Spanish sports are on a roll these days. The Spanish National futbol team won the 2010 World Cup; Alberto Contador won the 2010 Tour de France; and Rafa Nadal continues to dominate the tennis court. The streak was recently extended last Saturday as FC Barcelona took to Wembley Stadium to square off against Manchester United in the UEFA Champions League final match. Ninety minutes later the boys in red and blue emerged victorious with a 3:1 win over the "hometown" favorite.
As is customary whenever I watch a Spanish sporting event I choose my wines with great excitement. A warm San Diego Saturday afternoon (hanging out by the pool) led me to decide on what I have found to be the perfect summer wines – Txakoli (pronounced "chacoli"). The day's wine list included four different Txakoli – two white and two rosado (all purchased at Spanish Table Wines). Here is the lineup along with some tasting notes (D.O. name in parenthesis):
- 2009 Urki (Getariako Txakolina) – Getariako was the first Txakoli region awarded D.O. status. Made from the white varietal Hondarribi Zuri, the 2009 Urki shows pale yellow with a crisp and light effervescence in the glass. On the nose aromas of grapefruit, lime, and lemon invite you to taste what is undoubtedly one of my favorites Txakoli wines. On the palate similar citrus notes are coupled with wonderfuly minerality, slight salinity, and a tangy acidity. (9.0/10.0)
- 2009 Ameztoi Rubentis (Getariako Txakolina) – Another beautifully crafted Txakoli from Getariako, this wine is also made from Hondarribi Zuri. Also slightly effervescent with a light, straw color the nose has accents of grapefruit, green apple, and sea salt. Crisp and light, this dry wine has a slight fizz along with citrus and minerality. Another fresh and light choice for the summer. (9.0/10/0)
- 2010 Ameztoi Rubentis Rosado (Getariako Txakolina) – A rosado (rosé) wine from the same producer, this wine is made from Hondarribi Zuri as well as the Basque red varietal, Hondarribi Beltza. Pale pink in color, the Ruentis Rosado is also tart and effervescent. Aromas of strawberry and citrus also carry through to the palate which also carries through with balanced acidity and minerality. A tremendous Txakoli rosé. (9.0/10.0)
- 2010 Gurrutxaga Rosado (Bizkaiko Txakolina) – On the northern Spanish coast, the Bizkaiko Txakolina D.O. produces this delicious rosado. Made from 100% Hondarribi Beltza grapes fermented in stainless steel, this wine is pale pink color and quaffs aromas of hints of strawberry, watermelon, and cranberry. On the palate flavors of pomegranate also sneak through this tart and acidic dry rosé. This one is definitely worth seeking out. (9.0/10.0)
Yes, all four of the Txakolis tasted received the same score. These are four incredible efforts by three different wineries from two D.O.s. Summer is introducing itself around the country as we speak; make sure you introduce some of these wines into your warm-weather drinking repertoire. Enjoy!
Life is short. Drink Spanish wine!