Mendraka, Bizkaiko Txakolina

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About Wine features wines not typically on one’s shopping radar. Unique wines with a story to tell; of place, process or style. Highlighting artisanal producers making reasonably priced (under $50 retail) wines, all the while demonstrating careful earth consideration.

2016, Mendraka, Bizkaiko Txakolina, Basque Country, Spain (www.mendraka.com)

About the Region: The province of Bizkaiko (Biscay) lies within the fiercely independent Basque Country of Spain. Adjacent to the Atlantic coastline’s Bay of Biscay, it straddles the Pyrenees of northeast Spain and southwest France. Featuring its own language (Basque), its centres include Bilbao, San Sebastian and Pamplona (Running of the Bulls, anyone?).

About the Wine: Txakoli (pronounced CHAK-o-lee) is an historic wine typically produced for local Basque consumption. Traditionally poured from showy heights in pintxos (tapas bars), it can be made in both sparkling and still styles, with the still being considered the “serious” version.

About the Grape: Native to the province, Hondarrabi Zuri is the main grape used in making white Txakoli.

About the Estate: Located 30 km southeast of Bilbao, the winemaking Jatorri-Izena family resides in the rural Mendraka area that gives the wine its name. With stunning vistas of the Pyrenees as a backdrop, the vineyards consist of eight-hectares of rolling hillside at 250 m.a.s.l. Outfitted with modern technology, the winemaking cellar is housed in a 400-year-old building formerly used to shelter cattle and winterfeed…ah, barnyard aromas!

About Sustainability: Sustainable winemaking.

About Tasting: The still, light golden appearance features slight green highlights. Mendraka features aromas of minerals, fresh pear and green apple. On the palate, medium-bodied mouthwatering flavours of white fruit rise and fall, as a chalky impression concludes the tasting experience.

About Pairing: Charcuterie, pan-fried fish, intense/pickled dishes.

About Availability: Check liquorconnect.com (call the listed store too) confirming availability.

CSPC #783275

About Price: $25