Let’s talk about a light but substantial and delicious white wine, made without oak and bursting with flavor. A wine that is delightful to drink on its own but will pair exquisitely with a variety of foods. A wine that I think you will find a top choice for summer sipping and beyond.
While any number of wines might fit that description, this one is a unique white wine from the Basque region of Spain. Once you try it, I have little doubt you’ll embrace it.
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The wine is the 2017 Getariako Txakolina from the Txomin Etxaníz winery. I know that’s a mouthful, so a little explanation is in order: Getariako Txakolina is the denominación de origen, or DOC, the equivalent of the appellation system in France. The winery and vineyards are located in Getaria, a small Basque coastal village in northern Spain.
And the grape is the local Ondarrabi Zuri, grown in Txomin Etxaníz’s 148 acres of hillside vineyards that slope down to the Bay of Biscay. Fortunately, the label for the U.S. market simplifies things by calling it “Getaria White Wine.”
On first taste, the $20 wine gives you a tingling sensation in the mouth — partly because of its zesty citrus flavors and partly because there is a light effervescence that settles as it is exposed to air. The citrus, white peach, and red berry notes are framed by lively acidity and a long, slightly creamy finish that comes from aging on the lees (the solids of the grapes). The wine is round and complex, though alcohol is just 11 percent.
Getaria is a seafaring town, and seafood is the natural pairing here, along with white meats and vegetable dishes, such as spring asparagus in a risotto.
Getariako Txakolina is not unlike some French Muscadets in character, but with a personality that could only come from this particular little corner of the wine world.