Berroia Txakoli

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Txakoli, the wine of the Pais Vasco or Basque Country in Northern Spain, is, much like the region’s language, culture, and food – completely independent of the wine world around it. Txakoli is made from indigenous grapes Hondurrabi Zuri and Hondurrabi Beltza – grapes that literally grow nowhere else in the world. Txakolis are wines of the sea – saline, with bracing acid and refreshing, clean mouthfeel. Within Pais Vasco, there are 2 distinct styles of wine called Txakoli. One style is the Getaria style, slightly effervescent, almost cider-like - the style that is most familiar to American winedrinkers. Berroia is an estate-bottled wine made by Bodegas Berroja in the Txakoli de Bizkaia DO. In Biskaia, the wines are made in a still fashion, with a bit more power and ageability. Elegant, savory and saline, Berroia Txakoli is a pre-eminent example of this style.

Full-bodied Txakoli from the Biskaia DO of the Pais Vasco­. No effervescence. A savory, elegant expression of this maritime terroir. While delicious young, this is a wine that is able to age beautifully.

2017 89 JS; 2015 90VM; 2013 90IWC

85% Hondarrabi Zuri, 10% Riesling, 5% Folle Blanche. Sustainably grown (certified) vines planted in 1997. Tended in limestone and sandy soil at 200 m (656 ft) elevation. This is a vegan wine.

Berroia is a versatile wine that pairs well with many foods typically difficult to pair – artichokes and asparagus are both delicious with this wine. The salinity of this wine finds it classically paired with briny seafood dishes such as anchovies and oysters. It also is able to handle food with heat very easily.

After the grapes are harvested during early morning hours in small boxes, the best clusters are selected and are macerated at 50F for 48 hours. Extended fermentation is carried out at cool temperature (64F) for 25 days to extract the richness of aroma and palate flavor contained in the lees. The wine is aged in stainless steel tanks to retain its crisp fruit character.

1,500 cases

Located within the Chacoli­ de Bizkaia/Bizkaiko Txakolina DO (Zone 3) by Spain's Bay of Biscay, and 20 miles east of Bilbao, the vineyards are outside the town of Muxika, at 200 meters (656 ft.) elevation. The vineyards are quite steep at a 12% slope and the soils drain rather well while giving the vines very good exposure to the sunlight. The soils are composed of limestone on the surface with sandy subsoil, both good types in retaining heat, containing low-to-medium levels of organic matter. The climate here is northern Atlantic; with an average temperature from April-October of 59.6F. Yearly rainfall is 59.8 inches, clearly one of the wettest regions in Spain. The disconcertingly cold nights and high levels of rainfall are conditions that don't allow most other grape varieties to flourish. Interestingly, the main grape in the Basque Country, the Hondarribi (Zuri for white wines and Beltza for reds) thrives here and will not grow anywhere else.

Bright, green-hued straw. Spicy and focused on the nose, displaying fresh citrus and orchard fruit aromas and hints of honey and jasmine. Juicy and seamless in texture, offering juicy pear and tangerine flavors that tighten up on the back half. Finishes with very good persistence, leaving behind mineral and honeysuckle notes. -- Josh Raynolds.

2015: 12.5% / 2016:12.0%