The Equipo Navazos PX Gran Solera is the result of ageing the pure, very sweet, fortified must of Pedro Ximénez raisins - harvested from vineyards located in the towns of Montalbán, Montemayor and Puente Genil (around Montilla) - for an average of 20+ years, "... or maybe even 25 years, the solera system hardly allows us to be more precise," says Jesús.
It comes from a solera of 22 casks located in one of the finest bodegas at Jerez de la Frontera. Here it has been aged in a typical Jerezano style (such as La Bota #36), that is, in casks filled only up to 5/6 of their capacity. This Jerezano method results in a less fruity, earthier, savoury and complex style of PX. The source solera has come to be identified as "Solera Pedro Ximénez NO" and has never been bottled before. It's as unique as it is delicious.
The Equipo Navazos project was started by a group of Spanish Sherry lovers led by wine writer and Sherry guru Jesús Barquín, regular contributor to World of Fine Wine and Professor of Criminology at the University of Granada. These “Sherryphiles” were aware, through their own extensive tastings, of a treasure trove of brilliant Sherries that were sitting, unbottled, in the bodegas of Jerez, Sanlucar and Montilla. Bodegas often have butts or casks (bota) of Sherry whose small volume makes it commercially unviable to bottle separately. The concept behind Equipo Navazos (Team Navazos) was to select specific bota of such wines for individual bottling, unfiltered or lightly filtered (Sherry is typically put through a very firm filtration). The wines were selected for their quality and for their distinct personalities, which would have been a shame to lose in a large blend. Initially these bottlings were intended only for a select group of friends and professionals. Yet the response was so enthusiastic that it became very clear to those behind Equipo Navazos that something important could come of this idea; namely that the opportunity existed to remind the world of just how great Sherry could be. To this end the project was expanded to allow for a small ‘commercial’ release of certain wines to a handful of international markets. After three years, Australia started to get a tiny allocation.
The Navazos Sherries are drawn from several bodegas, and represent a variety of styles: Manzanilla, Fino, Palo Cortado, Oloroso, Pedro Ximénez, Cream and even a brandy. The wines are bottled in limited series, in successive numbered editions, dated and named “La Bota de….” (the cask of…). The date of each saca, or racking, has been precisely stated on the label so that it is possible to compare editions of the same solera. This also enables precise tracking of the evolution of the wines, as these wines are expected to evolve in the bottle (it’s Sherry, but not as we know it). These are once off bottlings and once the bottles for each La Bota… release are spoken for, there are no more.
HUON HOOKE - THE REAL REVIEW
The average age is over 50-years and it has 425 g/l of residual sugar. Oily viscosity and a dark tawny-brown colour with a yellow rim. Fantastic complexity of luxurious raisin, date and licorice aromas. A luxurious wine of great richness, viscosity and softness, roundness and amazingly layered flavour. A very great wine. The finish is clean, long and harmonious, with a mint chocolate aftertaste. It's very sweet and raisiny and yet fresh for its age. (Serve it cold)
LUIS GUTIERREZ - WINE ADVOCATE
I tasted the 2018 release of the PX produced for Australia, the NV PX Navazos Gran Solera, a wine that is 25 years old, sweet and intense, aged in sherry casks in an oxidative way. It has some notes of carob beans, roasted coffee and dark chocolate. The palate is thick and dense, with sweetness but without being heavy or cloying. Wines like this are to be consumed in very small doses, and a bottle can go a long way, as the wine is very stable and does not suffer—it even improves—when the bottle is opened. 2,592 half bottles produced.