The SOMM Journal

December 2014/January 2015

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{ }  35 { discoveries } The Rare and the Super Rare WHEN THE BRILLIANT JESÚS BARQUÍN comes to town to pour his Equipo Navazos Sherries and other wines, you drop everything and go. That is exactly what 60-something of Southern California's Sherry-loving restaurateurs, sommeliers and bar professionals did when Barquín flew in for a whirlwind tasting last month at Scopa Italian Roots in Santa Monica. Established in 2005 as an association of private buyers, Equipo Navazos quickly garnered the attention of discerning enthusiasts, erudite sommeliers and all-around lovers of Andalusian esoterica. What began as a happy accident—the discovery and subsequent bottling of a long forgotten cask of Amontillado, labeled simply Bota de Amontillado No. 1—has now become a full-fledged business for Jesús Barquín and Eduardo Ojeda. These two men, fueled by an intense passion and intelligence for wines from cask and solera, have built a portfolio of exceptional wines and Sherries, each of which receives a number that corresponds with its order of bottling. We were treated the current Equipo Navazos lineup—running the gamut from Cava to oloroso—and everything in between. Here are some highlights from the tasting. PHOTO: EDUARDO BOLAÑOS Playing the Numbers: Tasting through a Selection of the Equipo Navazos Botas 50 La Bota de Manzanilla Pasada "Bota Punta" The casks from this solera are all filled much higher than the traditional 5/6 Sherry level, giving it less contact with air and therefore a fresher, less oxi - dative style. This fortified Palomino Fino is rich in complexity and concentration, with elegant oxida- tive notes. 45 La Bota de Fino "que va para Amontillado" This wine is sourced from approximately 30 barrels of fino solera that is estimated to be over 20 years old. This Bota displays a duality of character; leaning towards amontillado personality without losing its fino sensibilities. 46 La Bota de Oloroso "Montilla" Sourced from a selection of "boots" at Diogenes Solera, this oloroso is fragrant and full-bodied—highlighting the strong character of Pedro Ximénez—and boasts an average age of 25 years. 47 La Bota de Palo Cortado "Bota NO" Rare, allo - cated, temporal—in Jesús Barquín's own words, "We almost exhausted the adjectives in describing this Bota. We were speechless at the wild and uncom- promising character of this wine." 38 La Bota de Cream "Bota NO" This sweet olo- roso is born from a blend of Palomino Fino, fortified with top-quality Pedro Ximénez, in a solera that was founded almost a century ago. Delicate and seduc- tive, this wine is a wonderful balance between the raciness of a dry oloroso and the unctuousness of the sweet PX. Equipo Navazos wines are imported by Eric Solomon Selections/European Cellars. SAVORING THE ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME SELECTIONS OF EQUIPO NAVAZOS by Karen Moneymaker Jesús Barquín speaks to the group of profession- als at Scopa Italian Roots ni Santa Monica, CA. PHOTO: EDUARDO BOLAÑOS "Inspired, not invented, these wines are the liquid part of the grape—the manifestation of climate, soil, vintage; they bring the experience of these factors into the glass, to be shared." —Jesús Barquín of Equipo Navazos

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