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Jenise

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WTN: Txomin Etxaniz 'Getariako Txakolina'

by Jenise » Thu Jul 13, 2006 12:38 pm

2004 or 2005 Txomin Etxaniz
Getariako Txakolina (Gipuzcoa), Spain


When I saw this bottle (in downtown Bellingham, where it seems all things are possible except Bordeaux), I flashed on a conversation about some rare rare white wine from Spain's Basque region. I am not sure about the who or what of it, but it might have been Rahsaan or Joe. Anyway, since the bottle was from Spain but the name sounded like anything but, I bought it. Oh, re the vintage? There's no vintage on my bottle but a smudge where a neck label might have been, and net sources indicate this wine is always vintage-bottled so it would be one of the two most recent, but I have no idea which.

While sipping, I googled it, and learned: that the 85-hectare area of Txakolina is the tiniest growing district in Spain, that Txomin Etxaniz is considered the best producer (at least by one source), and it's lovely smoky palest-pink hue (this is white, not rose) is the result of it being made from 75% white grapes and 25% red, and that the spritz I noted is considered a desirable characteristic. In fact, the locals pour it 1" at a time in order to not have a pour go flat on them.

The two mentions I found about the grapes involved were not in agreement. One site said it was a blend of Hondarrabi Zuri and Munemahatsa. Another agreed on the first grape but called the second (the red, apparently) Hondarribi Beltza. When I explained all this to Bob, he said "I'm sorry, didn't you right. What Beltza?", I answered, "Sansa Beltza." Good thing he didn't have a gun.

Anyway, this is one cool wine: fragrant nose that's mineral, citrus and some sweet white flower, and chalky minerals on the palate with fruity lemon juice up front and a dry orange zest finish. Lots of body, but it's not a heavy wine. Another thing we enjoyed was that it kept changing--every glass seemed a little different from the last. $18 and well worth it.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: WTN: Txomin Etxaniz 'Getariako Txakolina'

by CraigW » Thu Jul 13, 2006 1:16 pm

Jenise,

Sorry to deviate so early into your thread, but from where are you staring at the San Juans? Mainland Washington, or perhaps from a boat anchored in some wonderful place like Roche Harbour or Friday Harbour?

Sorry, it's been a year since I left Victoria and I still get romantic day-dreams about sailing this time of year.... :wink:
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Jenise

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Re: WTN: Txomin Etxaniz 'Getariako Txakolina'

by Jenise » Thu Jul 13, 2006 1:35 pm

Craig, yes, I remember you when you were in Victoria before you got the magazaine job. I'm north of that on the mainland, right at the mouth of Birch Bay. From this chair, I'm staring south at Orcas, Sucia, Patos, Stewart--the American islands. If I took six steps I'd be staring full west into your Gulf Islands, of which I don't see VI so much as I see Saturnia, Pender, Salt Spring and the other islands just east of it.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: WTN: Txomin Etxaniz 'Getariako Txakolina'

by CraigW » Thu Jul 13, 2006 1:54 pm

Okay, don't make me too jealous!!

Sounds fabulous. I bet it makes every wine you drink taste better.
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Re: WTN: Txomin Etxaniz 'Getariako Txakolina'

by John S » Thu Jul 13, 2006 3:49 pm

Wow, the name alone would convince me to buy it - it sounds like someone spitting while simultaneously having some sort of fit. :shock:
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Re: WTN: Txomin Etxaniz 'Getariako Txakolina'

by Otto » Thu Jul 13, 2006 4:50 pm

Jenise! I haven't tried many Txakolís but I've loved them all. In fact, the more I taste Basque wines from Fr and Sp the more I like all of them! It's funny what you say about the Basques pouring only 1 inch pours. I've seen and read and heard that they (or some of them as your evidence is different) that they pour from very high up so that the air softens the harsh acids. I've always had them poured like this, so I hadn't noted any spritz.

I've usually heard that Hondarrabi zuri makes whites; and Beltza the reds, but hadn't heard before that they are blended. Interesting!

John S wrote:Wow, the name alone would convince me to buy it - it sounds like someone spitting while simultaneously having some sort of fit. :shock:


John: the "x" is pronounced like the English "sh". It makes it a lot more pronouncable, doesn't it? I.e. the combination "tx" is like the English "ch" in "child".

