A Taste of TWC - Whites, Sparkling & Rosé
Case of 6 bottles.
We realize there's always a risk buying a full case of wine without tasting it first. We feel that way too, and so to ease that tension we've put together a couple of mixed cases of different wines from many of the producers we work with - from France (just for the reds at this time), Italy, and Spain.
This pack (one bottle of each wine) covers the sparkling, rosé and white wine categories, and we've also put one together for reds. And if you enjoy them, and we hope you do, these wine are also available to purchase by-the-case through this Web site.
Wine #1 Agusti Torelló Mata, 2017 Cava Gran Reserva Barrica, (Penedès, Spain)
We start this box with a bang, offering a Cava Gran Reserva from one of the greatest winemakers in Spain. Agusti has been involved in Cava production in the Penedès since 1949, and bottled the first Kripta - considered one of the top sparkling wines in the world - in 1978. Today, his winery is recognized for maintaining the traditions of Cava that he worked so hard to create.
It was the famous Kripta that introduced us to Agusti Torelló Mata, recommended by the sommelier at Commerç 24 in Barcelona, and we are so proud to represent the range Cavas in Ontario. If you want to try one of the other Cavas you'll find the Cava Brut Reserva offered by-the-glass in Toronto at Edulis, Bar Isabel, and Quetzal.
This Gran Reserva Barrica is made from 100% Macabeo grapes, hand-picked from 30+ year old vines. The single plot - Pla dels Fidels - is in the littoral zone of the Garaf, at about 150m above sea level. The soils are predominantly gravel and caliche, and the high limestone content contributes minerality to the wine.
Forty percent of the wine was fermented and aged for 8 months in new French-oak (Tronçais) barrels - why it's labelled Barrica - and the rest was fermented on the lees for a month in stainless steel tanks. The second fermentation took place in the bottle (like champagne) with a minimum of 30 months aging on the lees (to qualify as Gran Reserva). Bottles are disgorged individually (disgorgment date written on the back label), and only when required for market to ensure optimum condition of the finished wine. This bottling spent more than 5 years on the lees.
Bottled Brut Nature (no dosage) with 0.5g/L residual sugar. 12.0 alc./vol.
Our Tasting Note: Pale straw-yellow colour, with very fine, persistent bubbles that evolve slowly in the glass to form a dense crown. Toasty aromas and flavours of fresh green apple, pear, and ripe citrus with spicy, nut and vanilla notes. Balanced, rich and creamy, with a long and elegant finish. Serve 6-8º celsius.
Pairings: Excellent on its own, and will pair well with grilled seafood, poultry, smoked foods (oysters), foie gras, rice dishes, Iberian ham, and semi-mature cheeses.
Wine #2 Jokin Aranzabal, 2020 Txakoli Katalin Iturzaeta (País Vasco, Spain)
This is another wine that we discovered at a restaurant in Spain (Madrid), but this time because we were sitting next to the owner of the vineyard. Jokin heard us speaking about wine, and coincidently we had ordered the same bottle of wine for one of the courses, so he leaned over and asked us if we'd be interested in representing his wine. He had an amazing story, that matched the wine, so needless to say we added Katalin to our portfolio.
The winery was established in the Basque region of Spain by Antonio Aranzábal, well before the creation of the Getariako Txakolina DO (1989), to pay homage to his mother Kattalin Iturzaeta and the tiny plot (0.7 Ha) of ancient hilltop vines he inherited. Due to a declining market for Txakoli wines, the vines were at risk of being torn up and replaced by fruit trees, but Antonio, seeing a greater vision for Txakoli, did not want to see this happen. He was the first in the region to acquire temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks to enhance the flavour profile of the Txakolina, and also established quality targets that were otherwise absent in the region at that time. Now under Jokin’s stewardship, the uncompromising standards set by Antonio continue with an annual production of less than 5000 bottles, depending of the vintage.
White Txakoli (pronounced chak-oh-lee) is traditionally made from a Basque grape called Hondarribi-Zuri (pronounced on-dar-ee-bee zoo-ree) - same grape as the French grape Courbu Blanc - but this wine also uses approximately 15% of the dark-skinned Hondarribi grape called Beltza, vinified as a white grape (no skin contact). The grapes are grown on south-facing slopes of Aitako, at a height of 60 metres above sea level, just a few kilometres from the Cantabrian Sea. Three-quarters of the vines are over 100 years old, while the rest at over 30 years old.
