Browse Tag

northwest spain


[diorama]Isastegi 2008 Sagardo Naturala (Northwest Spain) – Sting and razor-swipe cider, with a texture of pollen and blades and a lightning-flash green finish. Parched. This is a great excitement to drink. (12/09)

The txakoli biz

Berroia 2007 Bizkaiko Txakolina (Northwest Spain) – I’m speaking from limited experience, but the txakolis from Bizkaiko seem to be a touch riper and fruitier than those from Getariako, albeit at the cost of some of the zippy foam and froth that so often mark the latter. More research is required. As for this wine, its fruit is on the crisp, brittle side – green apple, grapefruit, lime rind, all of it in the treble register – and the structure is one of lightly-applied brevity. (12/09)

The sun Rosal morning

[bottle]Terras Gauda 2004 Rias Biaxas “O Rosal” (Northwest Spain) – Ripe lemon and the aroma of salt flats, plus some squiggly structure and a lot of sun. Nice. (8/09)

Melty cheese

Losada Fernández “Viña do Burato” 2007 Ribeira Sacra (Northwest Spain) – A brett bomb. Snappy acidity, and there’s some sappy red fruit whipping around in there somewhere, but the fecal stench is overwhelming. (9/09)

Rubentis, rufixtis

[vine]Amesguren “Ameztoi” 2008 Getariako Txakolina Rubentis (Northwest Spain) – A tidal pool of light raspberry froth laden with white flowers, foaming and fizzing with life (and, to abandon the metaphor, carbon dioxide). Lovely, burst-of-youth stuff. (9/09)

Toi story

Amesguren “Ameztoi” 2007 Getariako Txakolina (Northwest Spain) – Froth, salt, needles, and…not much. I’ve struggled with whether or not this wine actually has any inherent characteristics other than its texture for a while, and the conclusion is increasingly that it does not. It might just be this one vintage, though. (8/09)

Palace sagardo

[barrel & bottles]Isastegi Sagardo Naturala (Northwest Spain) – Very cloudy. Sharp, drying, almost bitter skins and a parched desert of appleness within; this cider could hardly be more opinionated, and I love it for that very quality. White pepper dusts the finish. (7/09)

Rubentis redis

Ameztoi 2008 Getariako Txakolina “Rubentis” (Northwest Spain) – Not strawberries, but a papyrus representation of strawberries on which has been spilled a considerable amount of sharp, frothing soda water. Comes at the palate like the churning maelstrom at the bottom of a very, very small waterfall. Anyone who doesn’t like this may not actually hate wine, but they probably hate life. (6/09)


Txomin Etxaniz 2007 Getariako Txakolina “Getaria” (Northwest Spain) – Somewhere between perlant and pétillant, and yanking the promise of electric greenness so far to the left that the wine turns to a blinding shade of white…slashing, shocking, but never alighting. I dig it. There’s more than can be done with this grape, and I’d call this txakolina 1.5 (that is, not quite the 2.0 of Ameztoi), but even this much is awfully appealing with the right chill and the right food (saline, with a shell or carapace, and not otherwise doused with flavorants). (4/09)

Basque salad

Amesguren “Ameztoi” 2007 Getariako Txakolina (Northwest Spain) – Very spritzy and electric, but strangely vacant. It’s like a freezing wind barreling down a skyscraper wind tunnel, bringing nothing but a cold hollow to one’s bones. With a lot of air, there’s some hints of chalk and paper, but this never really develops into anything except a persistent live current. By a huge margin, the most disappointing bottle of this wine I’ve ever tasted. Hopefully just bottle variation. (3/09)