Wednesday Wines – Episode 132 – Introducing Diatomists

Get your order in for International Sherry Week: 7th – 13th November

 ‘The solera system put the region on the map; we are here to prove that unique, exceptional soil produces unique, exceptional wine’, Antonio, George & Tommy, AKA, The Diatomists

It is International Sherry Week, and I have a tremendous suite of wines for you to enjoy.  A diatomist is the name given to one who masters the art of diatom arrangement, and diatoms are single-cell algae that create complex glass shells around themselves.  Jerez was underwater five million years ago, which explains the unique soils rich in diatom fossils.  Diatomists is a new range of exquisite sherries that focus on the various unique terroirs as opposed to the bodega or winery or the solera systems and the time-honoured skill of blending. These wines are incredibly pure and focused; I love every wine in the range. This must be the most successful launch of a new wine brand this year, let alone a Sherry brand. I urge you to read more on the Diatomists website, and you will, I am confident, feel moved to taste every wine. These creations deserve to be the most sought-after boutique wines this autumn/winter, given their incredible food-matching skills and relatively affordable pricing. There will be no surprises this Christmas when my friends and family unwrap their presents.

Single Pago Miraflores Baja – NV Diatomists, Manzanilla de Sanlúcar de Barrameda £12.90, reduced to £11.50 each by the case of 6 half bottles, www.hhandc.co.uk; £13.90, half bottle, www.diatomists.co.uk  

Amazingly floral, silky, and thrillingly refreshing, this is unlike any Manzanilla I have tasted. My wife, Amelia, and I adore Manzanilla, yet we both agree that this is a Grand Cru version that turns this legendary vinous concept on its head.

Singular Bota – NV Diatomists, Amontillado, Aged 12 Years, Jerez de la Frontera, Spain £17.90, reduced to £15.85 each by the case of 6 half bottles, www.hhandc.co.uk; £100 in bond per case of 6 half bottles, www.farthinghoefinewine.com; £18.90, half bottle, www.diatomists.co.uk  

The Amontillado is smoky, raspy, tangy and orange skin-soaked with invigorating freshness and natural balance. It is undoubtedly the most head-turning example of this style I have ever tasted.

Singular Bota – NV Diatomists, Oloroso, Aged 12 Years, Jerez de la Frontera, Spain £18.90, half bottle, www.diatomists.co.uk  

Richer and more mellow with burnt orange, toffee, nuts and fig, but the acidity is electrifying, giving this decadent wine energy and attack that challenges the paradigm. This is an astonishingly exciting wine.

Singular Bota – NV Diatomists, Medium, Aged 19 Years, Jerez de la Frontera, Spain £18.90, half bottle, www.diatomists.co.uk  

Softer, smoother and more decadent, the richness and mellowness of this style make it more of a pudding wine concept, but it would adore blue cheese, too. Quince, physalis, caramel and mandarin make this an exotic fellow with a genuinely magical touch.

Singular Bota – NV Diatomists, Pedro Ximénez, Aged 5 Years, Jerez de la Frontera, Spain £18.90, half bottle, www.diatomists.co.uk  

I am a huge PX fan, and there is no doubt that Tesco finest* PX at £6 is a winner. But, if you want to see what happens when you are ultra-selective and seek out a wine of hedonistic complexity combined with an uncommon lightness of touch, you end up here. Jaw-dropping beauty and electrifying freshness make this a PX like no other.

FIN