La Guita Manzanilla Sherry by Hijos de Rainera Pérez Marín, Spain
La Guita is a brand of Manzanilla produced by bodegas Hijos de Rainera Pérez Marín in Sanlúcar de Barrameda.
It is in fact the only sherry produced at the bodega founded in 1852, aside a sherry vinegar.
The Origin & History of La Guita
The brand name “La Guita” originates from an anecdote by its founder, Domingo Pérez Marín.
Whenever somebody approached him to buy “manzanilla” from the ageing winery, he always asked: “Do you have “guita?”, referring to whether the buyer had brought any money. Thus, over the passing of time, people started to call the ageing winery “La Guita”.
In 1908, to reaffirm the brand, it was included in the registry and a piece of twine was added to each bottle.
In 1993, the bodega acquired the ageing facilities of Pago de Sanlúcar Viejo winery. With more than 11,000m2, it stores a total of 14,000 wooden casks dedicated exclusively to the ageing of “La Guita” Manzanilla.
The modern bottling facilities are also located on these premises.
Since 2007 Hijos de Rainera Pérez Marín is part of the Grupo Estévez, together with Valdespino and Marqués del Real Tesoro.
One of Spain’s most popular Manzanillas
La Guita is one of Spain’s best-selling Manzanillas and the most appreciated in the country. It is, notably, enjoyed abundantly in the local Feria de Sevilla, the fair of Seville city in Andalucía, or the Carnival of Cadiz.
La Guita is made from 100% Palomino grapes grown in Sanlúcar, mainly in the Pago Miraflores, one of the most prestigious vineyard areas of Sanlúcar.
The wine is aged using the traditional Sanlúcar de Barrameda system of criaderas and solera in the Pago Sanlúcar Viejo and Misericordia wineries.
The result is a wine of superior quality which after 4 years of ageing is notable for its pale straw yellow color, its freshness, delicacy and salinity with floral notes.
La Guita Manzanilla Wine Review Video
Watch Julien reviewing Manzanilla La Guita, his detailed tasting notes and flavor profile of the wine
La Guita Manzanilla Review & Tasting Notes
What is Distinctive & Unique about La Guita?
With La Guita, the Bodega Hijos de Rainera Pérez Marínwe has gone one step forward compared to many other producers of the style, by sourcing grapes from “Pagos” (vineyards) located in the area surrounding Sanlucar. Those are coastal vineyards with a cooler climate than more inland ones and disctinctive soils adding to the mineral iodine expression of the wine.
Miraflores is considered an iconic Pago among the crus laying around Sanlucar.
The unique micro climate conditions provided by the estuary of Guadalquivir river and the proximity of the Atlantic Ocean, together with the environmental characteristics of the Bodegas where the Manzanilla is aged (milder and more constant temperature all year round allowing the Flor to grow healthier and thicker) make of La Guita a text book Manzanilla.
Overall Review Notes & Tasting Impressions
With a pale but shiny lemon-yellow color, similar to what you would see and expect from a crisp dry white, La Guita features the typical dominant aromas of Manzanilla, namely green apple, sea sprays, delicate walnut and fennel.
It’s powerful and pungent to smell at, mineral and salty to sniff, yet elegant and abundantly fruity as well. Crisp and precise notes of pear and fresh apricot, elderflower and fresh grapes. There is an impression of yeasty savoriness and mineral feel coming out of the glass, together with a sensation of finesse and subtle fruitiness.
The palate confirms this is a dry and refreshing style of sherry, as we expect from Manzanilla. Delicately salt, with a light and crisp body on a good acidity, that makes you salivate from intense flavors of stonefruit (white peach), citrus, mixed spices, buttery yeastiness (brioche) and an iodine feel similar to what you’d taste in oysters.
An enjoyable refreshing sip, easy to appreciate, yet complex, refined and long with many layers of depth to its crispy dry and fruity expression.
La Guita Manzanilla Label Images
How is Manzanilla Made?
Following harvest of the Palomino grapes, which usually happens during the first half of September, bunches are pressed and the free-run juice is collected and fermented in stainless steel tanks at a controlled temperature.
Once the fermentation is complete, it undergoes its first sensory grading. Wines that are very clean to the nose and crisp to the palate, pale and light are selected to become La Guita and fortified to 15% alcohol before entering the traditional Criaderas and Soleras System locally known under the name of Sobretabla.
This system mainly consists in maintaining the wooden casks (the typical American oak barrels with a capacity of 516 liters) called Criaderas, which contain wines of similar characteristics and different ages.
The Manzanilla casks are not completely filled so as to facilitate allow contact with air and the development of veil of yeast at the surface of the wine known as ‘flor’.
This yeast has constant interaction with the wine, consuming the alcohol and other nutrients and providing very characteristic aromas and flavors. This type of production is called “biological ageing” or “ageing under a velum of flor yeast”.
In addition to transforming the wine, the flor protects it from too much oxygen, therefore preventing an excessive oxidation.
The wooden casks are lined up in “andanas”, or rows on 3 or 4 levels, each of which form an “escala” or scale. The scale containing the oldest wines and which is found on the bottom level, is called Solera.
The wine is extracted for bottling using a process called “saca” or drawing.
This volume is replenished with wine from the top level of the cask scale, called First Criadera, which contains the youngest wine, which in turn is replenished with wine from the Second Criadera, and so on, passing through six Criaderas until reaching the Sobretabla, where the replenishing is carried out with the young wine.
Only a small amount of wine is extracted from each Solera in each draw.
Every year, a maximum of 35% of the Solera´s capacity is extracted for sale and consumption.
Watch the Commercial Clip Video of la Guita Manzanilla