Ramiro Ibañez – Cota 45, Sanlúcar de Barrameda
Ramiro has a lot of knowledge when it comes the the Jerez region and Palomino Fino/Listan Blanco. The first time you meet him, you realize that all you previously learnt about sherry wasn’t close to all there is to know.
Before 2012 Ramiro worked for the big bodegas and made fortified wines in what today is the ‘normal’ style of winemaking in this region. He is very interested in history and during the years at the other bodegas he collected knowledge on winemaking before the English impact which lead to the fortified style.
Before 1830 there were more or less only sweet wines produced in the Jerez region. The biggest market for these wines where the English. The taste of the English population changed during the 1830: s and they started to demand dry wines so the winemakers of Jerez adapted. Also, at this time, before phylloxera, there were 43 different indigenous grape varieties grown here, of which we see very few of in this Palomino Fino land.
He learned that between 1830 to the beginning of 1900, the people in the region had been making dry, unfortified wines in the oxidative or ‘biological way’ (what they call it when the wines are aged under flor and gets protection from oxidation) – so the fortified style of sherry we see today is a fairly new thing.
Ramiro felt he needed to try this old, traditional style out and started his small winery in 2012.
This winery is situated right on the beach of the Qualadivir river that connects Sanlúcar de Barrameda with the ocean. He is making single vineyard wines from a handful of the 18 excisting ‘pagos’ of Sanlúcar (pago = the Spanish name for single vineyard, divided according to their soil and exposition). The main varieties he’s using is Palomino Fino, but also have some old vines of Uva Rey and Perruno, two of the other old indigenous varieties you could find here before phylloxera.
Listan Blanco is the old clone of Palomino Fino, that’s also often seen planted in the Canary Islands, but actually origins from here. The ships passed here on their way out to the islands and they brought vines with them to plant back in the days.
The wines are salty, fruity, lots of minerals and fresh, with or without oxidative notes.
Like a mix between the best Listan Blanco’s from the canary island and refined, oxidative wines from the Jura region. Exciting is the least to say.
2016 UBE Miralflores
Soil: Albariza from 5 different plots, both in Miraflores Alta and Miralflores Baja.
Grape: Palomino Fino
Appellation: Vino de Mesa
Age of Vines: Planted in 1950
Yields: 30 hl/ha
Vinification: Direct press then fermented and aged in old 225 liter barrels with no topping up, so flor occurs for some period during the ageing. Bottled in April 2017.
2015 UBE Carrascal
Soil: Albariza from the coolest area in Jerez, Las Vegas vineyard in Pago Carrascal.
Grape: Three different clones of Palomino: Jerez, Fino and Peluson
Appellation: Vino de Mesa
Age of Vines: Planted in 1903
Yields: 20 hl/ha
Vinification: Direct press then fermented and aged in old 225 liter barrels with no topping up, so flor occurs for some period during the ageing. Bottled in March 2017.