From: Getariako Txakolina, Spain
Varietal: Hondarribi Zuri
91 Wine Enthusiast
Taste: The Hiruzta Txakolina Brut Nature is an ode to the craftsmanship of Basque Country winemaking. At first glance, the wine exhibits a clean, bright, and pale yellow color, tinged with greenish reflections that capture the light beautifully. This effervescence gives way to a release of fine bubbles forming abundant tiny rosaries, showcasing the wine's persistent nature.
The nose is greeted with an intense burst of white-fruit aromas, predominantly pear and apple, underscored by a hint of fennel. There is a slight suggestion of creamy pastries, an underpinning that draws together the wine's aromatic profile, all accentuated by the effervescence of the fine bubbles.
On the palate, the Hiruzta Txakolina Brut Nature is a well-choreographed ballet of balance and freshness. A pleasantly sharp taste emerges from the carbonic gas and well-integrated acidity, creating a sensation that is creamily pleasing. The body and structure of the wine are substantial, leaving lingering notes of fruit compote in the aftertaste. The finish is long, aromatic, and pleasantly zesty, a tribute to the intense citrus and saline flavors that are a signature of this region's wines.
Pairing: Given its high acidity and fresh, effervescent profile, the Hiruzta Txakolina Brut Nature pairs well with a variety of dishes. Its citrus and saline flavors make it an excellent companion to seafood dishes such as grilled shrimp, seared scallops, or a classic fish and chips. The wine's acidity balances the richness of these dishes, while its fruity and herbal notes complement the flavors of the seafood.
For a taste of the Basque Country, pair the Hiruzta Txakolina Brut Nature with traditional pintxos, small bite-sized snacks typically served at bars in the region. The wine also pairs beautifully with marinated white anchovies (boquerones), a regional specialty. The wine's effervescence and zesty finish beautifully contrast the boquerones' tangy, salty profile.
For vegetarians, this sparkling wine pairs wonderfully with vegetable tempura, where its acidity cuts through the fried batter's richness, and its fruitiness complements the vegetables' sweetness. Alternatively, try it with a classic Spanish tortilla (potato omelette) or a vegetable paella. The wine's effervescence and freshness will balance the dishes' earthiness, while its fruit and herbal notes will enhance the vegetables' natural flavors.
Red Pepper Crab Croquetas With Garlic-Almond Sauce
By David Tanis
About. Estate grown in Hiruzta's 14-hectare vineyard, nestled at the foothills of Mount Jaizkibel in Getariako Txakolina, the Hiruzta Txakolina Brut Nature is a sparkling testament to centuries-old winemaking practices. This wine, made from 100% Hondarrabi Zuri, exemplifies the rich heritage and cultural essence of the Basque Country.
Crafted in the traditional 'méthode traditionnelle', this exquisite sparkling wine undergoes a low-temperature, second fermentation, followed by a 14-month aging on lees. The bottles are carefully placed on racks for riddling, and disgorged artisanally, highlighting the meticulous process that is so characteristic of Hiruzta. The absence of liqueur d’expédition is a nod to its 'Brut Nature' status - a natural sparkling wine with no sugar added during disgorging.
The result is a wine that is clean, bright, and exquisitely balanced. Its pale yellow color, tinged with greenish glints, dances against the light, releasing fine bubbles that form tiny, persistent rosaries. An exquisite, creamy, sustained foam crown is a testament to its artisanal making process. The nose is met with intense white-fruit aromas, predominantly pear and apple, underlined by delicate hints of fennel and creamy pastry, all accentuated by the effervescence of the fine bubbles.
On the palate, the Hiruzta Txakolina Brut Nature is a symphony of balance and freshness, with a pleasantly sharp taste resulting from the carbonic gas and well-integrated acidity. It caresses the palate with a creamily pleasant body and structure, leaving lingering notes of fruit compote in the aftertaste. The finish is long, aromatic, and pleasantly zesty, with an intense citrus and saline finish that is unique to wines from this region.
The Hiruzta Txakolina Brut Nature has received well-deserved recognition, scoring 91 points from both Wine Enthusiast and Vinous. However, this wine is more than its accolades; it's a testament to the enduring passion of a family committed to preserving viticultural heritage. The winery, Hiruzta, meaning “a three-person harvest” in Basque, was founded by Asensio Rekalde and his sons, Txarli and Angel. They revived the tradition of Txakoli production in Hondarribia, a village with a wine history dating back to 1186, but lost amidst sieges and battles of the early 1600s. Today, the Rekalde family's dream is a reality, with nine vineyard plots sitting in the Jaizkibel foothills that surround the winery.
The grape behind this sensational wine, Hondarrabi Zuri, is one of the most popular white grape varieties in the Basque Country, known for its contribution to the lucrative white wine, Txakoli. This variety is named after the town Hondarribia, with "Zuri" translating to "white" in Basque. Despite its close resemblance in name to the red grape variety Hondarrabi Beltza, the two are not remotely connected.
Wines made from Hondarrabi Zuri exhibit a palate-cleansing, sherbet-like quality, with aromas of citrus and white fruits, followed by flavors of lemon, lime, apple, pear, and sometimes pineapple. These flavors blend seamlessly with a mineral or saline edge, leading to a pleasantly zesty finish.
The viniculture of Hondarrabi Zuri is distinct. The vines are influenced by the moist,
cooling presence of the Atlantic Ocean, creating a challenging but rewarding environment for the growers. The landscape's influence lends the wine its taut minerality, a standout feature of this variety. The vines produce small, compact, golden-colored berries that contribute to the wine's delightful pale yellow hue.
The Hondarrabi Zuri grape is dominant in the Basque Country of Spain, mainly used for crafting the spritzy and popular Txakoli wines. These wines are known for their signature citrus flavors, lightness, and mineral texture, along with subtle herbal hints.
The golden berries lend a beautiful pale yellow color to the wine, complemented by a mesmerizing blend of citrus fruits, ripe fruits, floral, and herbal aromas. The wines are medium-bodied, high in acid, and upon tasting, explode with flavors of lime and white peach. These unique attributes make Hondarrabi Zuri a sought-after white wine variety.
As with any good wine, the pairing of food enhances the overall experience. Given its acidic nature, the Hiruzta Txakolina Brut Nature complements a variety of foods, particularly pintxos - little tapas-like snacks native to Northern Spain and the Basque Country. It also pairs well with marinated white anchovies, known as boquerones. The pairing accentuates the character of both the food and the wine, creating a gastronomic experience that is uniquely Spanish.
The story of the Hiruzta Txakolina Brut Nature is a story of passion and perseverance. It celebrates the heritage of the Basque Country, the resilience of a family, and the beauty of the Hondarrabi Zuri grape. Its distinct character and taste profile make it a sparkling choice for those seeking to explore the wide spectrum of Basque wines. It is a testament to the richness of the region's viticulture, a story that is not just tasted, but experienced, in every sip.
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