Saveur

SHERRY goes with EVERYTHING

The fiery Andalusian sun would soon be disintegrating over Jerez de la Frontera’s horizon, all silhouetted palm trees, Moorish fortress towers, and spindly Gothic spires. For now, its platinum radiance bleached the cloudless sky, making it appear completely white. “The sunlight is fierce here in the winter time,” said Eduardo Ojeda. The legendary sherry winemaker slipped on his sunglasses and opened another bottle of amontillado.

After a leisurely lunch in Ojeda’s book-lined fifth-floor apartment in the center of Jerez, he’d suggested we finish up with a drink on his balcony. We were joined on that balmy December afternoon by his son Eduardo and his two grandsons, the eldest of whom is also named Eduardo. “My father is Eduardo, and his father is Eduardo, and his father’s father’s fathers were Eduardos; we are many generations ofeduardo,” Ojeda explained. Sitting beside him was the Spanish criminologist Jesús Barquín, his partner in Equipo Navazos, the most exciting sherry project of this generation and of the past few generations and likely of generations to come as well.

The bottle he opened now was Equipo Navazos’ La Bota de Amontillado 49. “This amontillado was made before we were born,” Barquín said, holding his glass to the light to reveal its lambent amber interior. The 80-plus-year-old elixir is an Equipo Navazos bottling, but they didn’t actually make it. “We simply knew about the cask,” clarified Barquín. “We knew who sold it and who bought it and we kept track of it, and finally it became something we could share with the world.”

In addition to producing their own range of Jerez wines, Ojeda and Barquín have gained international renown by tracking down hoary casks ofextraordinary, forgotten sherry stashed away in cobwebbed local They bottle them in limited-edition runs, usually around a few thousand bottles per

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