Sunday, October 18, 2020

Check out this distinctive Basque wine. And a Bordeaux gem!

Check out this distinctive Basque wine.

And a Bordeaux gem!

Getaria memorial to Elcano

Ameztoi Getaria Txakoli (DO) 2018, 10.5%

€18.95 64 Wine Dublin, Bradley’s of Cork, Greenman Dublin, Le Caveau Kilkenny

Very little colour in this Highly Recommended Basque wine. And nothing too bold in the nose either, though the subtle salinity and modest fruit provide a hint of things to come. Nothing backward about the lively minerally palate, its tart green apple fruit, that trademark petillance and that unmistakable vivid acidity, though the acidity in this one is markedly less severe than you’ll find in other examples. 

A tumbler of freshly poured
Txakoli in Hendaye

The bubbles, by the way, don’t hang around too long but you can get more of them if you pour it the Basque way, that is from over shoulder height and into a sturdy tumbler held or stood at waist height - you’ll also see them pouring cider in this way. If you try pouring into a normal wine glass from that height, you’re looking for an accident!

Located near the Basque Country fishing village of Getaria between San Sebastian and Bilbao, Ignacio Ameztoi’s vineyards are cut into incredibly steep terraced slopes overlooking the Bay of Biscay and the Atlantic.

Balenciaga house in Getaria

Here the native grapes Hondarrabi Zuri and Hondarrabi Beltza are trained in high trellises; they are not weeded and no chemical sprays are used. Hondarribia is the first Spanish town you meet after leaving Hendaye (the last town in the south west of France) and crossing the Bidasoa River. Zuri means white and Beltza means red.

Getaria vineyard

Txakoli is regarded as the perfect companion to salted anchovies or tuna in oil. By the way, Ameztoi blend the red and the white to produce what I’ve read is a very interesting rosé. The USA is the leading market for the company.

Juan Sebastián Elcano, featured on the label, was from Getaria and is famous for completing the round the world voyage that Magellan began. There is a sturdy memorial to him in the middle of the village. This picturesque, and busy, place is also the birthplace of fashion designer Balenciaga and there is a museum here in his honour.

Chateau Tire Pé Bordeaux (AC) 2018, 13%,

 €16.95 64 Wine Dublin, Bradley’s of Cork, Greenman Dublin, Le Caveau Kilkenny

This organic 100% Merlot pours a dark ruby.  Ripe black and red berried fruit in the fairly intense aromas. And the same fruit features strongly on the palate, some spice too and an excellent acidity. The wine is a lovely harmonious Bordeaux, easy and fruity, easy to drink, easy to enjoy. 

Not so harmonious on the hill of Tire Pé back in the day when the horse was the main “engine” of the farm. Apparently, the working horses would pass wind under the effort of climbing the hill, on their way back to the farm. A different kind of aromatics!

Hélène and David Barrault purchased Tire Pé in 1997 and have been farming organically since 2008 (certified since 2014).They have created a little garden of Eden, where wild grass, insects, birds and small wild animals live among the vines. They regard this Merlot as an everyday wine, “to drink in its youth”. No wood used here, ageing is 8 to 12 months in concrete.

Very Highly Recommended. This one will be going straight on to my Good Value Wine List  which is steadily growing! 

No comments: