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BODEGAS HIDALGO-LA GITANA

Region: Andalucía
Appellation: D.O. Manzanilla de Sanlúcar de Barrameda / D.O. Xérès-Jerez-Sherry
City: Sanlúcar de Barrameda
Winery Website: www.lagitana.es
Winery GPS Coordinates: 36.780300, -6.355500

OVERVIEW

Founded in 1792 and one of few remaining estate-produced Manzanilla and Sherry exporters.

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HISTORY

Founded in 1792 by José Pantaleón Hidalgo, Bodegas Hidalgo is owned by the sixth successive generation of the family. Hidalgo is a modern rarity, being the last remaining family business (and almacenista, for those familiar with this term) to produce and export its own unblended, single-solera Sherries.

Just as rare is Bodegas Hidalgo's total reliance on its own vineyards, 500 acres of Palomino Fino located in the great chalk pagos ("crus") of Balbaína - the closest Jerez vineyard to the sea - and Miraflores, the great Sanlúcar vineyard renowned for the pedigree of its wines. Just as significant is the privileged location of the family's Bodega San Luis - at beach-level in Sanlúcar de Barrameda, where the Guadalquivir River meets the ocean. Here, the miracle of Manzanilla is made possible by constant exposure to Atlantic breezes, laden with moisture and an ambient yeast/algae culture called flor. This surface-growing culture thrives year-round along Sanlúcar's southwest-facing beachfront, protecting the resting wines from exposure to the air. At the same time, flor imparts the bracing, briny smell of sea spray which is Manzanilla's hallmark, reflecting its years-long maturation process within earshot of the waves.

La Gitana Manzanilla ("the gypsy"), is Hidalgo's flagship wine, product of a family solera established in the early 19th century, around the same time Manzanilla as a wine type came into existence. La Gitana is regarded as the authoritative Manzanilla in Spain and abroad.

Pastrana Manzanilla Pasada: To the southeast of Sanlúcar lies a chalk dune overlooking the Atlantic which offers the perfect conditions for ripening the Palomino grape and for production of the region's finest dry wines. This is Miraflores, the Grand Cru of Jerez Superior. Hidalgo's ancestral Pastrana site, a monopole holding, is at the heart of Miraflores. Pastrana contributes the length and finesse, perhaps even the soul, in all of Hidalgo's magnificent wines, and a decision was taken some years back to market small quantities of the most exemplary manzanilla from this superlative vineyard on its own.

Link to Bodegas Hidalgo Production Chart: http://classicalwines.com/Wineries/winery_11/solera_chart.pdf

Link to satellite images showing situation of Hidalgo-La Gitana and
Bodega San Luis:
http://classicalwines.com/Wineries/winery_11/HidalgoSituation.pdf

Link to D.O. Map: http://classicalwines.com/Maps/sherry_map.jpg

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PRESS

Pastrana Manzanilla Pasada - "Dried lemon peel, fennel seed, salted almond and citrus oil notes course along here, featuring crunchy acidity through the finish, with a briny energy. Drink now."

91 Points
James Molesworth, Wine Spectator, Aug 1, 2014

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Wellington Palo Cortado VOS - "Alluring sandalwood and musk notes lead the way, followed by elegant ginger, cedar, date, persimmon and hazelnut husk accents. Offers a brisk, tightly focused finish. Drink now. 300 cases made."

91 Points
James Molesworth, Wine Spectator, Aug 1, 2014

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Napoleón Amontillado VORS - "Smooth and concentrated, with rich, spicy notes of citrus, toffee and caramel."

***
Eric Asimov, New York Times, Feb 20, 2014

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Napoleón Amontillado - "Young amontillado, with racy flavors of nuts, flowers, ginger and brine."

