Orleans Borbon Manzanilla
In 1849, during an exploration expedition of Andalucía, Don Antonio de Orleans, the Duke of Montpensier and son of King Louis Philippe of France, fell in love with the magical fishing village of Sanlucar de Barrameda and planted his roots there. Among various business ventures Don Antonio de Orleans began cultivating vineyards and slowly building the foundation for the family tradition that would become Sherry. A century later, his descendants developed the family's various ventures into a Brandy and Sherry business which carries on today as Bodegas los Infantes de Orleans Borbón. Housed in a XIX century courtyard palace influenced by the Moors, this classically built winery within Sanlucar de Barrameda, cellars some of the finest sherry soleras in the region. Today, Infantes de Orleans de Borbons is owned by the Spanish Royal Family and until very recently, these wines were sold only in very limited quantities outside of the Royal House -- wines fit for a King.
WHAT MAKES THIS WINE UNIQUE? Manzanilla can only come one from place in the world, Sanlucar de Barrameda, because of its natural environment's ability to grow flor, an indigenous yeast byproduct of fermentation that when developed in this three tier microclimate of Sanlucar, creates a unique and complex style of fino wine called Manzanilla. This is the first time that the Royal wines of Orleans Borbon are available for sales in the United States.
RATING HISTORY: 92 W&S Magazine, also rated "2013 Year's Best Buy Wine" by Wine & Spirits Magazine
GRAPE: 100% Palomino. Vines planted in 1973. Tended in albariza soil from 40 - 90 m (131 - 295 ft) of elevation
PAIRING SUGGESTIONS: Fine Manzanilla like this should be consumed like any fine white wine: shared with delicious food and better company. Served nicely chilled, Manzanilla is the perfect match for little bites of salty foods like fried anything, shellfish and oysters, cured meats, olives, almonds, cheese and even sushi. It is also quite appropriate as an afternoon beach beverage, at a picnic and always a nip while preparing dinner.
VINIFICATION AND AGEING: This fresh Manzanilla is made from 100% Palomino bottled from 3 criaderas with an average of 5 years. To enhance its characteristic freshness, there are only 2 bottlings per year which happen during the late Spring and Fall when the flor is at its peak growth. It is during this time that the wines are more strongly protected and therefore express a finesse and delicacy that is enhanced by a rich lees-y quality.
PRODUCTION: 1,500 cases
LOCATION, SOIL, CLIMATE: The historical fishing port of San Lucar de Barrameda is situated within the northern province of Cádiz where the mouth of the Guadalquivir River flowing from Jaén, empties out into the Gulf of Cádiz and Atlantic Ocean on the southeastern coast of sunny Andalucía, Spain. The Albariza soil is predominately pure white, calcium rich chalk that endures the hot, arid summers of southern Spain by baking a crust atop the sunshine drenched vineyards, preserving winter's moisture below for hydration of the vines. The altitudes in this flat, coastal region range from 200-400ft. The temperatures in Sanlucar de Barrameda are cooler than in Jerez de la Frontera and very desirable. With averages highs of 22C (72F) and lows of 13C (56F), there are nearly an impressive 3,000 hours of sunshine per year and the summers are glorious. Most of the 584 mm (23 in) of annual rainfall occurs from September through December.
TASTING NOTES: Straw in color with tangy aromas of the sea rounded out by fruity lemon curd, almond skin, toasted bread and yeasty notes on the palate, this Manzanilla has a complexity fit for a King.