Oloroso ‘La Cigarrera’ Palomino, Bodegas La Cigarrera, Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Andalucía
Bodegas La Cigarrera, Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Andalucía
Bodegas La Cigarrera is a small, family-owned bodega in Sanlúcar de Barrameda, founded in 1758. The current bodega was purchased in 1891 by the great grandfather of the Hidalgo Garcia de Velasco brothers who run the firm today. The name of the bodega owes its origins to the women who used to sell cigarettes on the streets, on behalf of the big cigarette factories in Cadiz and Sevilla. Due to historical regulations of the Consejo Regulador, the company originally operated as an “almacenista”, a stock-keeper who sells their wines to bigger shipping bodegas (e.g. Lustau). In 1998, after the regulations had changed, they started to bottle their own wines for the first time. The company still uses the original bodegas in the Plaza Madre de Dios in the Barrio Bajo (lower part) of Sanlúcar, which hold a total of around 500 casks (including some of the oldest in town). The “cathedral” cellars of La Cigarrera consist of three naves (Bodega de Colóm, Bodega de Cabral and Bodega de Samilla) that surround a beautiful central Andalusian patio. The family used to own vineyards as well, but nowadays all grapes are purchased from locally managed vineyard farmers.
Oloroso ‘La Cigarrera’ - 100% Palomino. This Oloroso is aged in the absence of flor, from a selection of more full-structured musts than Fino or Manzanilla. Due to evaporation known as merma (about 3-5% in volume per year), the resulting Oloroso will grow more concentrated to around 20-24% ABV. Traditionally, the base wines would be classified with specific signs on the cask, according to their finesse; Delicate wines suited for biological ageing were given a raya, (a stick or vertical line) whilst for particularly excellent base wines, the cellarmaster would add a little wave to form a palma (a palm branch).