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The Trajadura Grape

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About Trajadura

(Synonyms: Treixadura, Treixadura blanca, Teixadura blanca, Tragadura, Trinca dente, Trincadente, Trincadeira, Verdello Rubio)


Trajadura grapes Map showing  Iberia (Portugal and Spain)

Trajadura is a white-wine grape originating in Portugal, but also grown considerably in Spain, where it is known as Treixadura. Though it has long been primarily used (in both nations) as a blending grape, the number of monovarietal bottlings is increasing as new winemakers discover the grape's full potential.

When vinified as a monovarietal, it seems to produce pleasing wines of some distinction and character, with aromas and flavors of peach and other tree fruit (such as apples), with a light overlay of citrus (orange is often mentioned). One of the foremost new makers championing this grape makes a wine that eminent critic Jancis Robinson described thus:

[V]ery appetising with a rather smoky nose and some citrus notes, athough it is definitely bigger and less nervy than a typical Godello. There was substantial fruit on the mid palate without a lot of alcohol - just 13%. .  There is excellent balance of fruit and acidity and this very well made wine with a good, punchy finish, is bone dry.

Thought the grape is more grown in Portugal, it seems to be the Spanish winemakers who are most interested in monovarietal versions: a monovarietal Trajadura is rather less common than a monovarietal Treixadura. Unfortunately, the U.S. seems far behind, say, the U.K. in importing the new generation of monovarietal wines from this grape; there are not many available at all (despite there being quite a few made), and what few there are to be found take some searching out. But, by report, it is worth the effort.

Factoid: In Spain's Ribeiro region, Treixadura grapes are used to make a distinctive sweet wine known as "Tostado del Ribeiro"; you can read more about it at the Taste of Galicia site.

Some Descriptions of Trajadura Wines

  • Wikipedia

    "The grape is primarily a blending variety that adds body and light lemony aromatics to wines. It is most commonly blended with Loureiro and Alvarinho in Rías Baixas while in Ribeiro it is often blended with Torrontés and Lado."

  • Catavino

    "[I]t can be found most often in the wines of Vinho Verde. In Spain, it can be found in Galicia under the name Treixadura. Typically, it is blended with other grapes such as Albarino, Loureiro, Lado or Torrontas depending on where it is grown. However, it can also stand alone producing light body wines with citrus flavors and aromas."

  • Jancis Robinson (1 of 2)

    "Galician variety producing delicately-flavoured wines that are naturally low in acidity, therefore most often encountered in blends."

  • Jancis Robinson (2 of 2)

    "Inma Pazos, who started making wine in Rias Baixas after graduating in oenology, believes that Treixadura, like Godello in Valdeorras, has real potential as a single varietal wine. In fact she thinks it is more noble and serious than Albariño."

  • Wine Searcher

    "In order to retain the variety’s revered acidity, and because the grape is an early-ripener, it must be picked quite early. Trajadura wines are generally bright yellow, with good aromatics and fresh, balanced acidity. Typical flavors include lemon, apple and pear through to peach and apricot."

  • Vinho Verde

    "Productive, this grape variety produces wines with a delicate and distinctive aroma, flavourous, but sometimes unbalanced."

  • Wines of Portugal

    "Trajadura makes wines with lower acidity and higher alcoholic strength than the other Vinho Verde grapes. This makes it a great candidate for blending in this cool, moist part of the country, where excessive acidity and low alcohol can be a problem even with vines trained in an efficient, modern way. Trajadura is a fairly aromatic variety, with gentle flavours of peach, apricot, apple and ripe pear and a pleasant touch of orange blossom. it is used in popular blends with Alvarinho, and with Loureiro and Arinto."

  • Wine Geeks

    "Trajadura has a certain plush character, yet only when compared to its super acidic blending partners of Loureira and Alvarinho (Albariño). Across the border in Galicia it is known as Treixadura and is often used to soften the wines of Ribiero and Rueda."

Some Trajaduras & Treixaduras to Try

(About this list.)

As noted above, monovarietal bottlings are scarce in the U.S. retail market. As we have said many times in these pages, there is nothing the matter with blends—many of the world's best wines are blends—but when investigating a new varietal, one likes to have the thing itself in its full nature. We have gathered what we could find, but caution you that many of the listed wines are apparently sold only by a very few retailers, often only one. We don't usually list such wines, but here we would otherwise have almost nothing to show. (Mind, not every wine retailer in the nation shows up in even the Pro version of Wine Searcher, so keep your eyes open in your favorite neighborhood wine shops.)

Correlated with the lack of availability of Trajadura/Treixadura wines in the U.S. is a lack of reviews: the literature is very sparse. Even including material in Spanish or Portugese, if one omits (as we do) material from folk who want to sell you some, little remains. If you are looking for a "hip" movement, get in early on appreciating these wines as monovarietals.

The quotations below are excerpts; we strenuously urge you to click on the green diamond symbol by each quoted review to see the full article.
  • Bodega Viña Costeira Treixadura do Ribeira, $13 - $16.
    (Spain: Ribeiro; only the Treixadura do Ribeira bottling is 100% Treixadura.)