*** BEST VALUE
Eric Asimov, New York Times, Feb 20, 2014

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La Gitana Manzanilla - "La Gitana, easily identifiable by the demure gypsy girl (gitana) gracing the label, is one of the most iconic of Manzanilla Sherries. From a bodega that has been a force in Sherry for two centuries, the wine is made from Palomino grapes grown in the chalky soils of Jerez. Gitana is lightly fortified to 15 percent alcohol, and its barrel aging in the seaside town of Sanlúcar de Barrameda imparts a bright salinity. 66,665 cases made."

91 Points (#32 on Top 100 List)
Wine Spectator, Dec 1, 2013

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La Gitana Manzanilla - "Bright, with saline, sunchoke and blanched almond notes backed by a piercing, chalk-framed finish. This is all precision and cut. Drink now."

91 Points
James Molesworth, Wine Spectator, Aug 1, 2013

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Pastrana Manzanilla Pasada - "Dried lemon peel, fennel seed, salted almond and citrus oil notes course along here, featuring crunchy acidity through the finish, with a briny energy. Drink now."

91 Points
James Molesworth, Wine Spectator, Aug 1, 2013

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Wellington Palo Cortado VORS - "Almost breezy, featuring a racy core of persimmon, dried nectarine and blood orange, lined with roasted walnut and cardamom notes. Puts on weight with aeration, showing smoke and pecan accents through the bone-dry finish. Drink now."

92 Points
James Molesworth, Wine Spectator, Aug 1, 2013

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Napoleón Amontillado VORS - "Floral and salty, featuring a pronounced rancio note, this lets date, clove and toasted Brazil nut elements unfurl steadily from the core. The salty, mouthwatering, very precise finish shows impressive length. High-toned for an amontillado. Drink Now."

92 Points
James Molesworth, Wine Spectator, Aug 1, 2013

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Oloroso Faraón VORS - "The dried orange and persimmon flavors are backed by darker date, charred wood and buckwheat notes, while a green tea accent threads everything together on the finish. Exhibits lovely cut, with finely beaded acidity. Drink now."

93 Points
James Molesworth, Wine Spectator, Aug 1, 2013

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Napoleón Amontillado VORS - "The NV Amontillado Napoleon VORS is Palomino Fino aged for over 30 years in a solera system, but it’s believed to be closer to 40 years of age. Intense amber-colored, it has a subtle, elegant nose pointing at its Manzanilla origin, with hints of beeswax, marmalade and hazelnuts, lifted by a touch of varnish. The medium-bodied palate shows great intensity and delineation, great balance and complexity, long and elegant. 1,000 half-liter bottles are filled each year. Drink 2013-2020."

94 Points
Luis Gutiérrez, Wine Advocate, Aug 1, 2013

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Wellington Palo Cortado VORS - "The NV Palo Cortado Wellington VORS is produced from Palomino grapes from the Balbaina and Miraflores vineyards, both in the municipality of Sanlucar de Barrameda, where the winery is also located. The wine has a deep amber color, a profound, clean, subtle nose of candied oranges, ginger, hazelnuts, cigar ash and smoke. The complex palate is very gentle, sharp but not aggressive, with clean flavors, great persistence and a dry finish where the orange rind comes back with a touch of beeswax. An exceptional Palo Cortado. 19% alcohol. 1,000 half-liter bottles are filled each year. Drink 2013-2020."

95 Points
Luis Gutiérrez, Wine Advocate, Aug 1, 2013

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Pastrana Manzanilla Pasada - "The golden-colored NV Manzanilla Pasada Pastrana is a Manzanilla produced from Palomino grapes from the Pastrana vineyard within the pago Miraflores, aged under flor, but finishing its upbringing in a semi-oxidative way as the flor weakens, starts to die off, and bottled with a total average of 12 year of age. It has a distinct nose redolent of peanuts, smoke, bitter almonds, quince and olives, combining biological and oxidative notes. The palate shows a medium- to full-bodied wine, very powerful and strongly-flavored, ending with a smoky finish. A fine nose and a powerful palate. A unique wine. 24,000 bottles are produced yearly. Drink 2013-2015."

