Bodegas Bat Gara – Basque Country
Created in 2012, a Priest, a restauranteur and a rancher (not the start of a joke…) wanted unique wines that represented the altitude of their vineyards, and to obtain the maximum potential of the varieties with which they work: Hondarribi Zuri and Hondarribi Zuri Zerratia and small amount of Riesling. With reduced yields per hectare, half that allowed for the DO, minimal intervention, and fermentation with indigenous yeasts, they are achieving great things. These wines are pure, punchy and interesting, representing a new story of Txakoli.
Sutsu, is an ancestral method sparkling Txakoli from the old method of a single fermentation – first in tank then in bottle spending 18 on less, a crown closure once disgorged. The first impression is pastries, followed by hay and ripe pears. Once opened, a fine bubble, silky elegance, white flowers, peaches and walnuts. The Uno is firm, structured and liner, lees aged for 5 months, showing purity and punchy citrus acidity – highly impressive and an excellent introduction to Txakoli. Urtaran comes from the best 10% of the harvest, it spends time on lees and a further 6 months in neutral chestnut casks; peach, pineapple and honey gives richness and volume with the fresh elegance classic of the producer. 18 Meses is a fermented and barrel aged Txakoli from clay, calcareous, sandstone vineyards 400 metres above sea level. Beautiful tension and aromatics with touches of dry orange peel, peach, hay and liquorice. The progression to the palate runs from zesty, salinity to toasty sourdough, citrus, tropical fruit notes and roasted apple. All balanced on a backbone of freshness. Aromas del Sur opens with aromas of nuts, toast and ripe fruit. Powerful on the palate, flooded with notes of cherry, bread with nuts, a citrus background and lingering flavours. Ioritz, a product of the 2018 vintage marked by frosts at the end of April, reducing the yield to 20% of normal production, leaving the remaining grapes with an amazing, concentrated condition. Skin contact, whole grape ferment in open chestnut barrels followed by aging in Hungarian oak barrels. The result is a powerfully aromatic Txakoli with caramel, dried orange peel, heather and a background of quince and ripe pear. The palate is dry with a pleasant grip of tannin filling the mouth with notes of toffee, almonds and ripe fruits. Long and dry on the finish. The Hondarribi Beltza is made from two grapes of the region – the red 65% Hondarribi Beltza (an offspring of Cabernet Franc) & the white 35% Hondarribi Zuri- co fermented with wild yeasts in open oak barrels after gentle pressing, aged in 225 litre oak barrels for 18 months. Fresh with hints of blackberry, spice with ripe fruits and cool chilli pepper. Rounded and long with delightful purity on the finish from the white grape element.