Check out the new, mobile-friendly!

A Tongue-Twisting Spanish White

Bodegas Itsas-Mendi Hondarrabi Zuri Bizkaiko Txakolina 2007
James Molesworth
Posted: July 29, 2009

Located in New York's Time Warner Center, the restaurant Landmarc is known for its solid, well-priced wine list. Despite the quirk of not taking reservations (a pet peeve of mine), it’s still one of my favorite local spots. While dining there recently, I opted for a classic summer pairing: oysters and a brisk, tangy white. But instead of a more common wine choice such as a Muscadet or Sauvignon Blanc, I chose this tongue-twisting wine from Spain.

Not far from the city of Bilbao, the Bizkaiko Txakolina (biz-ki-koh chok-o-lee-nah) appellation draws its name from the Basque language, as does the native grape used in the wine, Hondarrabi Zuri. At Itsas-Mendi, winemaker Ana Martin fashions a lively, citrus-filled white with brisk acidity and snappy sea salt and mineral notes that crackle through the finish, making it an ideal partner for briny, raw seafood. Even though the 2008 vintage is more current (and supposedly better in quality), the '07 is still holding up nicely, with the slightest hint of almond chiming in on the finish. At just $34 on the restaurant’s wine list, it’s a delicious value. I rated it 88 points, non-blind. members: Get scores and tasting notes for more recently rated Spanish whites.

Would you like to comment?

Want to join or start a discussion? Become a member and you can!

To protect the quality of our conversations, only members may submit comments. To learn more about member benefits, take our site tour.


= members only

Keep me logged in      Forgot Password?

Job Opportunities

Passionate about wine? Wine Spectator magazine is looking for an enthusiastic copy editor in the New York office.

Email Newsletters

Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions
New! Ratings Flash | New! Unfiltered

» View samples
» Or sign up now!
» Manage my newsletter preferences


The marketplace for all your wine needs, including:

Wine Storage | Wine Clubs
Dining & Travel | Wine Auctions
Wine Shops | Wine Accessories