92 Points
Luis Gutiérrez, Wine Advocate, Aug 1, 2013

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Pedro Ximénez Triana VORS - "The NV Pedro Ximenez Triana VORS from sun-dried Pedro Ximenez grapes has 15% alcohol and 450 grams of residual sugar. Dark, opaque mahogany color, dense, motor-oil thick, it has a compact nose of roasted coffee, chocolate, prunes and noble woods. It is full-bodied with a velvety texture, managing to keep the freshness. There is an ice cream popular in the south of Spain made with rum and raisins, and this wine reminds me of it. In any case, it manages to balance concentration and old age with elegance and drinkability, in a difficult-to-obtain combination. 1,000 half-liter bottles are filled each year. Drink 2013- 2025."

93 Points
Luis Gutiérrez, Wine Advocate, Aug 1, 2013

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La Gitana Manzanilla - "Bright, with saline, sunchoke and blanched almond notes backed by a piercing, chalk-framed finish. This is all precision and cut. Drink now."

91 Points
James Molesworth, Wine Spectator, Aug 1, 2013

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Pastrana Manzanilla Pasada - "Dried lemon peel, fennel seed, salted almond and citrus oil notes course along here, featuring crunchy acidity through the finish, with a briny energy. Drink now."

91 Points
James Molesworth, Wine Spectator, Aug 1, 2013

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Pastrana Manzanilla Pasada - "Another amazing flavour-to-value winner from the denizens of Bodegas Hidalgo. No wonder this refreshingly sophisticated salty seadog of a Manzanilla came home laden with both a Food Match and a Critics' Choice gong. While Angus Macnab found 'salt and iodine plus good weight and texture on the palate', Andrea Bricarello felt this was 'complex yet rich, with fresh dough notes on the nose and a good balance'. For food, start with garlic prawns, move onto mushroom risotto - see our Food Match chapter for why - and finish with cheese and nuts."

Gold Award - Food Match & Critics' Choice (Best Fortified)
The Wine Gang, The Wine Gang, Jun 1, 2012

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La Gitana Manzanilla - "The leading Manzanilla in the United States, La Gitana features delicate, briny flavors and impeccable balance. Bottling date is indicated on the back label; look for one bottled within the year."


Dave McIntyre, Washington Post, Jan 1, 2012

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Napoleón Amontillado - "Subtle in its salinity while generous in its nutty flavors, this approachable Amontillado ends on light caramel flavors. For an aperitif with aged goat cheese."

88 Points, Best Buy
Patricio Tapia, Wine & Spirits, Jun 1, 2011

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Alameda Cream - "Light herbal notes support the scents of nuts and pastry cream. This is soft to the touch and easy to drink, especially with crema catalana."

89 Points, Best Buy
Patricio Tapia, Wine & Spirits, Jun 1, 2011

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Pedro Ximénez Triana - "Like sleeping with a teddy bear, this is soft and comforting. The flavors are rich with candied almond notes; chocolate and cinnamon emerge with force in the midst of its cozy texture."

90 Points
Patricio Tapia, Wine & Spirits, Jun 1, 2011

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Alameda Cream - "Golden amber. Faint aromas of crème brûlée and apricot. Well-balanced palate of cointreau and toasty crème brûlée, concentrated liqueur of apricot fruit, and spice. Long, long finish."

90 Points
Michael Potashnik, International Wine Review, Jun 1, 2011

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Wellington Palo Cortado VOS - "Amber with a touch of green on the rim; floral autumnal fruit on the nose, more "flowing" than the Napoleón Amontillado VORS, a superbly aged, classic wine."

18.5 of 20 points
Steven Spurrier, The Tasting Panel, Sep 7, 2010

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Napoleón Amontillado VORS +30 years - "Bright amber; lifted, even floral, nutty, slightly salty nose; finesse and depth, complex and satisfying."

18 of 20 points
Steven Spurrier, The Tasting Panel, Sep 7, 2010

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Wellington Palo Cortado VOS - "This rare palo cortado, guaranteed at an average age of over 20 years, remains a standout. The freshness of fino, with sea spray, salted almond, plus the depths of oloroso - toffee and apricot."


