It's a blend of equal parts of two local varieties, Hondarribi* Zuri (Courbu Blanc) and Hondarribi Zerratia (Petit Courbu), aged on the lees but with no oak influence. When I tasted it in the vineyard with Bertol Izagirre, son of the owner (on the left in the photo above), and winemaker José Ramón Calvo (above, on the right) on a sunny October morning, I described it as pale in colour, with a 'delicate aroma - some hay and citrus and a touch of spring blossom and apple; with time, a hint of wood (trees rather than oak)'. It was mouthwatering, zesty, beautifully taut, super dry, super fresh and very long, with a moderate 12.5% alcohol.
In the United States, the dry wine is readily available on line from K&D Wines and Spirits and Union Square Wines and Spirits in New York. Gorka Izagirre wines are imported into the UK by Boutinot, who tell me that this dry Txakoli is available from D Byrne & Co, Hanging Ditch, Mounts Bay Wine, Taylors of Tickhill and Vinomondo.
The Gorka Izagirre range of four whites also includes the delicious, barrel-fermented late-harvest Arima (made exclusively from Hondarribi Zerratia), the 2010 vintage of which is available in the UK from D Byrne & Co, Hanging Ditch, Highbury Vintners, Noel Young Wines and The Jolly Vintner and also from K&D Wines and Spirits in the US.
And one or both of these wines can also be found in Belgium (Wijnhuis Tinto), Japan (Kyobashi Wine and Liquor Shop), in several top restaurants in Mexico, at the Azurmendi restaurant just outside Bilbao and the soon-to be-opened Aziamendi restaurant in Thailand (more of which next week). Click on Find this wine for links to these stockists.
* Hondarribi is spelt in many different ways, including Hondarrabi and Ondarrabi.
From €9.40, $15.99, £12.29
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