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Perfect Summer Combination: Manzanilla and Gazpacho!

Officially, we are melting into the Catalunyan soil. Temperatures have risen up to 94 degrees F, which may not be that hot many of you suffering in 100+ degree temperatures, but after 2 months of rain and chilly temperatures, this seems like a sauna to us poor folk.

Yet, despite the toasty weather, its exciting to finally ring in the season with our first bottle of Manzanilla. La Bota De Manzanilla #8 Las Cañas, by Equipo Navaras, is from the oldest Manzanilla in the house of M. Sanchez Ayala, situated in the Barrio de la Balsa in Sanlucar de Barrameda. This much I know to be accurate, but if you look at the bottle, listing the number “8” and Las Cañas on the left hand side of the bottle, with “La Bota de Manzanilla” on the right hand side of the bottle, it tends to get a little confusing as to what this all means. Let’s see if I can sort it out a bit to give a little clarity to their story.

First off, Equipo Navaros is comprised of a group of sherry lovers who happened by a dozen old, and especially tasty, butts of amontillado in Sanlucar that had been left to age flawlessly without being sold. Seeing an opportunity in the making, they bottled the equivalent of one “butt” and sold it under Edgar Allen Poe’s famous short story, The Cask of Amontillado (highly suggest reading this wonderfully creepy story!).

After experiencing the success garnered from this small 600 bottle production among friends and family, they continued seeking more rare sherry treasures, which resulted in two additional selections in 2006. Clearly, their success extended outside the bounds of their immediate circle, resulting in wines that are bottled in successive numbered editions of dated releases. Currently, 14 to date. The reason behind this theory is so that you can track different editions of the exact same solera over time. Pretty cool. Plus, with the date stamped right on the front of the bottle of when the wine was drawn from the solera, there’s absolutely no mistake of its level of freshness.

To summarize, La Bota de…. is the project name, and the number is related to the edition. Check out the Equipo Navaros’ website for more information.

And don’t stop here! There are plenty more sherries and Spanish recipes to experiment with, while savoring this Gazpacho recipe at home! Paired with a wide range of Spanish cheeses, meats and fish, there’s no shortage of flavors to enjoy. Or simply come join us in Spain to for a personalized Sherry Tour, Cooking Class or Food Tour!

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