Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Wine Blogging Wednesday #51- Bodegas Hidalgo Manzanilla La Gitana N.V.

Today's post is brought to you by Wine Blogging Wednesday, hosted this month by 1 Wine Dude, who is not only a great wine blogger, but also the only one who tops "2 Days per Bottle" in link lists. The topic this month? Baked goods:

"Baked Goods" - wines that are deliberately heated, or Madeirized. According to the way-cool wine glossary at RedWineBuzz.com, Madeirized wines describes the "intentional oxidation of grapes in an estufa (hothouses used for this purpose in Madeira, where these wines are made). The resulting wines (typically whites) are sweet and caramelized in taste."

These wines often also have nutty aromas, a honey-like mouthfeel, and distinctive bronzed color. Yumminess! Examples include (of course) Madeira, but also wines in other parts of the world such as Australia's Rutherglen Tokays.

Now, Lenn and I do realize that these wines are not always easy to come by, so we're also allowing sweet Fortified wines into WBW 51(WineDude), which should provide enough options for everyone to contribute.

Bodegas Hidalgo Manzanilla La Gitana N.V.

Vintage N.V. Label 1 of 4
Type White - Fortified
Producer Bodegas Hidalgo
Variety Palomino Fino
Designation Manzanilla La Gitana
Country Spain
Region Andalucía
Appellation Manzanilla de Sanlúcar de Barrameda
500 ml
$11.95 from Chambers Street Wines

Night One

The color is a very light bright yellow straw.

The nose on this is bright and delightful, fresh apple peel, nuts, and the frothy salty tops of waves on an Atlantic beach. On the palate it is very crisp and tight. The taste on the initial attack is very fresh tart apples dipped in kosher salt, followed by lightly toasted salted almonds. The finish lingers for a long time.

Night Two

The nose has not changed from Night One to Night Two. On the palate it is just as salty, with less fruit and some liquid smoke and toasted nuts. This is incredibly flavorful, but the flavors are unusual in a wine, even a fortified wine. Salt is really the predominant flavor, so if you are not a greek olive and feta fan don't bother. The finish is different, fruity with apples as an aftertaste.

I don't really love this wine. I am, however, quite fascinated by it.

UPDATE- a hat tip to Alex of Eating Leeds for the reminder, for Manzanilla is most definitely a food wine. I drank think with mixed salted nuts and dried fruit (almonds, pistachios, cherries, raisins). Even with the salted nuts this was too salty for my personal taste, but that is most definitely a personal palate observation, not a criticism of the wine itself.


Alex said...

I think saltiness is a general characteristic of Manzanilla sherries. It's partly to do with the fact that the mild climate in Sanlúcar de Barrameda allows the flor yeast to be active all year round, rather than just spring & autumn.

You don't mention what, if anything, you ate with this. I'm not a huge sherry fan but I've found that munching on things like olives & ham vastly improves the experience!

Justin Roberts said...

Great choice! This manzanilla will go really well with "langostinos cocidos" (cold, boiled prawns). It really brings the sweetness out in the prawns. Also great with floured and deep-fried small fish like whitebait.

Joe Roberts said...

Totally agree - a food wine for sure.

And the first Manzanilla of the WBW event, I think!


Anonymous said...

Ahhhh champagne you can't beat it can you?

I have to say my favourite is most definitely moet et chandon it has such a nice taste and aroma to it, and best of all the price is very reasonable compared to the likes of Dom Perignon and other classy brands of champagne.

David McDuff said...

Ditto what Justin said, dh. "La Gitana" is a great value in Sherry and a widely available standby. I do like it with marcona almonds but it really comes to life with fried smelts.