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Bodegas Berroja Berroia Bizkaiko Txakolina

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Bodegas Berroja Berroia Bizkaiko Txakolina: a Review

Wine is as good as life to a man, if it be drunk moderately: what life is then to a man that is without wine? for it was made to make men glad.
    —Ecclesiasticus, ch. 38, v. 1

(Our sample bottle was purchased by us at standard retail.)

About Bodegas Berroja Berroia Bizkaiko Txakolina

Like most (but not all) Txakolina wines, this is a blend of several grapes; the dominant, however (at 85%, though that varies with vintage), is Hondarribi Zuri; the rest is 10% Riesing and 5% Folle Blanche, aka Mune Mahatsa in Basque country. (We assume that this is the Hondarribi Zuri Zalla, which is the "official" Hondarribi Zuri, and not the less-common Hondarrabi Zuri Zerratia grape—yes, it can get confusing.) That is the grape known in France as "Courbu Blanc" (while Hondarrabi Zuri Zerratia is the French grape Petit Courbu, both kinds being quite rare as dominant grapes outside of the Basque country whence Txakolina wines).

Like almost all Txakolina wines, this is a low-alcohol wine, checking in at 12% (in some vintages, 12½%). It comes from the Chacolí de Bizkaiko Txakolina appellation, near the Bay of Biscay ("Bizkaiko" = "Biscay"). It is fermented in stainless steel, typically with three to four weeks on the lees.

Bodegas Berroja Berroia Bizkaiko Txakolina has moderate availability in the U.S., with several retailers including a couple of major nationals. Prices range from about $18 up to $23.

Bodegas Berroja Berroia Bizkaiko Txakolina: Tasting Impressions

Unlike most Txakolina wines, this one was still, not pétillant. It had all the the characteristics of a white Txakolina: decided crispness, decided minerality, and some citrus-fruit nose and taste (lemon-lime in quality).

If you weren't yet aware of Txakolina wines, you really should be: they are reasonably priced (formerly cheap, but now they're a fad) and deliver reliable pleasure drunk alone or wherever one wants acidic crispness that is not perhaps so unrelieved as a Muscadet usually offers.

As Txakolina wines go, this one was good—we haven't hit an unsatisfactory one yet—though not the very best we've had. We do recommend it, because it is good drinking; but given a choice (and remember, these things are subjective), we'd opt for a Zudugarai "Amats" Getariako. But, again, this Berroia Bizkaiko Txakolina is recommended.

Bodegas Berroja Berroia Bizkaiko Txakolina: Other Opinions

On CellarTracker.

On Wine Searcher's Tasting Notes page.

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