Txakoli / Chacoli / Txakolina
Many people will have fond memories of Basque. Washing down pinxtos and tapas with a good sip of Txakolina. That cider-style wine from a large pitcher. With a fading péttilant, low alcohol contains and mouth piercing acidity? Fine if you are enjoying the bars in San Sebastian, but once home it is not the wine that you will go look for in your local wine shop.
But Txakoli DO is working assiduously on its image. This opens the doors to the green Basque Country for us wine lovers. Gastronomic Txakoli? Yes, we found it! We found a great product of indigenous, unknown grape varieties, from a hillsided, cool climate, made by passionate winegrowers. Their effort has been upgrading the image of their DO and we now love to say, try some at home!
By the way the DO is Chacoli (Txakoli) de Guetaria and is also called Getariako Txakolina. Etymologically, the word comes from “etxakoa” (homemade) or “etxeko ain” (enough for home). A confusing language, Basque.
Bodegas Itasmendi in Gernika, Urdabai
We located this medium-sized wine estate Itasmendi, located in a beautiful spot in the Urdaibai nature reserve (Unesco World Heritage). The vineyards are spread throughout this reserve in the municipalities of Gernika, Muxica and Busturia. Since 2003, the cellar and storage have been located in Gernika, in the midst of the nature reserve.
Urdabai is located in the hills of the Basque Country next to the Bay of Biscay. Bodega Itsasmendi was founded there in 1994 by a group of winemakers who wanted to take Txakoli to the next level without losing its characteristics. The Bodega is praised by the international press, because of the preservation of their cultural heritage, but also of their innovative and creative work.
The areal covers 35 ha. They work with small tanks of 2000, 5000 and 10,000 liters. The grapes are processed by individual parcels. The winery produces annually 250.000 bottles.
A straw yellow that denotes youth and maturity from a warm vintage, with a very dry summer. Aromas of white fruit, orange blossom and lemon peel, wild aromatic plants of great complexity. Fresh and intense in the mouth where fruit and citrus are enhanced. Fatty and tasty salinity with a floral, bitter and typical finish of the Hondarribia zuri that favors a long and persistent wine.
Varieties: 38% Hondarrabi zuri zerratie 42% Hondarrabi zuri 20% Riesling. Matured on stainless steel tanks for 9 month on the lees. Fruity nose which reflects a warm vintage. Highlighting stone fruit, pear and yellow flowers entwined with balsamic, and even a menthol eucalyptus background. Resting in the glass, we have tertiary aromas of the aging with its lees. In the finish subtle bitterness that makes it long and pleasant.
This Txakoli is made with 100% Hondarabbi Zuri from a plot, located in Gernika at sea level. Carbonic maceration with whole cluster for 15 days without adding sulfur. Spontaneous fermentation with indigenous yeasts in a frustoconical stainless steel tank. Aging on white clay amphora on the skins. Amber hue with golden reflections. Very varied aromatic nuances from apricot, grapefruit skin, balsamic and even nettle plant. Fresh on the palate with a tannic finish and a saline minerality.