Bodega Manuel Aragón is a historic bodega and family winery founded in 1795, firmly rooted in the traditional, working-class Sherry culture of Chiclana de la Frontera. Chiclana is an ancient, sun-bleached village located in the Bay of Cádiz, 12 miles southeast of the city of Cádiz, whose vineyards are the southernmost in the Marco de Jerez. Chano Aragón, the current winery head and oenologist is a direct descendant of its founder, Pedro Aragón Morales. The story of Manuel Aragón is that of a fierce defender of the historical culture of the region and its quality, hand-crafted wines.
The bodega lies just 800m from the ocean, separated only by pine trees. It also benefits from the Levante wind, a warm current that flows west through the Strait of Gibraltar. Palomino vineyards are planted in chalky albariza barajuela soils in the same direction as the Levante wind.
The secret to quality that sets Manuel Aragón apart from most of the wineries in the Sherry region begins with the unique fact that they own 9ha of their own vineyards, which viticulturist Juan Manuel Tocino farms organically. Utilizing a traditional method to fertilize their vineyards, they recycle the pomace produced from winemaking back into the soil after the grapes have been pressed. Manuel Aragón has vineyards located in the Pagos Campano, Cañadillas, and Marquesado.
Manuel Aragón Oloroso Viejo is produced from estate-grown, organic palomino grapes planted in Pago Marquesado in chalky albariza barajuela soils. It is a very rare, limited release from the Aragón foundational solera. This authentic treasure is bottled by hand once a year directly from barrel in tiny quantities. Oloroso Viejo comes from a single 350 liter cask, estimated to be over 90 years old—the oldest solera at the winery, only tapped for special occasions over the years. This very old Oloroso is concentrated and powerful, with other-worldly aromas and an extreme personality. It is nuanced, intense, complex and palate-dominating. This rare wine has an unforgettable finish that is measured not in minutes, but hours, offering a window into a bygone era. One of the greatest Oloroso bottled.
Vinification – During harvest, grapes are hand-picked in small baskets, directly pressed, and then spontaneously fermented with native yeasts in stainless steel at low temperature. After the grape musts are tasted and classified by the team, those with a particular structure are selected for oxidative aging as Olorosos, and fortified with neutral grape spirits to 17% ABV. This prevents the development of the flor yeast on the wine, so the wine ages exposed to the slow action of oxidation through the traditional system of criaderas and solera. This old oloroso is currently at 20% ABV through the process of evaporation, as is typical of very old Sherry wines. This rare, single barrel of Oloroso Muy Viejo has spent over 90 years aging oxidatively in solera. It is seldom topped up with only the oldest, finest Oloroso wines in their solera. Manuel Aragón runs the scales in the traditional way, moving the wine through the solera manually, without mechanical pumps, utilizing gravity and the traditional tools of the canoa, jarra, sifón, and rocíador. It is bottled unfiltered, with a light fining of egg-whites.