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Guipuzcoa, in the Getaria subregion of the Spanish Basque country, is a surfer’s paradise. Long, rolling tubes and pristine beaches attract paddlers from all over the world to soak up the salt and sun, in search of the perfect ride. When they come ashore to refuel, very often they are pouring glasses of Txakolina, the refreshing effervescent indigenous wine of the Basque country. Bodega Gaintza is among the most popular, and with its vineyards situated on the bluffs overlooking the bay in Guipuzcoa, it is a wine that is unmistakably of this place. Gaintza, meaning “on top of,” refers to the aspect of the winery that was built in 1923 overlooking the bay in Guipuzcoa. The Aitako is the “family reserve” bottling, made from the oldest vines on the 4th generation estate – over 100 years old. This wine also contains a small dollop of old vine Chardonnay, unique to this region. Aitako comes from the Eusakera word for “father,” in tribute to the first generations of the Lazcano family. With 12 months spent on the lees and an additional 6 months of bottle age before release, Aitako is a regal, profound expression of this seaside terroir.
WHAT MAKES THIS WINE UNIQUE?
From 100+ year old vines, and 12 months on the lees, Gaintza Aitako is a much more serious, weighty expression of Txakolina.
2018 92 WA
85% Hondarrabi Zuri, 15% Chardonnay. Sustainably farmed vines planted in the 1920s to clay and limestone soils, at 75m (246 ft) elevation.
Aitako’s bright acidity and intense maritime character make this a wonderful pair with seafood, particularly fried preparations like smelts or calamari. Also lovely with anchovies and olives – anything with a strong umami component.
VINIFICATION AND AGEING:
Slow, temperature controlled fermentation in stainless steel. Aged for 12 months on the lees in stainless steel, and an additional 6 months in bottle prior to release. Bottled at 0 degrees of natural sugar. Natural carbonation from finished fermentation in bottle.
667 cs (8,000 bottles)
LOCATION, SOIL, CLIMATE:
Gaintza is located in the Getaria subzone of the Spanish Basque country, on the Cantabrian coast. Vineyards are planted between 150 and 500 meters from the ocean, at 25 meters elevation on the bluffs overlooking the water. Soils are limestone and clay. Fairly constant temperature with little diurnal variation due to proximity to the ocean. Warm during the growing season, with average temperature of 61F (16C). Rainfall is plentiful, averaging 13mm/month from April to October.
Bright green-yellow. On the nose, high toned aromas of lemon, quince, green apple and white flowers are comingled with citrus peel and mineral. On the palate, weighty yet austere, with beautiful balance between the effervescent acidity and the weighty intensity. Finishes bone dry and full of minerality, with impressive length.