Published on November 28th, 2016 | by Ruben0
Manzanilla Sacristía AB (2015)
Here’s an in-depth tasting of one of the Manzanillas that were part of a comparison of four Manzanilla Pasadas.
Sacristía AB is the brainchild of Antonio Barbadillo Mateos, who left the family bodega in 2008 to start his own brand. Instead of producing wines, he goes out selecting specific butts from existing soleras. The first releases of this Manzanilla (2010-2013) were sourced from Bodegas Sánchez Ayala (check the review of the 2013 edition) but then he switched to Bodegas Yuste.
Although the initial idea was to have four seasonal sacas (like Solear En Rama), there are usually two sacas per year, and once the selection is made, it is left to settle for a couple of months before being bottled. It’s nice to see so many floating particles, dark chips and clots of flor dancing around in the glass. This is en rama sherry alright.
Sacristía AB has recently widened its range with a 60 years old Amontillado AB (a selection from the Conde de Aldama solera from Yuste) and a 50 years old Oloroso AB from an undisclosed bodega in Jerez. A boutique range that is definitely worth following.
Sacristía AB ‘Segunda saca 2015’ Manzanilla (15%, Antonio Barbadillo 2016)
Nose: medium intensity, warm salt and sea breeze, hay notes and damp cellars. Moody in a nice way. Old wood. Yeasty flor. Light apples in the background, including some light floral touches. Fresher than Manzanillas of similar age. Hints of almonds and walnuts.
Mouth: again not the highest intensity, but full of flavour nonetheless. Intitially some fruity acidity, then more savoury notes, nuts, salty brine. Mineral dryness. A little dough. Bitter almonds. Chamomile and herbal tea. It finds a nice balance between zingy notes and more refined elements.
Availability: around € 16-18 for a 37,5 cl bottle. It may be difficult to find so you may look out for other sacas. Check The Whisky Exchange for instance.
Summary: I like this saca from Bodegas Yuste better than the editions from Sánchez Ayala. It's not the most intense Manzanilla but it ticks all the boxes. A very good all-round Manzanilla, combining smoothness and drinkability with complexity. It's not cheap but I certainly recommend it.