The story of Equipo Navazos is one of passion - a passion shared by a group of lovers and connoisseurs of traditional Andalusian wines. Equipo Navazos was created in 2005 by Jesús Barquín and Eduardo Ojeda when they discovered some very special individual butts and soleras buried in the cellars of Jerez, Sanlúcar de Barrameda and El Puerto, as well as Montilla. The friends decided to bottle these very rare and special wines in numbered, limited releases, initially for a select group of private collectors, and more recently to a wider, fervent audience.
Peter Liem calls Equipo Navazos “the most distinctive and unusual project to come out of the sherry region in recent times”, and that it is. Essentially, Equipo Navazos are négociants, purchasing select wines from various bodegas and bottling them under their own label. The innovative 'La Bota' series isolates wines from particular ‘botas’ or casks within the solera that the winemakers deem to be of particular interest, depth and complexity. They’re numbered sequentially at bottling and only tiny amounts of each are produced, making them highly sought after by collectors, sommeliers, sherry nuts and, increasingly, new converts to the wine style.
Equipo Navazos also collaborates with other producers, including the project that is Navazos-Niepoort – an unfortified white wine made with the help of Douro winemaker Dirk Niepoort. Colet-Navazos is another, featuring Sergi Colet in the sparkling wine project out of Penedes that uncharacteristically uses Sherry for its dosage.
While the company may not be big in volume terms, their influence certainly has been. Equipo Navazos has received rave reviews from Jancis Robinson, Spain’s Guia Penin and The Wine Advocate, among others. They’ve modernized the Sherry market in an unprecedented way, leaving both trade and discerning consumers yearning for the next batch (or bota). These are unequivocally cult sherries.
More on Equipo Navazos here.
REY FERNANDO de CASTILLA
Local Fernando Andrada-Vanderwilde, whose family has been involved in winemaking for over two centuries, founded the firm in the 1960s. He purchased the Moorish-styled cellars from Pedro Domecq along with brandy soleras from Marques de Real. In 1999, the bodega was sold to a group of investors including Norwegian-born Jan Pettersen. Jan is the current Managing Director and brings years of industry expertise to the project, including a 16-year stint at Osborne.
In 2000, he acquired the neighboring José Bustamante, doubling the size of the company. His vision was to exploit the bodega’s potential by creating what Peter Liem refers to as ‘wines of complex depth and highly individual personality’. The portfolio consists of 2 sections: the classic and the Antique. The Antique is the premium line of Sherries that expresses individual, nuanced character and age.
The Fino is particularly unique in its 4-criadera solera and average age at bottling of 8 years. It is then fortified to 17% abv., a practice that is typically out of fashion in Jerez but that Jan maintains. The fortification lessens the need for clarification, which all of the Antique wines only see little of. The Antique Fino solera feeds into the third criadera of the Antique Amontillado, which exceeds an average age at bottling of 20 years. This is a rare opportunity to receive a mixed case of these 3 unique wines (details below).