Published on August 21st, 2015 | by Ruben0
Manzanilla Pastrana (Hidalgo La Gitana)
Pastrana is a single-vineyard Manzanilla from Miraflores, bottled at a high age
I didn’t have to think long about a good wine to illustrate my article about the importance of terroir and pagos in sherry. This rare wine serves as an excellent example: the Manzanilla Pasada Pastrana from Bodegas Hidalgo – La Gitana in Sanlúcar de Barrameda.
As a single-vineyard sherry, all the necessary grapes come from the Finca Pastrana. The idea of a single-vineyard Manzanilla was born in 1987, when Javier Hidalgo teamed up with the Portuguese winemaker Cristiano van Zeller. They selected Hidalgo’s best vineyard, a 14ha domain in the prestigious pago of Miraflores, known for its excellent Albariza soil – the sub-type Tosca Cerrada to be precise.
The wine is made from a strict selection of the best mostos, matured for about 10-12 years in a solera and commercialized for the first time in 1997. It is bottled en rama.
Pastrana Manzanilla Pasada (15%, Hidalgo La Gitana)
Nose: a lot of flor and dried flowers up font. Chamomile of course, some hay and fennel, moving towards earthy notes and wet cellars. Bitter almonds and olive brine, with pine resin. Very soft hints of ripe fruits underneath. There’s also a deeply coastal side to it, fresh seashells and a bit of iodine. Finally subtle farmy / leathery notes, think dried cow hides.
Mouth: vivid and refreshing, with decent acidity and medium salinity. The yeasty flavours are quite invasive, but they’re balanced by a fruity touch. Mediterranean herbs, bringing a light bitterness. Some meaty hints as well. It’s slightly heavyweight and not the widest Manzanilla, but its age makes it elegant, quite profound and persistent. Long, lightly bitter finish.
Availability: in specialized wine shops. Around 24.000 bottles a year. Around € 14.
Summary: This wine is not a middle-of-the-road Manzanilla. It's weighty and certainly shows a unique character. A good example of the fact that a good vineyard holds the DNA for a good wine.