Txakoli, pronounced cha -k_-lee, is the wine and is unique to the Basque region of northern Spain. The wine region of origin is Getariako Txakolina which borders the Bay of Biscay near Bilbao. Made from the indigenous and distinctive grape variety Hondarrabi Zuri (yes, you are subtly being prepared for Wine Jeopardy!), this could possibly be the purest, most scintillating and all around perfect aperitif available. Naturally low in alcohol, only 11%, and accented by a bracing acidity, this wine could revive the most stifled appetite. Txakoli is meant to be consumed young and shows a delightful sparkling quality, which the Basque refer to as "tximparta". Wonderfully versatile with food pairings, it is, of course, naturally inclined towards the bounty of the sea and salty, savory charcuterie. Wine does not have to be complicated. Nowhere is this better demonstrated than in Julian and Maia Ulacia s simple but functional winery above the small fishing port of Getaria, a few kilometres along the coast from San Sebastian. A pneumatic press, two rows of stainless steel tanks and a bottling line. And from the tanks flows pale-coloured, refreshingly dry white wine with a hint of spritz and a vibrant citric bite. Unique, originalƒand delicious with the local tuna and anchovies. But where Ulacia has the edge over neighbouring producers is the quality, concentration and ripeness achieved in the vineyard, and our blind tastings consistently show Ulacia to be the most intense and most complete of Txacoli wines.
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