-Otto
I don't drink wine because of religious reasons ... only for other reasons.
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Re: WTN: Txomin Etxaniz 'Getariako Txakolina'

by Marc D » Thu Jul 13, 2006 7:09 pm

Hi Jenise,

If that bottle was from Wick's store it was the 2004. I tried a taste last week and immediately bought a bottle. Here's my note from last week:

2004 Txomin Etxaniz Getariako Txakolina
7/7/2006: Pale yellow with green glints, smells saline minerally, maybe even a chlorine smell like a swimming pool but in a good way. Very crisp with some spritz. Citrus, grapefruit and serious acidity in the mouth. Enjoyable, reminded me of muscadet.

I really loved the teeny bubbles and the mouth watering acidity of the wine.
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Oliver McCrum

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Re: WTN: Txomin Etxaniz 'Getariako Txakolina'

by Oliver McCrum » Thu Jul 13, 2006 7:16 pm

Marc,

I wonder about that chlorine smell. An earlier vintage of that wine was ruined (for me) by the use of an agglomerated cork, which meant all the wine was very slightly corked. What kind of cork did they use, if you remember?

I thought the wine seemed wonderful otherwise, bracing and flavorful.
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Jenise

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Re: WTN: Txomin Etxaniz 'Getariako Txakolina'

by Jenise » Thu Jul 13, 2006 10:18 pm

Marc--no, mine didn't come from Wick. I bought it at Haggens several weeks ago. And I didn't notice a cholorine smell at all, nothing 'off' or chemical about it.

Oliver--I found the cork. It is one of those corks made out of chopped/pressed/formed real cork. It smells perfectly correct, no trace of TCA there.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Marc D

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Re: WTN: Txomin Etxaniz 'Getariako Txakolina'

by Marc D » Fri Jul 14, 2006 6:03 am

Marc,

I wonder about that chlorine smell. An earlier vintage of that wine was ruined (for me) by the use of an agglomerated cork, which meant all the wine was very slightly corked. What kind of cork did they use, if you remember?

I thought the wine seemed wonderful otherwise, bracing and flavorful.


Cork was as described above by Jenise. It was the faintest whiff of chlorine, in fact my wife didn't notice it.

Could you educate me, is this chlorine smell the early sign or precursor to the wet cardboard smell of a corked wine?
Marc Davis
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Oliver McCrum

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Re: WTN: Txomin Etxaniz 'Getariako Txakolina'

by Oliver McCrum » Fri Jul 14, 2006 1:42 pm

Marc,

The TCA that is the main cause of cork taint is triCHLOROanisole, and I often find a hint of swimming-pool with the moldy basement smell.

There was a rash of problems with that kind of cork a few years ago (the ones that look like a cork-board). It seems that the corked bits got ground up and mixed with the good bits, so the wine was pervasively slightly corked. (Some of these corks have disks of whole cork on the wine end, but there are reports of high levels of taint with these too.)

I lost three different wines to that problem, hundreds of cases. And I happened to notice that an earlier vintage of the Txakolina used that cork and had that problem. I haven't had the wine lately.

Bring on the screw-cap.
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Jenise

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Re: WTN: Txomin Etxaniz 'Getariako Txakolina'

by Jenise » Fri Jul 14, 2006 2:44 pm

(Some of these corks have disks of whole cork on the wine end, but there are reports of high levels of taint with these too.)


Oliver, FWIW, this cork did have the disc on the end.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: WTN: Txomin Etxaniz 'Getariako Txakolina'

by Dave Erickson » Fri Jul 14, 2006 7:32 pm

I remember a note on this wine from many years ago:

Txomin Etxaniz Getariako Txakolina: Drinking this wine is exactly like drinking pins, but in a good way.

Also, courtesy of Hugh Johnson: The phrase "Hotx Hotxa Edan" appears on the label of the rose. No, it's not a Basque rallying cry. It means "Chill Before Serving." :D
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Jenise

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Re: WTN: Txomin Etxaniz 'Getariako Txakolina'

by Jenise » Sat Jul 15, 2006 2:56 pm

Drinking this wine is exactly like drinking pins, but in a good way
.

Can definitely relate; great description. And so there's a rose? Would definitely love to get my hands on some of that. [/quote]
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov

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