Tasting Note: 2008 Txomin Etxaniz Getaria Txakolina

I was so glad to get my hand on a bottle of Txomin Etxaniz Getaria Txakolina, when I came through Astor Wines, last week, just after a very pleasant return trip to Long Island’s wine country.

I’d had txakoli, that fizzy Spanish white wine from the Basque country, only once before, thanks to a bottle of Xarmant that a good friend of mine had brought back from a trip a couple of years ago. It was pleasantly refreshing, with a bit of residual sugar, in that case. Something like a vinho verde with more fizz. A good summer sipper.

As I read about txakoli, after a friend of mine mentioned having tasted some in Spain, a few years ago, one name kept coming back: Txomin Etxaniz, generally named as the best producer in all the txakoli appellations. So when I finally got my hands on a bottle (there is a little Xarmant available in Quebec, in private imports, but no other txakoli) I was happy to finally get to taste what top txakoli is all about.

It is, I have to say, very pleasant and very well made. Bright acidity, lovely lemon-citrus flavors, refreshing, bone-dry, with a touch of yeast and a neat, pleasant mineral backbone. The fizz is best revealed when you pour the wine from a little high above your glass: the wine then fills with the tiniest of bubbles, and leaves a white ring on its edge, showing the persistence of the carbonic gas in the txakoli.

It did very well with our meal of fish baked in banana leaves with a curried coconut milk sauce, fizzing pleasantly above the spiciness of the dish and opening up flavors in an interesting fashion. Long beans in hoisin sauce also worked well, showing the intensity and persistence of that light-seeming wine.

Still. Taxes included, the wine came to above 25$ US. A fair bit of money for a wine that is, again, in many ways, a more carbonic version of vinho verde. Top vinho verdes rarely cost anything more than 15$.

There is a fashion surrounding txakoli, right now, in the United States, and I’m very happy for the producers who are getting a very good price for their wine. But at over 25$, txakoli will be a very occasional buy, for me, even the excellent Txomin Etxaniz, which was impeccable and precise, and pretty much perfect, for what it is supposed to be. Under 20$, you’d probably see me buying by the case.

So I guess I’ll have to keep it as a rare treat. Or wait a bit for the fashion to subside. Or go to the Basque country, where it sells for a lot, lot less.

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  1. ithacork
    Posted July 2, 2009 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    “Txomin Etxaniz Getaria Txakolina”

    how do you pronounce those words?

  2. winecase
    Posted July 2, 2009 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    The “x” is pronounced “ch”. So “Tchomin Etchah-niz Getah-ria Tchah-kolina”. Easy, right?

  3. Jimmy
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 9:54 am | Permalink


    if you go to the link above it’s listed at $19.99 and they have case discounts..10% i think

    one of my fav. whites

  4. Posted October 3, 2009 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    I absolutely adore this wine. Like stepping into the surf to escape a hot summer day-then discovering that there are fresh shrimp being grilled, just up there on the shore-with citrus fruits squeezed over them, just before serving.. then.. a glass of the wine just appears in your hand. Cheers! wb

  5. winecase
    Posted October 3, 2009 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the comments, on the txakoli and the Cellared in Canada issue. I’ll go and read your posts on wildriverreview.com!

One Trackback

  1. [...] Jam. Our server paired all this with an interesting wine that neither of us had tried before, Txomin Etxaniz. A perfect choice for a warm summer afternoon, this wine reminded us of a Vino Verde and left us [...]

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