the necessary cool humidity for the growth of flor. Flor is a layer of Saccharomyces yeasts that develops on biologically aged Sherries, and it thrives particularly well in Sanlúcar's coastal environment, resulting in the exclusive designation of the revered Manzanilla wine.
This is a serious Manzanilla bottled at around seven or eight years under flor. In all releases since 2010, it's interesting to note the evolution of the wines in bottle as they take aromas of curry, sweet spices, cumin, quince, apricots and caramel (similar to what you may find in a low alcohol Amontillado).