Txakoli, Txakoli, Txakoli!
Txakoli (cha-kol-E) comes straight off the Atlantic coast like a refreshing rain shower in summer. Produced exclusively in Spain’s Basque Country, Txakoli matches the Basque flair for seafood and pintxos (tapas), thanks to its palette of citrus fruits, its minerality, and its crisp acidity. Vineyards of Hondarribi Zuri (white) and and Hondarribi Beltza (red) sprawl across the rugged, verdant Basque coastal hills, particularly around Getaria: This little fishing village is also home to Elcano, who finished Magellan’s circumnavigation of the globe. It’s no coincidence that Txakoli offers hints of a fresh ocean breeze.
Every bar and restaurant in every Spanish Basque town serves Txakoli. They carefully pour it from several feet above a straight-walled, stemless glass, to enliven the wine with some effervescence, like the sea after a wave rolls through.… Read the rest
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A Bright Light Burns in Barolo
Presenting the Wines of Massolino
Serralunga d’Alba would not be the same without the Massolino family. Besides the fact that Giovanni Massolino brought electricity to the town in 1896, he also established the storied wine estate that bears his family name. The classic Massolino Barolo dates back to 1911, and the wines are still grown and produced by the Massolino family, now in its fourth generation of winemakers.
In all, Massolino owns 57 acres of vineyard, including four Barolo crus. With such a reputation to uphold, tradition still guides the way here: fermentation in cement tanks, ageing in large Slavonian oak casks. Yet modernity has its hand, too: Not at all rustic, the wines are smooth, clean, and extremely pleasurable.… Read the rest
Stanislao Radikon Pinot Grigio Venezia Giulia IGT, Friuli-Venezia Giulia 2013 750ML ($47.95) Buy Now: $41.90 special
Well, this ain’t your momma’s Pinot Grigio. Nor is it all that similar to any other Pinot Grigio you’ve likely ever had! The Radikon wines enjoy a cult-like following and have long attracted those who seek unique, palate-expanding, paradoxical wine experiences.
Tucked into one of the most north-eastern portions of Italy – a mere 400 or so meters from Slovenia – the estate neighbors the equally unique and esteemed wine house of Josko Gravner. At Radikon, all grapes are estate-grown and hand harvested; horse manure is used as fertilizer and no synthetic chemicals are employed in the vineyard or cellar. Vine plantings are extremely dense but pruned vigorously in order to produce smaller volumes of higher-quality grapes.… Read the rest
Domaine Michel Lafarge Bourgogne Pinot Noir, Burgundy 2005 750ML ($59.95) Buy Now: $49 special
New releases of old wines feel like a secret you’ve been let in on. I’m not talking about hundred-plus dollar wines buried under a decade of patience – though those can certainly be a treat! – but rather those bottles you walk past in a shop and take a second, third, and fourth glance at. The price seems right but the vintage evokes memories of former selves: poor fashion choices, friends we’ve lost touch with, long-forgotten celebrity scandals and political strife…
The 2005 Bourgogne-level Pinot from Lafarge is nothing short of a postcard from Volnay. Dark fruits mingle with sizzling acidity, a touch of meatiness, and a hint of black tea; there’s a paradoxical blend of freshness with maturity here which is intriguing without being distracting.… Read the rest