    Some quotations and facts:

    Color: quite intense green-yellow. Nose: expressive, with herbs and some spices, soft, rich, with minerals and ripe fruit (peach, pear) some apples, flowers, not unlike Pinot Gris, with some depth and quite broad, could be a little more pure (clean), good balance. Taste: rich, unctuous, fresh, some spices, herbs and ripe fruit, nice creaminess, impressions of wood (oak), some (soft) tannins, well balanced, not heavy, but rich ànd fresh. Finish: medium long, fresh, some wood, slight bitterness, some fruit, herbs and spices, a touch of roundness. Rich and soft white wine, at the same time fresh and with nice, ripe and herby-spicy fruit, a touch of wood, a bit Pinot-Gris like in style, good balance.

    [Google-translated from Spanish:] If the [maker's] Albariño deserves every honor, our favorite is this treixadura, boasting aromas and sapid complexity within a highly fruity tone. We insist enormous fruitiness with notes of green apple, melon, apricot and honey, with bittersweet feelings, more acidic than anything else. In the mouth the qualities, resulting cool, very cool, long, broad, elegant, varied and, in any case, elegant and harmonious are endorsed.

    Appearance: Light yellow with green reflections. Nose: Fresh, open, intense. Mouthfeel: Initial attack on the palate pleasant and full-flavoured with lingering finish. 90 points.

    [B]lind-tasted, Treixadura, stone fruit, plum, melon, well-balanced, round, smooth, silky, long after-taste... Estamos ante un gran vino!!!

    [Google-translated from Spanish:] The last winery to appear was the flagship Viña Costeira, who presented his collection Black and Viña Costeira Costeira Treixadura, wines always balanced and showing the peculiarities of Ribeiro perfectly. The Collection Treixadura Costeira is a very aromatic and balanced wine, a "must" in our house for any occasion.

  • Casal de Arman Eira Dos Mouros Treixadura, $15 - $16.
    (Spain: Ribeiro)

    Some quotations and facts:

    Flinty, mineral and citrus character. Complex flavours of pineapple, melon and citrus. Good length.

    [Google-translated from Galician:] Delicious honey mineral number - white Ribeiro del Duero full of surprises!

    ♣ Wine Advocate (May 2013), 88 points.

  • Coto de Gomariz "La Flor y La Abeja" ("The Flower and the Bee") Treixadura, $16 - $18.
    (Spain: Ribeiro)

    Some quotations and facts:

    I love this wine. It’s beautifully packaged, and its contents are great, too. From the northwest of Spain, and specifically the Ribeiro appellation, it’s a varietal Treixadura (in neighbouring Vinho Verde region of Portugal, it is known as Trajadura). This wine has depth of flavour plus freshness, and it’s quite distinctive. Deep yellow/gold colour, this is a lovely full-flavoured white wine. Powerful flavours of herbs, pears and white peach, with some apricot and spice notes. Real presence, but not at all heavy. Just lovely fruit intensity, and amazing freshness. 92/100.

    Light yellow with golden reflections. Endearingly focused and intense nose, marrying citric notes of lime, roses, freshly cut grass, and mineral notes. Easy-drinking on the palate, fresh and crunchy at point of entry. Salty and and oily. Elegant bitterness at the finish, with white fruit flavours. 5+ (5 = "Excellent price/quality relationship")

    ♣ Wine Advocate (date unknown), 90 points.

    Ribeiro may not be as famous as Rías Baixas next door, but there are some cracking wines emanating from there. The local Treixadura (also found over the border in Vinho Verde) is here made in a honeyed and mealy style, with creamy richness over apples and minerals. On the palate it has that tang of sour lemon that is so evocative, a very grown up bite of endive, but the ripe core of fruit and full body also carries a little spice into the finish. Delightful stuff. 90/100.

    For total Treixadura immersion therapy there is no better fix than The Flower and The Bee from Coto de Gomariz –an organic estate in Ribeiro. These guys set out to make a great quality, affordable example of this little-known grape and they’ve more than succeeded. There are few whites I’d rather come home to.

    If you've been charmed by the peachy albariños of Rías Baixas in north-west Spain, this complex white made from treixadura in the neighbouring Galician region, Ribeiro, is well worth considering for the [holiday] turkey. It's textured and full with ripe greengage and apricot and a touch of yeasty savouriness, plus a pithy citrus quality that gives it real verve, bite and balance.

    Produced from the Treixadura grape in the north west of Spain, The Flower and the Bee is intensely aromatic with wafts of wildflower honey emanating from the glass. Savoury flavours are evident when you drink it, providing a foil to the rich element of Christmas.

    [C]haracteristics of apple, honey, citrus and creamed corn .  . super examples of aromatic, classy Galician white wine.

For a Splurge

For those who look at such things, Robert Parker gave 94 points to José Luis Mateo's Quinta Da Muradella "Muradella Blanco" 100% Treixadura. (Don't confuse this with the maker's other white wines, which bear somewhat similar names.)

     ($60.44 at Saratoga Wine Exchange).

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