Dating back to 1821, this traditional bodega is set in the heart of the old town of Sanlúcar and is still owned by the founding Barbadillo family. The company has 500 hectares of its own vineyards in some of the best parts of Jerez Superior District, where the wines enjoy the thick, chalky Albariza soil that is so perfect for the Palomino grape. Sanlúcar is the only place that Manzanilla can be made with its own DO within the wider Jerez/Sherry district. Barbadillo also makes a number of top class Sherries, using solera systems that have been operating since the company was founded.
Winemaker Montse Molina started her career in Catalonia, where she was born, but has since dedicated the last 15 years of her career to Barbadillo. As well as having a tremendously positive impact on the quality of the Sherry and Manzanilla, she has also developed award winning still wines using both the Palomino grape as well as other varietals to make both red and white wines and even a traditional method sparkling wine.
Made with the Palomino grape, Barbadillo only use the free run juice and ferment the must completely using its own selection of natural yeasts from the vineyard. The young wine obtained is top quality in itself but, to make Manzanilla, it is fortified slightly from approximately 12% to 15% and then aged in American oak casks under a layer of floating yeasts known as flor, within a tiered solera system for an average of nearly 10 years. The filtration and fining is minimal in order to maintain to a maximise flavour.
This is a complex, yeasty and pungent Manzanilla, with a full, rounded smoothness on the palate. The winery produces only a limited number of bottles, four times a year, one bottling for every season. Due to its ageing under flor, the flavour changes slightly depending on the season when it is bottled, so each label shows the season and the year in which it was bottled.
Gold in colour, with a pungent yeasty and briny nose, it goes on to display complex yeast, wood and salty flavours on the palate, with a fresh, clean finish.