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Bodegas Itsasmendi
Red Wine

Region/Appellation: Spain, Basque, Txakolina
Grape: Pinot Noir, Hondarribi Beltza
Style: Attitude

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$40.00 / bottle
$240.00 / case

6 bottles per case

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The red Txakoli (pronounced chak-oh-lee) of Itsasmendi is made from a blend of Pinot Noir (64%) and an indigenous Basque grape called Hondarribi-Beltza (pronounced on-dar-ee-bee belt-za), from vines over 20 year old in two small plots.

Eklipse has a unique varietal personality; much of which comes from the influences of the Cantabrian Sea which is only a few kilometers away, the age of the vines, plus the predominantly limestone and clay-loam soils. The plots - 1 Ha (in Gorliz) on the coast of Bicay and .75 Ha in Muskiz - are also surrounded by an ancient Cantabrian Holm oak grove. Average annual rainfall in the area is around 931mm.

Fermentation took place in temperature-controlled stainless steel conical tanks to retain the fresh aromatics of the grape, and then the wine is aged for 10 months in a 2,000 litre French oak vat, to add structure and complexity. Malolactic fermentation took place in the wooden vat.

13.7% alc./vol.

Tasting Note

Bright, ruby red colour. Fresh aromatics of blueberry, raspberry, and strawberry, and with slight floral (violets), underbrush, and mineral notes. Balanced acidity, medium body and tannins, and a clean elegant finish.

About the Grape

Pinot Noir: The great red wine grape of France's Burgundy region, in Italy it is known as Pinot Nero. Pinot Noir has ancient (pre-Roman) origins, and is related to other Pinots like Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, and Pinot Meunier. Also in France, it is part of the blend of Blanc de Noir Champagne.

Pinot Noir is a demanding grape, and requires a lot from both the grower and winemaker. The vines are susceptible to many diseases and do best in limestone-rich soils, and yields are characteristically low. It is a thin-skinned grape and extracting enough colour from the skins is always a balance with the risk of also extracting too much harsh tannins. Pinot Noir is often referred to as the "heartbreak grape" as success is often so elusive.

Pinot Noir can be found in almost every wine region in the world, except perhaps the hottest of regions, and generally communicates the local terroir more than any other grape. It is characterized as being lower in colour pigments and tannins than other great red wines like Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, but delivers a sensual elegance and refinement that those wines cannot.

Hondarribi Beltza: The red Txakoli grape

Bodegas Itsasmendi

Bodegas Itsasmendi (meaning sea and mountains in local dialect) was founded in 1995, with approximately 27ha vineyards planted in 1989. Located in the Basque region of Spain, the flagship wine is Itsasmendi Txakoli, made from the indigenous grape Hondarrabi Zuri.

The traditions of growing grapes and making wine in the Basque region of Bizkaiko date back thousands of years. Early vineyards were located near the coastal towns of Bilbao, Lekeitio, Ondarroa, and Guernika, to supply the local demand for wine. The first references to “txakoli” date to the 17th century, but it is only in the latter half of the 20th century that the regional wines started to make their mark. In 1994 the Bizkaiko DO was created.

At Itsasmendi the vineyards are uniquely sheltered from the north winds and planted in such a way as to maximize exposure to sunlight. Modern winemaking techniques result in bright, fresh wines, full of personality and richness. Winery capacity is 250,000 bottles, but current production is less than half.

The winemaker for Itsasmendi is Ana Martin, one of Spain’s most talented “flying” winemakers. Her approach with the wineries she works with is to “stand up for those that make distinct, special wines, complex in sensations but at the same time easy to drink, wines that the consumer can talk about but at the same time can drink without needing to be a specialist.”

Bodegas Itsasmendi
Barrio Mendibile 42
48940 Leioa

Phone number: +94 607 60 71

Email: info@bizkaikotxakolina.org

Website: http://www.bizkaikotxakolina.org

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