A Spanish Red That’s Inviting, Despite Its Name

Doniene Gorrondona Bizkaiko Txakolina Red 2009
Harvey Steiman
Posted: July 6, 2011

Those of us who seek out bright, jazzy, minerally whites to drink with seafood or just on their own know about Txakolina. These wines from the Basque region of Spain usually carry a modest price but deliver plenty of personality on a light, tangy frame. Somehow I have missed the existence of a red wine that carries the same Dénominación de Origen (pronounced biz-ki-koh chok-o-lee-nah).

Looking for a refreshing red wine to drink with tapas at Jaleo in Las Vegas, I asked beverage director Lucas Paya to pick something different for us. He came back with Doniene Gorrondona’s Bizkaiko Txakolina Red 2009, a soft-textured wine with currant and plum flavors that pair up nicely with tapas involving Iberico ham.

It’s made from the Hondarrabi Beltza variety, a grape particular to the region. Like the Hondarrabi Zuri used for the white wines, it produces a light wine with low alcohol—but unlike the whites, it’s also low in acidity. This makes it easy to keep sipping by itself after the food is finished. It retails for $28, and I rated it 88 points, non-blind.

WineSpectator.com members: Get scores and tasting notes for more recently rated Spanish reds.

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