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End of Summer Sips

Alright, I am a HUGE rosé fan and I drink them year round. I do realize that most look to drink these wines during the summer. As the season it is about come to an end, I wanted to highlight a region known for white wine that happens to put out a few stunning examples of world class dry rosé before it is all over. These wines have limited production and can be hard to find. Your best bet is to find them online early in the summer and look to a quality site like Lot18 that only sells good juice like.

As a general rule with rosé, you should be looking to drink the youngest wines possible. In the summer of 2012 you should be consuming the wines made in the fall of 2011 in the northern hemisphere. These wines will be more fresh and vibrant than older wines and those traits tend to be what makes rosé delicious.

Txakoli (pronounced cha-ko-li) wines are from the Basque region in northern Spain and the area is one that has been defined by the Spanish government as the only place allowed to make these wines. They are high acid, low alcohol wines that are commonly served locally during the warm summers. The vineyards are closest to the city of San Sebastian and the Bay of Biscay.

Two local grape varieties dominate these vineyards: Hondarribi Zurri and Hondarribi Beltza. They are low in alcohol (usually around 11-12%) yet drink very dry. The biggest signature of these wines is that they are slightly sparkling. In Spain, most notably Barcelona, the restaurants attach a whistle and pour them high above the table. The whistle blows off the effervescence and puts on quite a show. Many visitors to northern Spain will recall this flashy pouring style. However, here at Marc Forgione we embrace the bubbles!! The combination of very high acid levels and tingling bubbles makes for great food pairing opportunities. We like to match the whites with raw fish dishes and various types of seafood.

The rosé wines from this region vary greatly from vintage to vintage and that makes for a lot of anticipation when they are released every spring. The color can be pale or deep and the body of the wine fluctuates with the fruit profile. Ultimately there is nothing like an ice cold glass of pink, fizzy juice from this lesser known region for rosé. My two favorite producers and the ones you are most likely to find are Gurrutxaga Txakoli Bizhaiko Txakolina and Ameztoi Txakolina Rubentis Rosé. If you can’t find at this point you now have all winter to get excited for next years release…