Wine of the week: a pulse-quickening sherry

Matthew Jukes tastes a bone dry, palate-invigorating, sharply tangy sherry.

La Gitana, Manzanilla En Rama, Bodegas Hidalgo La Gitana, Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Spain

£16.99,; £16.95, reduced to £15.95 each as part of a mixed case,; £65 per case of six bottles in bond (not including duty and VAT),; £130 per case of 12 bottles in bond (duty and VAT will be added and the minimum order is £500),

There are fewer “anniversary moments” in the wine trade these days. I remember, 30 or so years ago, when we used to get very excited about the arrival of the new vintage of Cloudy Bay sauvignon blanc. A few vintage Port declarations have been announced in the last week or so, but I doubt you heard any fanfare. The Champagne houses make it up as they go along, tooting their horns every so often to try and drum up business for their ubiquitous prestige cuvée releases. There are also a few “National Days”, which generic bodies try to hitch a ride on in order to bathe their wines in the spotlight for a moment or so.

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None of these “celebrations” is as pulse-quickening as the moment that La Gitana’s En Rama Manzanilla hits the shelves. You will be familiar with the regular La Gitana – the finest value, aperitif-style dry sherry on the planet (£11.19, Waitrose; £10,; £8, 75cl bottle, Sainsbury’s). The En Rama version is the fresh-as-daisies, natural yeasts, honest and elemental style of Manzanilla. This is a bone dry, palate-invigorating, sharply tangy sherry and it is bottled without filtration or fining. It is literally taken from the barrel and is the untainted juice directly harvested from palomino grapes grown in the famous Albariza soils of Sanlúcar de Barrameda. The four merchants listed have just this second received their stock so make that call today!

Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Communicator of the Year (

Matthew Jukes

Matthew Jukes has worked in the UK wine business for well over three decades and during this time has written 14 wine books.  

Matthew regularly lectures, judges, speaks at wine conferences and runs masterclass tastings for both corporate and private clients all over the world. Matthew is also the creator of his ground-breaking initiative, the One Day Wine School, an indulgent day of tasting and learning first performed in 2006.

He has been the MoneyWeek wine correspondent since 2006 and has written a weekly column for the Daily Mail’s Weekend Magazine since 1999. His four highly-acclaimed, annual wine reports – the Burgundy En Primeur Report, the Bordeaux En Primeur Report, the Piemonte Report and the 100 Best Australian Wines – are published on his website,

Matthew is one of the world’s leading experts on Australian wine and, with Brisbane-based wine writer Tyson Stelzer, runs an annual competition in Australia to find ‘The Great Australian Red’.  He was made Honorary Australian of the Year in the UK at the 2012 Australia Day Foundation Gala dinner. 

Matthew is a winner of the International Wine and Spirit Competition's Communicator of the Year Trophy.  His thoughts, recommendations and tastings notes are followed very closely by the wine world at large.