Manzanos: New updates plus LAST CALL

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Hi everyone –

We have a special announcement today, and it’s bound to make some of you very, very happy.

Last January Solo Vino and TCWE launched a one-of-a-kind offer on aged Riojas from the legendary cellars of Manzanos. We had wines available from the 1980s, 1970s, 1960s, and even some bottles from 1949. The best part was the provenance (detailed in the original offer below): the wines were checked for quality in Rioja, over 30% of the bottles were tossed out, and the remaining were blended, clarified, re-bottled, and re-corked. All of this happened under the watchful eyes of the Rioja DO commission, which had records on all the bottles and could ensure authenticity.

Today’s update

The Solo Vino January offer on Manzanos was one of the most successful in the county. So much so that we got access to the last bits and pieces left over on the East Coast that were not picked up by their respective accounts. Many restaurants on the East Coast placed orders for these wines in the fall, only to see revenue plummet after the holidays, and all ordering was put on hold.

So what we have today is the LAST CALL for MANZANOS in 2024.

We secured all remaining inventory and had it shipped to Minnesota. Right now, it’s sitting in a warehouse in St. Paul, ready to be delivered to Solo Vino. All wines will be ready for pickup next week.

A plethora of vintages

Start thinking about special occasions. Holidays. Anniversaries. Births. You name it.

You can choose from 1987, 1985, 1984 (any 40th birthdays out there?), 1983, 1981, 1974 (any 50th birthdays out there?), 1971, 1966, and we got a few more bottles of 1949 (any 75th birthdays out there?)! WOW!

The wines are first come, first served.

They are not cheap. But rarely does perfectly aged, quality-checked, legendary, and delicious wine like this come up for sale. When compared to top-level Bordeaux or Burgundy, these are a BARGAIN and ready to drink now. Or hold them for years. They are stable, guaranteed.

We’ve been popping these corks

The story of the first 1949 we opened is in the original post below.

Since then, between just Chuck and I (and a wine class that I opened some at), we’ve had six bottles of 1949, three bottles of 1970, and four bottles of 1982. ALL WERE STUNNING. ALL WERE BEAUTIFUL. ALL WERE CONSISTENT. As wine lovers, we couldn’t ask for anything more.

So when the final inventory list came from the East Coast, we didn’t hesitate to say, “Ship it all!”

First come, first served. No further discounts are available.

Here’s the original post/offer from January

Hi everyone –

This is a short, to-the-point, and extremely limited offer.

It will sell out quickly, and I apologize to those who miss out. We hope to get more in the future and you’ll be the first to know.

We’re offering perfect provenance Rioja going back 30-75 years.

You read that right.

What’s going on here?

The Rioja house of Manzanos has been established in Rioja since 1864. They were the first winery established in Haro. They own or control over 2400 acres in Rioja. Manzanos is a big deal.

Typical of many of the family-owned and long-established houses, they have a huge library of wines in their cellars.

The next generation has taken the reins at Manzanos and have decided to tap into the stash and offer it to the public.

This is not unheard of, but it is extremely rare. And it’s even more rare to have the wines come to America in an offer like this.

1949? Are you kidding me? Why does the bottle look so good? How do I know if it’s going to be drinkable?

This is the best part.

Manzanos took the time to open EVERY bottle in the offer to check for quality. About one third of the wines didn’t make it, and were poured down the drain. The good bottles were immediately blended together, cold stabilized under argon to avoid oxidation, re-bottled, re-corked, and re-labeled.

All of this was done under the watchful eye of the Spanish government and Rioja control board. The wines that were opened were registered decades ago, and there was a paper trail proving the wines never left the estate. As the quality tests were being done, the government was there watching the whole thing to ensure integrity.

How much is available?

Very, very, very little I’m afraid to say.

I’m purchasing a bit myself to have a future wine class with, so if you miss out on buying a bottle or two there will be future opportunity to taste them.

(Note the 1982 that is in the photo is already spoken for. We only got two of bottles of that wine.)

Think about special occasions or important years!

If you had anything important occur in your life in 1987, 1981, 1978, 1970, or 1949, this is an investment that you won’t regret. Think about anniversaries, births, graduations, reunions, and more.

And, of course, if you’re like me and simply dig on having older wines in the collection, jump on a bottle or two (or more).

Just to make sure of things, we popped a 1949.

We couldn’t help it.

We’re not going to sell wines like this without a little quality check. Plus, why not? Wine is for drinking and enjoying.

Chuck pulled the cork and poured the glasses. And what we saw and smelled was magical.

Note the new cork. As mentioned, all wine was quality checked and stabilized before re-blending and re-bottling. This is as good as it gets.

The color was far more intact than we expected. The aromas were PACKED with wild strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. But the underlying aromas of age were all there: antique shop, old books, worn leather, and mushrooms. The earthiness was surreal.

After ten or fifteen minutes it evolved further, releasing even more complexity.

And, truth be told, it stayed that way for about an hour before slowing down and losing momentum.

For any of these vintages, it’s essential to open them and serve them. Don’t let it sit in a decanter for hours! The bottle we opened threw a small bit of sediment but decanting wasn’t even necessary — it seems they held much of the solids back during the re-bottling.

There may be more on the horizon!

We’ve got our feelers out for more bottles of aged Manzanos, and we’re tracking their inventory both in Spain and stateside. We hope to have another offer put together for you in the upcoming months.

Final thoughts and buying advice

These wines are not cheap, but they are far more affordable than you may expect for ancient wines with perfect provenance.

First come, first served.


Jason Kallsen
Sommelier and founder/owner of Twin Cities Wine Education

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