A mind-bending, palate-flaying sherry

Sacristía AB, Manzanilla En Rama, Antonio Barbadillo Mateos, Sanlucar de Barrameda, Spain (£17.67, half bottle, Lay & Wheeler, 01473-313233).

Big statement: this is the finest manzanilla I have ever tasted. Granted, I am a huge fan of Hidalgo’s Pasada Pastrana, not least because of its monumental class and microscopic price tag (£12.99, Majestic), but this wine is even finer.

It is an ultra-rare en rama bottling, which means that this is a lightly cold-stabilised eight-year-old manzanilla which has not been filtered at all and bottled ‘raw’! Only 2,000 litres of epic-quality sherry were selected for this January 2014 bottling.16

This calibre of en rama sherry is fast becoming the must-have vinous accessory for anyone who is remotely serious about wine. The aromas and flavours are mind-bendingly serious. With florals and essences that a perfumer would be proud of, this is a palate-flayingly dry manzanilla with flavour concentration which almost made my olfactory bulb explode.

You can drink it with any food you can think of, because it transcends this earthly category of victuals and exists on an entirely different plane. Only share it with people you love. If you need to make up a case for delivery purposes, buy this wine, too: 2012 Sancerre Les Monts Damnes Pierre Martin (£20.46). It is nearly as awesome.

• Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Communicator of the Year (www.matthewjukes.com).

Merryn

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