Fermentation took place in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks to retain the intense, fresh aromatics of the grape, and the wine is aged in stainless steel, on the lees, for 7-8 months before bottling. The wine did not undergo malolactic fermentation, so the acidity if quite high and refreshing. 11 alc./vol..
Our Tasting Note: Straw yellow colour. Complex, tropical aromas of yellow apple, lime zest, orange peel, and grapefruit, with herbal/floral and stony/mineral notes. Medium palate, zesty acidity (slight prickle), and a dry, lingering, clean finish.
Pairings: Grilled seafood, oysters, sushi, white meats, and spicier-style dishes. It drinks well on its own.
Wine #3 Bodegas Valdesil, 2020 Valdesil Sobe Lias (Valdeorras, Spain)
Valdesil is the first Spanish winery we added to our portfolio, over 15 years ago. We have visited them a number of times, and still can't get over seeing the 100+ year old Pedrouzas vines growing out of literally slate. And there's a uniqueness that these soils bring to the Godello grape, and Valdesil seems to be able to coax the characteristics out so deftly.
The winery can be traced back to 1885, when an ancestor of the Prada family, planted the first Godello vines on the high, slate hillsides of the Sil valley. The winemaking traditions of the current owners originate with José Ramón Gayoso, who, contrary to the custom of the time established the first vineyard planted entirely with the native Godello grape.
Little by little Gayoso expanded small parcels of vines, or ‘Pezas’, carefully choosing the best sites in and around the village of Portela de Valderroas. In subsequent years many of these parcels were sold to other growers, leaving only the Pedrouzos estate - the oldest Godello vineyard in Galicia - within the family.
In 2001 the current generation of the family began to buy back the small parcels, inspired by the special qualities of the Valdeorras region, and the hopes of the original pioneers who established Pedrouzos. From these 100 plus year old vines, the family also carried out their own clonal selection to establish other vineyards in the area.
Bodegas Valdesil now produces elegant and distinctive wines with an unmistakable personality which reflects their origin and grape variety. The winery follows natural production methods in the vineyards, and in the cellar, with the minimum use of sulphur.
This wine is made from a careful selection of 100% Godello grapes, from vines with a minimum 35 years of age (all from cuttings from the original Pedrouzos estate vineyard), grown on hillside slopes, in slate-rich soil, at an altitude of 500 metres above sea level. The slate soils contribute a distinctive mineral character to the wine.
Vinification is made by plot, to reflect the different expressions of the vineyards. The wine is fermented (with natural yeasts) in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks, and kept on the lees, with regular stirring, for just over 6 months. No malolactic fermentation, and fined with agents of mineral origin.
Our tasting note: Bright pale-yellow colour; rich aromas and flavours of warm lime citrus, green apple, tangerine, almonds, and honey, with mineral/floral notes. Dry and medium-bodied, with balancing acidity and a lingering, silky finish. If you are partial to quality Chardonnay, but not the heavily oaked style, you'll like this wine.
Pairings: Seafood (scallops), river fish, white meats (chicken and pork), and mushroom dishes. It can definitely handle fuller-style dishes, like creamy sauces or grilling.
Wine #4 Sciare dell' Alba, 2020 Etna Bianco DOP (Sicily, Italy)
This is our most recent addition to the portfolio from Italy. From a family-run estate, on a tiny plot of land on the east side of Sicily's famous active volcano - Mount Etna.
The project has roots in Etna, with origins in Franciacorta, and brought to fruition by Elisabetta Abrami. Elisabetta is the owner/winemaker for her eponymous winery in Italy’s Lombardy Region, where they only make traditional-method sparkling wine - Franciacorta DOCG - which we have carried for a few years.
The winery name is a combination of two words - Sciàra and Alba. Sciàra draws from Arabic etymology of ša'ra - meaning "uncultivated land" - and Latin flagare - "to burn" - indicating the accumulation of volcanic soils in the vineyards. Alba is the moment when night becomes day (sunrise), and refers to when the sun bathes the Ionian Sea and the vineyards on the eastern side of Mount Etna.
The wines come from just a few hectares of old vines planted on the slopes of Etna, approximately 500 meters above sea level, in Mascali (located near the ancient port city of Catania). Only indigenous varieties are cultivated - Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio for red-wine production, and Carricante and Cattarratto for the whites. Three wines are currently produced (there is a rosé that we'll bring in for the summer) and total production is less than 5000 bottles.
