Top-rated Fino and Manzanilla
Lustau, Almacenista Cuevas Jurado, Manzanilla Pasada
Decanter average score: 18.75/20pts (95+/100pts)
Individual judges’ scores: Pedro Ballesteros Torres MW 18.5 Sarah Jane Evans MW 18.5 Nick Room 19
Jerez producer Lustau, owned by El Puerto’s substantial Caballero drinks group, pioneered the bottling of almacenista wines. These small bodegas were legally prevented from selling directly to the market; instead they sold to shippers on the internal market. Lustau was clever enough to acknowledge the individual brilliance of the wines, and launched its first négociant-style collection in the early 1980s. Manuel Cuevas Jurado set up his bodega in 1950 – he owned vineyards in some of the best areas, as well as a grocery business in Sanlúcar. His grandson is now in charge and supplies Lustau with aged manzanillas, this pasada and an amontillado.
Pedro Ballesteros Torres MW Multi-layered and with a clean finish, showing developed complexity.
Sarah Jane Evans MW Gently smoky aromas with delicate backdrop. Bright spicy palate with supple round fruit adding the unexpected note of ripeness amid the saltiness. Long, nutty and spicy on the finish. In the classic style. This is a wine to linger over.
Nick Room Lovely, clean, salty, evolved but in style. Elegant, full palate that has depth and flavour. Very true to type, regionally distinctive with lovely saltiness. Long, long finish.
Price: £18.65 (500ml) Fortnum & Mason, Oxford Wine Co, The Sampler