Txomín Etxaníz Txakolí, Pays Basque
- Hondarrabi Zuri,Hondarrabi Beltza
- Slightly petillant white that has aromas of white blossom.
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- This vibrant white is a great pick-me-up, reviving the most jaded of palates, and getting the appetite in gear for the truly great food that is on offer in its homeland, Spanish Basque country. Just to make things a little more complicated there are three different tiny regions producing Chacoli, or Txakoli in Basque: Arabako, Bizkaiko and Getariako Txakolina all have their fans but the last, just outside San Sebastian, is the biggest and arguably best zone where the local grape Hondarribi Zuri is grown on green, Atlantic-washed slopes in mixed farming country. A few years ago there were only 75 ha/180 acres of vines left but that total has recently doubled perhaps because more and more drinkers are appreciating this revivifying style of slightly prickly white. This, although Spanish, is essentially a green wine, vinho verde in Portuguese, in which the grapes are picked when still high in malic acid and it is not completely different from the local Sidra, or cider. In the many wonderful restaurants and tapas bars of San Sebastian it is poured from a great height, through a funny T-shaped special pouring device which allows this, into large, thin, glass beakers. You may suspect that there is a touch of What I Did on My Holidays romanticism about this recommendation but this wine has also given me great pleasure even in the cold of a London May. But it absolutely has to be a good example. If theres a shortage of fruit, the wine is like paint stripper. In my experience the best producer is Txomin Etxaniz who, despite labels which suggest they belong to another decade, manage to squeeze an admirable amount of flavour and even a suggestion of floral aroma into their bottles of wine which are, mercifully, just 10.5 per cent alcohol. JANCIS ROBINSON
Very vibrant, slightly petillant white that has aromas of white blossom, strong minerality and ultra fresh clean fruit. A wine with plenty of character that's just made to refresh.
- 'From the Hondarrabi pair Zuri and Beltza. Grenadine, quince, mango peel and apricot. Full of lemon and tangerine, a creamy richness. Limey and racy finish.' - Decanter
'As one of Spain's most eye-catching wines, Txakoli isn't just vibrant in ambience. The palate showcases an energetically refreshing acidity with fresh juicy green apples, pears and a distinct fresh sea breeze lemon. There's a slight zing on the palate, which in combination with the mouthfeel and texture produces a perfect harmony. This is the perfect contender for a vibrant and electric aperitif.' - Tom Clark, Drink Me
- Silver Medal Winner International Wine Challenge
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This is a fantastic match for any kind of seafood tapas, making a particularly good partner for anything fried.
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