Jon Bonné, San Francisco Chronicle, Jan 16, 2009

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Napoleón Amontillado - "Lovely amber color. A sharper, austere tang to the nose, with almost steely presence. Less rich nutty flavors than hazelnut skin and iodine."


Jon Bonné, San Francisco Chronicle, Jan 16, 2009

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Pastrana Manzanilla Pasada - "An extraordinary single-vineyard release from Hidalgo, which also makes the excellent La Gitana, a standard-bearer for manzanilla. This is aged manzanilla from a single vineyard near Sanlucar de Barrameda, with salty freshness but impressive mineral depth and butterscotch richness."


Jon Bonné, San Francisco Chronicle, Jan 16, 2009

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La Gitana Manzanilla - "Manzanilla is a unique style of Fino Sherry from the town of Sanlúcar de Barrameda, where the Guadalquivir River flows into the Gulf of Cádiz. Here, cool temperatures and high humidity provide the ideal conditions for flor, the indigenous yeast that protects the wine from oxidation as it ages. Hidalgo's La Gitana ("the gypsy") is an aromatic, yellow-gold aperitif: light-to-medium-bodied, with laser-sharp acidity that mellows into a lingering finish of stone fruit, Spanish almonds, and green olives. Serve it chilled with Manchego cheese, green olives, and cured meats."


Jim Meehan, Sommelier Journal, Oct 1, 2008

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Wellington Palo Cortado VOS - "Bronze in hue with dry, sharp flavors of salty minerals softened by notes of hazelnut, dried orange peel and sage."

4 Stars
Jamal Rayyis, Food & Wine, Wine Guide, Jan 15, 2008

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La Gitana Manzanilla - "A sensational Sherry with a chamomile perfume and the flavor of salty sea breezes."

4 Stars
Jamal A. Rayyis, Food & Wine, Wine Guide, Jan 15, 2008

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Faraón Oloroso - "Just off-dry, here's a mellow style, with honey, caramel, walnut and a hint of bitter chocolate on the finish. It has good length and character. Drink now"

88 Points
Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator, Jan 1, 2008

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Pedro Ximénez Triana - "Very elegant, focused and complex. Fresh nose. Multi-layered palate with wonderful, balanced Christmas pudding flavours and a lift of acidity. "

Gold Medal & Regional Trophy - World Wine Awards
John Radford, Decanter, Sep 30, 2007

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Palo Cortado Viejo - "Creamy honey but finish very mature; savoury tobacco, aniseed, mocha. "

Silver Medal - World Wine Awards
John Radford, Decanter, Sep 30, 2007

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La Gitana Manzanilla - "Among the single solera sherries, the pale-colored dry, salty La Gitana Manzanilla is a terrific aperitif."

88 Points
Jay Miller, Wine Advocate, Feb 1, 2007

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Faraón Oloroso - "Aromatic with aromas of hazelnuts, walnuts, and raisins and a broad, dry flavor profile. "

91 Points
Jay Miller, Wine Advocate, Feb 1, 2007

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Alameda Cream - "Dark amber and medium sweet with creme brulee aromas and flavors, a far classier drink than what your grandmother used to imbibe."

91 Points
Jay Miller, Wine Advocate, Feb 1, 2007

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Pastrana Manzanilla Pasada - "A single vineyard sherry with an intense nuttiness and a long dry finish."

90 Points
Jay Miller, Wine Advocate, Feb 1, 2007

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Palo Cortado Viejo - "Dark amber-colored... offers smoky aromatics, a rich palate with layers of intense flavor. It reminds me of a great vintage Darroze Armagnac. Sherry is a beverage worthy of far greater attention than it currently receives in the USA"

97 Points
Jay Miller, Wine Advocate, Feb 1, 2007

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Wellington Palo Cortado VOS - "Dark amber... is a richer style in its salty, mineral character."

