At last we have some time to sit down and share with you the Robert Parker 2020 scores and tasting notes. Needless to say we are very happy with these vintages!
Aitako txakolina: rating 92 points
The white 2018 Aitako, which has the subtitle Cepas Centenarias on the label, was produced with a selection of their ancient plot of Hondarribi Zuri but also contains some 15% Chardonnay. It has good ripeness, 12.5% alcohol and very good freshness showcased by a healthy pH of 3.07. It fermented at low temperature (14 degrees Celsius) with indigenous yeasts and was kept with the lees in tank for 12 months, followed by a further 12 months in bottle before being sold. This is even better than the regular Txakolina—serious, with a clean and suggestive nose with elegant notes of apples, white fowers and citrus peel. The palate has the light Fizziness and the sharp austerity but has more volume and comes through as nicely balanced and integrated. Bravo! This is delicious now, but it will keep a few years. 10,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in September 2019.
Gaintza traditional txakolina: rating 90 points
Their flagship and eponymous white 2019 Txakolina is the classical tapas (locally known as pintxos) Txakoli, fresh and with a slight spritz that provides even more freshness. It’s produced with 85% Hondarribi Zuri and 15% Gros Manseng grapes from limestone and clay soils with a granite mother rock, and it has 11.6% alcohol and a touch of sugar to compensate the acidity. It’s fermented with care to preserve some of the carbonic gas dissolved in the wine and was kept with the lees for five to 10 months, depending on the lot. In a healthy year like 2019, they didn’t need to add any yeast for the fermentation. It has textbook herbal, citrus and green apple aromas. If I had to show someone what a textbook traditional Txakoli is like, I’d uncork this bottle. It has the austere, sharp and lightly fizzy style with citrus and green apple notes and a dry, tickling palate with an almost salty sensation in the
finish. 100,000 bottles produced in nine slightly different lots; the big customers select which tank they prefer instead of blending them all.
Gaintza Roses: rating 89 points
The 2019 Roses is a very pale rosé, really a clarete, produced with 50/50 red and white grapes, Hondarribi Beltza and Hondarribi Zuri. It fermented at low temperature to keep the dissolved carbonic gas in the wine and was kept with the lees for four or five months before being bottled. It’s mellow and elegant, a little closed and a touch more reductive than the whites (could be the moment), but it has the solid palate of its siblings, with that light bubbling providing a nice mouthfeel and surprisingly enough coming through as quite dry, as there is a tendency (which I don’t enjoy) to leave more residual sugar in rosé. They don’t have a lot of red grapes, so production was limited to 10,000 bottles. It was bottled in February 2020.