Although ‘Txispaz’ is not Euskara (Basque), phonetically it is pronounced ‘Chispas’ which is Spanish for ‘Sparks’. I did this to fulfill the Txakoli requirement of having a ‘TX’ and a ‘Z’ in the name! I am not one for heraldry, but I love Ska, so when I learned that the Sparks crest had green and gold checkers I figured it would fit. Getariako IS tradition – or at least as traditional as anything can be for as young of a D.O. (est. 1989) as it is. Getariako bottles are green and have rather, ummm…. ‘traditional’ labels. The thistle on the label is an indigenous plant to Pais Vasco (Basque country), and is collected and hung in door frames (?) and referred to as ‘spark’ to ward off evil. I’m not totally clear on that story but it sounds good and I think the label artist likely said “We’ll tell him this story and he’ll approve it and we can be done with this mierda!” Unfortunately for that person, I needed a label for the Rosé also.
A Rose (the flower) in Euskara is ‘Igo’. In Spanish of course, that is pronounced ‘ego’.
Yes Freud, another double entandre, which is better than another Doble Pasta and less intoxicating. So the Rosé is essentially about Ego. I mean, what kind of egocentric jerk names a wine for himself that he did not make? The only thing limited about my ‘Igo’ are the number of bottles… there’s not much. So I jacked the price way up and now only people who can pop for $16 per bottle in a retail store will be able to afford it. Everyone else will have to suffer with the regular Txispaz at $15 retail. That's how it works, right? There is plenty of ego, however, to share and in this desperate bid for attention all you have to do is send me an email. It’s pathetic, really. I need to stop my messing about and straighten right out.
The (actual) producer is the well regarded Zudugarrai and as Txakoli goes, this is our most traditional offering. I loved meeting the twenty something, know-it- all sommelier demanding ‘authentic, traditional’ Txakoli. I could see in his eyes, the psychological transposition as he assimilated centuries of Basque vinicultural tradition and pride and instantly became authenticity’s greatest champion. There was only one problem. Txakoli, as we know it and as a wine region of note, did not exist until 1989, which makes it roughly the same age as my young sommelier friend and younger than most of the first wave Ska albums I have. So I say we start new traditions and that we define authenticity for future generations and I say we do that in Getariako by supporting producers who’s vines are within sight of the ocean, who produce lively, fun wines with lots of Chimparta (bubbles) and flavors so enticing that everyone will drink the wine before it’s second birthday. That is what Getariako seems best at, that is what we know as ‘traditional’ Txakoli and that is what 2Twenty chose to represent the Getariako zone of Txakoli.
Mikael Errasti is the owner and winemaker and he noted that his grandfather made wine for the families consumption. Back then they made field blends of whatever grapes they had and the small percentage of co-fermented red gapes often yielded Rose colored wines. There is a Rosado from Txispaz in special vintages, but it’s mostly white. No one in grandfather’s generation had any notion of wine being a commercial enterprise or that some idiot Ska fan from America would co-opt his grandsons wine and try to bring a little joy to people in America. There were fewer than 25 hectares cultivated when The English Beat released Wha’ppen (1981) in the Txakoli zones.
The vineyards crest over hilltops – portions facing the ocean are trellised on an Esplanade system but on the backsides one sees Parapet training to take advantage of the wind, which mitigates the wet climate. For Txispaz, everything is done by hand, except for the part done by satellites, robots and computers. The wine remains on it’s lees until February and it clarifies in tank and is bottled to order – with plenty of Chimparta! It' best, of course, to be drunk by noon. But the wine is well balanced and well made…it's good year round and right up until I have inventory sell of the next vintage.