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Spanish Sparkling?

Just over a year ago, I was fortunate enough to go on a 10 day wine education trip to Spain. It was definitely an experience I will never forget. The food, the history, the Vermouth (oh the vermouth… Ro, we’re ordering some Spanish Vermouth!), the people and especially THE WINE!

On our trip I was introduced to some amazing artisans. Phenomenal people, making phenomenal wine. Along this journey with RoCo, I hope to introduce you all to some amazing Spanish wines as well.

For this week I have selected a Sparkling that I fell in love with while walking the calcareous soils of the vineyards. (I even “borrowed” a couple of rocks to bring home with me from the vineyard!) The soils are chalky and limestone based adding extra minerality to the grapes that grow there. Something that seems awfully similar to another famous Sparkling wine region in France but for half the price. Hmmm…

Castell d’Age is a winery based in the Catalonia region of Spain and they specialize in high quality, Biodynamic Cava! Cava is the sub-region of Catalonia and the grapes used in this bottling are Xarel-lo, Macabeo and Parellada. The Cava I picked from them is their “Anne Marie” label. This wine is aged for 20 months in their underground caves and is considered one of the driest styles of sparkling wine being that it’s “Brut Nature.” This means that Olivia, their winemaker, decided not to add any sugar at the end of bottling and rather left it in it’s natural state allowing only the sugars from the grapes in the bottle. High in acid and a rush of fine bubbles filling your mouth makes this an awesome wine for dishes like Tempura or a rich triple cream Brie. You can really run the gamut with this wine and have it from start to finish of your meal. Or skip the meal altogether and just have some delicious bubbles for no reason at all. No one will judge you!

Now I know how much people love their Vinho Verde at RoCo or the “Crab Wine” so I wanted to go with something that could take that place and almost be your new crab/lobster/shellfish wine.

The second wine to go with this weeks selection is not technically a sparkling wine, but it does have some effervescence when you open a fresh bottle. Ameztoi Txakolina is one of the top producers of Getariako Txakolina. They own 20 hectares of vines in the best location. From these very special vineyards you can see the town of St. Sebastian. After you taste this wine, you’ll be able to understand the influence the Atlantic Ocean has on these vineyards. The wine is made up 90% of a grape varietal called Hondarribi Zuri and 10% of Hon-darribi Beltza. There is also a Rose bottling of their’s that is also spectacular, but with our Rose release last week, I thought this week we’d stick more to the White wines.

Hillside Ameztoi vineyards overlooking the ocean

Ameztoi Txakolina is now on it’s 5th generation of wine making in Getaria. 5 generations!! That’s just nuts. They are obviously doing something very well. This wine is fermented in Stainless Steel and bottled with residual carbonic acid which gives the wine its natural spritz. The wine is light and crisp and extremely easy (almost too easy) to drink. Pair this up with some seafood or grilled veggies and you’re going to have yourself a night to remember. Or, have a couple bottles of this Txakoli and some grilled veggies and quite possibly have a night to not remember! In either case, it’ll be worth it.


Nick Mallon, Certified Sommelier