90 Points
Jay Miller, Wine Advocate, Feb 1, 2007

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Napoleón Amontillado - "Medium amber, nutty... a dry style sherry, also a fine aperitif."

90 Points
Jay Miller, Wine Advocate, Feb 1, 2007

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Amontillado Viejo - "Medium amber with a hint of volatile acidity which adds to its complexity. This is an intense, layered sherry that is strikingly good."

93 Points
Jay Miller, Wine Advocate, Feb 1, 2007

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La Gitana Manzanilla - "Hidalgo La Gitana Manzanilla - One of the world’s most delightful wines, this chamomile-scented Manzanilla captures the freshness of a salty ocean breeze. "

Sherry recommendation - ***
Jamal A. Rayyis, Food & Wine, Wine Guide 2007, Oct 1, 2006

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La Gitana Manzanilla - "Amazingly delicate and rich at the same time, the benchmark for great manzanilla."


Doug Frost, The San Francisco Chronicle, Mar 16, 2006

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Oloroso Viejo - "This is dry, with a hint of caramel, coffee and roasted walnut aromas and flavors that remain persistent and long. Nicely balanced with a dry, mouthwatering finish."

90 Points
Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator, Oct 31, 2005

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Pastrana Manzanilla Pasada - "Fine, complex and long, this is fresh, balanced, and very vinous. It's also very fruity, with apple, pear, and olive flavors that pick up a saltiness on the finish. Well done."

91 Points
Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator, Oct 31, 2005

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Oloroso Viejo - "A serious and intense wine, with coffee and mocha on the nose, and a sharp dried-apricot and toasted-nut character on the palate. Power is this wine's calling card, as it hits like a bomb. The flavors are huge, the mouthfeel big but balanced. This is aged Oloroso in top form."

93 Points - Editor's Choice
Michael Schachner, Wine Enthusiast, Jun 15, 2005

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La Gitana Manzanilla - "Consistently one of the finest traditional manzanillas around, La Gitana might as well be the Webster's entry for the category: pale, straw color, salty seaside freshness and dry, tangy yet rich flavor. And that flavor lingers after each sip, too, like sea spray."

92 Points - Best Value
Ray Isle, Wine & Spirits, Apr 1, 2005

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Pastrana Manzanilla Pasada - "The color of 12-karat gold, this pasada manzanilla opens with the aroma of fresh-baked bread and apricots. It's as rich as those scents lead you to expect, with saltwater and apricot flavor notes and a kind of dusty density from extended aging. Exotic and long, a kind of manzanilla indulgence."

92 Points
Ray Isle, Wine & Spirits Magazine,, Apr 1, 2005

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Wellington Palo Cortado VOS - "From the family's oldest solera, which was already established in 1792 when they acquired the bodega, this is an elegant and controlled palo cortado, with an Asian spice scent and a smoky richness that ends on bitter almonds. Throughout, the firm acidity lifts everything, giving it a kind of aristocratic poise."

91 Points
Ray Isle, Wine & Spirits Magazine, Apr 1, 2005

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La Gitana Manzanilla - "Subtle, delicate nose suggests fresh bread and almonds. Very rich, almost painfully intense wine of pungent freshness and great subtlety; has an ineffable yeasty quality. Incredibly long aftertaste features a hint of almond skin, an intense fruitiness and the tang of the sea. Perhaps the perfect aperitif. On numerous occasions, I’ve seen dry sherry neophytes recoil in shock at their first sip, yet come back minutes later for a second and third glass. One of the world’s great values. "

97 points
Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, Aug 31, 1996

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WINERY LOCATION



WINES

Click on a wine name below to learn more about the vintage:

Alameda Cream

Faraón Oloroso

La Gitana "En Rama"

La Gitana Manzanilla

Napoleón Amontillado

Napoleón Amontillado VORS

Oloroso Faraón VORS

Pastrana Manzanilla Pasada

Pedro Ximénez Triana

Wellington Palo Cortado VORS

Wellington Palo Cortado VOS

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