Like most Americans I am shamefully ignorant of Sherry. I made some effort to educate myself a bit on our trip to Spain last June and had a couple of very good Manzanillas in Seville. Spain is the place to drink Fino Sherry, which is best consumed when it is freshly bottled. Manzanilla is a Fino from Sanlucar de Barrameda, where the humid, sea air creates an ideal environment for the development of flor yeasts used in making Sherry. This, Sherry lovers say, is the secret behind Manzanilla's fresh, sea-scented smells and flavors.
And, yes, this Guita smells like a fresh sea breeze. Sea salt, green olive, almonds. When I offered it at the table, I let guests take a sip first, and, as I suspected, every one turned it down. There are oxidized smells and flavors that are typical of Sherry but not in line with popular tastes. It's an acquired taste, I decide; and I am happy to have the full bottle for myself (not tonight, of course). I like the nutty, yeasty flavors and the complex finish that persists, both on the tongue and in my mind.