The blend is 80% Carricante and 20% Catarratto; vinified in temperature controlled, stainless steel tanks. The wine is then aged in stainless steel tanks for three months (in contact with the fine lees) then in bottle for one month before release. Alc./vol. 12.5%.
Our Tasting note: Pale straw gold colour, with tropical aromas and flavours of apricot and peach with floral/herbal/mineral notes. Light- to medium-bodied, good acidity, and a long, clean finish.
Pairings: Great aperitif wine, and will pair with grilled seafood, shellfish, Sushi, white meats, pasta with creamy sauces, vegetarian dishes, and medium-aged and soft cheeses.
Wine #5 Itsasmendi, 2019 No 7 Txakoli (País Vasco, Spain)
We have also been working with Itsasmendi for a long time, mainly with the regular Txakolina from the Bizkaiko DO, but also with the other unique Txakoil that they make. Including the rare red Txakoli, Eklipse.
Bodegas Itsasmendi (means sea and mountains) was established in 1995, with approximately 27ha vineyards planted in 1989, and which has now expanded to 35ha, in 15 different sites covering 9 separate municipalities. The vineyards are uniquely sheltered from the north winds and planted in such a way as to maximize exposure to sunlight, and each site has a unique soil composition and microclimate. Modern winemaking techniques result in bright, fresh wines, full of personality and richness.
No. 7 was first made in 2003 - a tribute to the original seven owners and coincidently the number of the tank in which the blend was “discovered” - a selection of grapes from different parcels (aged 15-30 years) following an exhaustive vineyard classification. The wine was created with two goals: first, to make a Txakoli that has more body and structure using select quality grapes, and second, that can last several years ageing in the bottle.
This is a Txakoli that is broad and unctuous on the palate, where the acidity drives the ripeness and balance. It starts out powerful and flavoursome - transmitting the variables of each of vintage with its own personality - then acquires harmony, complexity, and elegance with age in the bottle. It is very different than Katalin, which is why we added it to this pack.
It is a blend of 42% Hondarrabi zuri (the more traditional grape of white Txakoli), 38% Hondarrabi zuri zerratie (smaller berry size than zuri), and 20% Riesling. Both zuri grapes being genetically linked to Petit Courbou.
Fermentation and ageing in special conically-shaped, stainless steel tanks, on its lees (approx. 9 months), to add volume and complexity. Alc./vol. 14%
Our Tasting Note: Bright, golden straw colour. Intense aromatics of rich citrus (grapefruit/lime), stone fruits, and delicate floral and herbal (aniseed) notes. Rich fruit on the palate, fuller mouthfeel, bright acidity, well-structured, and a dry, elegant, clean finish.
Pairings: Spicy cuisines, seafood (scallops), baked/grilled fish, and white meats with creamy sauces), and grilled vegetable dishes. Like Valdesil Sobre Lias, it will handle fuller-style dishes.
Wine #6 Latido de Sara, 2021 Garnacha Rosé (Navarra, Spain)
We have been working with Sara Martinez-Lagos and León Florez for almost 10 years, and not only are they great people, they make great wine. They have also introduced us to many other wines and wineries from Spain, including Marta + Maté from Ribera del Duero.
The Latido de Sara wines are made in the oldest winery in Navarra Province - San Martin de Unx - who also have the best and oldest Garnacha grapes in the area. Many of the vines are planted on gentle hillside slopes (~650 meters in altitude), which are a unique characteristic of the Navarra landscape. Their wines are based mainly on Garnacha (Grenache) grapes, from low-yield vines over 35 years old. The overall philosophy of the range - white, rosé, and red - is to produce intensely flavoured and complex wines which faithfully reflect the nature and terroir of the region.
This a serious dry rosé, made from 100% Garnacha (Grenache) grapes, from 30+ year old vines, grown on hillside slopes in Spain's Navarra Province.
Only a few hours skin contact to extract colour and flavour, then the juice is pressed off to begin fermentation in temperature-controlled, stainless-steel tanks. Alc./vol.: 13.5%.
Our Tasting note: Bright rose pink colour. Aromas and flavours of fresh red fruits - cherry, strawberry, and raspberry - with floral notes. Medium-bodied, dry, well balanced, dry, with good acidity and a long, finish.
Pairings: Great to enjoy on the patio (once the snow clears), and will pair with charcuterie, burgers, pizza, pasta and rice dishes, grilled white meats, and seafood.