NV Barbadillo, La Cilla Pedro Ximénez, Jerez, Spain About £24.49, RobertsAndSpeight.co.uk; DorsetWine.co.uk, DavyWine.co.uk; Cambridge Wine Merchants, 01223-568989; Rodney Densem, 01952-291129; Dartmouth Wine Co, 01803-833579; Thos Peatling, 01284-755948.
There are two staggeringly serious sherries from Barbadillo that I find myself craving with unnerving regularity.
The first is La Cilla – one of the finest-balanced pedro ximénez sherries in the world. This intensely sweet style of sherry is a wondrous elixir, which is made from sun-dried grapes and then aged in American oak barrels for five years before release.
Strangely, there are precious few pedro ximénez sherries that I don’t like! Perhaps it’s my sweet tooth, or perhaps it’s just that bodegas that make this style do their best to please consumers.
La Cilla differs from the cheapies by combining stunning caramel notes with incredible freshness and acidity on the finish. It is at once intensely sweet and then ridiculously tangy. It is also epic value, given that this is a 75cl bottle price.
My second tip is NV Barbadillo, Pastora Manzanilla En Rama (about £9.99, half bottles, RobertsAndSpeight.co.uk; HarrogateFineWineCompany.com, DorsetWine.co.uk, TaurusWines.co.uk, TheSolentcellar.co.uk, MumblesFineWines.co.uk. Magnums, £38.75, CambridgeWine.com; £35, HarrogateFineWineCompany.com). This is one of the great En Rama manzanillas, which uses an extended ageing period of eight years to build insane complexity. You need a half bottle in your fridge door at all times. Imagine my surprise when I found out that a few merchants stock magnums, too!
Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Communicator of the Year (MatthewJukes.com).