2020 Gaintza, Txakolina Blanco, Getariako Txakolina DO, Spain.
A fabulously crisp, almost fizzy fresh and salty, the Gaintza is a ultra bone dry white that is a perfect wine to enjoy with oysters or claims, its tangy lime and bitter stone fruit make it a great Summer refresher. These light and zesty Txakoli wines, made almost exclusively from the Hondarribi Zuri grape, come from the Basque country on the cool Atlantic coast of Northwest Spain and the limestone and clay soils, they go great with the very coveted local cuisine and offer a treat for those in the know. The Gaintza version is a classic example and is clean and vibrant, crafted using only stainless steel with no aging, fermented dry and quickly bottled to capture the utmost purity and spritz, it shows loads of mouth watering citrus, unripe green apple, mainly with the mentioned lime and lemon peel, mineral tones and saline infused stones along with a touch of verbena and herbs. These Basque Txakolinas are worth searching out, especially my favorite Ameztoi versions, and of course this very classic Gaintza, which I haven’t tried in a while and impressed me in this vintage.
The Gaintza label is made by the Lazkano family, long time players in the Getaria zone of the Getariako Txakolina region, they have 25 hectares of vineyards here in the Basque Country, that is so influenced by the Atlantic climate and its cool maritime weather that promotes the zingy natural acidity and very ow alcohol in these wines, which include this white, a Rosé and a light vibrant red too. Interestingly enough the Gaintza Txakolina blanco is made using 85% Hondarrabi Zuri, 10% Gros Manseng (more commonly found in France’s Basque regions!) and 5% of the red Hondarrabi Beltza, that is directly pressed with skin contact, all of the grapes are quickly direct pressed to tank for fermentation. The vines, which are all hand farmed, tended and picked using sustainable methods, are between 25 and 50 years old, with close to 40% being traditionally trained on pergolas to keep them aerated, with plenty of air flow through the clusters, in this damp terroir, with the rest being trellised in a more modern way with more vine density. I really enjoyed the lip smacking details here with this vintage of Gaintza, it is very fun stuff, which I highly recommend as an alternative to Muscadet (Melon de Bourgogne) and or Picpoul de Pinet.
($22 Est.) 89 Points, grapelive