William Pick’s for March

Urki Txakoli 2010
Txakoli 2010

Hondarribi Zuri. Or, “Hondarrabi Zuri.” Perhaps “Ondarribi Zuri,” or “Hondarribi Zuria.” Haven’t heard of any of them? No matter. However you might want to spell the name, it’s the same grape, and it’s used to produce Txakoli (pronounced cha-koh-lee) in the Basque region of Spain. Granted D.O. status – Getaria was the first area to be awarded the distinction as D.O. Getariako Txakolina, though the wine produced is simply “Txakoli” – in 1994, Txakoli has become increasingly popular in the U.S. over the last few years. This is a very lightly sparkling wine, some of the carbon dioxide produced during the fermentation is trapped (many producers artificially inject CO2 instead of leaving that which is already there), so that the wine produces more of a froth than the organized bubbles one finds in a truly “sparkling” wine. A clean, citrus profile and bright, lively acidity add-in to make this a very lively wine that is intensely refreshing and dry.

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2010 Bordeaux Vintage Reports by Appellation
2010 Bordeaux Vintage Reports by Appellation
West, about two hours by car, from the terraced hillsides of the Valtellina (see Milton’s picks), and north, about the same distance, from the village of Barolo lies Gattinara. Here, in the northern areas of the Piedmont, as in Lombardy, though not quite that high, Nebbiolo, called Spanna by the locals, achieves a higher degree of elegance than is found in either Barolo or Barbaresco, while retaining more of the structure found in the wines of those regions. Rose petals, earth, and cherry dominate on the nose and palate. Fermented in large, 50 hectoliter (a hectoliter is equivalent to one thousand liters) barrels, this is traditional Nebbiolo to the core. At times during history, Gattinara was held in higher regard than either of its more famous, southern cousins – this bottle makes it easy to understand the argument.

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