Antonio Barbadillo SA, the famous Manzanilla house, has recently released a small amount of very old and rare sherry. These wines are known in the Barbadillo bodegas as the “Reliquias”, or relics, due to their great age and extreme scarcity. Traditionally they were wines that were offered on special occasions to honoured guests of the Barbadillo family and have been lying in the bodegas for several decades. At Christies on Thursday 20th May 1999, 12 bottles of the Relics (3 of each style) were sold from between £360 and £420 per bottle, and according to Christies, achieved record prices for any Sherry sold at Auction. The buyers are known to be private collectors from the UK, continental Europe and the United States. It is difficult to say precisely how old these wines actually are, but Barbadillo’s records report that they are in the region of 150 years old. The extreme concentration, austerity and complexity of these wines definitely substantiate these claims. None of these wines have been aged by the traditional solera method whereby an “añada” replaces the first “criadera” and so on. The solera butts in each case have only been “refreshed” as necessary when the Barbadillo family have drawn off small quantities of their reserves over the generations. Even then the wines used to refresh the soleras have always been of a similar or identical age. Therefore, these wines could be considered to be some of the very oldest cask wines still in existence and unique in every sense of the word. The Oloroso dates back to the earliest days of the Barbadillo company, the solera having been started by the founder, Don Benigno Barbadillo, in the first half of the 19th Century. The origin of this wine goes back to the first half of the 19th Century. These very old wines were called "Miura" and "Sirena", and even then they were valued at three times more than the oldest manzanillas. This wine, which is now more then 150 years old, would be classified as Oloroso Extra Dry. On the nose it has an intense aroma of nuts and dried fruits. It is a full-bodied, extremely complex and multi-structured wine - unforgettable. (Sold at auction for £380 per bottle). These wines are presented in a traditional hand-blown decanter within a presentation case. Only limited quantities of each style of these extremely rare sherries have been bottled.