Published on September 14th, 2023 | by Ruben0
Manzanilla Gabriela En Rama (Barrero)
Bodegas Barrero is a name that may not sound familiar, but I’m sure you know its flagship product, the Manzanilla Gabriela. The Barrero family took over Miguel Sánchez Ayala and recently acquired the old buildings of Pedro Romero. In total they now own around 8300 m² of bodega buildings at the heart of the lower part of Sanlúcar de Barrameda, very close to the beach. They also own around 100 hectares of vines in the vineyard Las Cañas and La Soledad, both in the pago Balbaína Alta. It’s good to see the name of the pago on the labels nowadays.
It may seem strange that a fairly new name like Barrero is already celebrating its 225th anniversary, as mentioned on the label of this particular release. They are curiously appropriating the combined history of every bodega (or wine) involved. Something that most of the bodegas in the sherry region are guilty of, by the way… They trace back the history of Barrero to the Marqués de Arizón, who sold one of its warehouses to the Vicario Iñigo family in 1798. It was one of the first buildings in Sanlúcar specifically built for the storage and maturation of wines.
Limited edition Manzanilla Gabriela
From 1798 onwards there is a proven trace until 1986, when the Barrero family buys out Miguel Sánchez Ayala. Late 2020 the new name of the company appears on the wines. I’ve talked about the iconic Manzanilla Gabriela before, with a review of both the classic Manzanilla Gabriela and Gabriela Oro. The latter is a slightly older selection of barrels (around 7 years old versus 5-6 years), supposedly showing more Montuliensis yeast as well.
Today we’re trying a limited edition bottled for the 225th anniversary. It is a selection of just 36 botas from a total of 600 that are lying in the 19th-century bodega San Miguel. This is the bodega that you see on many pictures, having a lot of neo-Mudejar elements around the entrance. The wine is bottled en rama, of course.
Manzanilla Gabriela En Rama (15%, Bodegas Barrero, 3000 btl.)
Nose: archetypal notes with plenty of scrubland by the beach, hints of hay and chamomile. Dough and almond sweetness in the background. There is a nice mix of roundness and punzante character of the flor. Mild curry spice after a while, as well as walnuts. A very elegant expression which reminds me more of the (black label) Gabriela Oro than of the standard (white) Gabriela.
Mouth: nice depth, again close to the Oro version. Acetaldehydes are in front row, with briney hints and seaweed, rounded off by a slightly buttery note. Almonds appear, as well as dried herbs and herbal tea, including a mild bitterness which cleans your palate.
Summary: Much like the Gabriela Oro, this is a well-aged, complex Manzanilla that combines elegance to intensity. Closer to the Pasada style, I would say. Simply a lovely Manzanilla with plenty of sophistication.