A while back, the ever bashful "slightly buzzed floozy" (her words, not mine) Melissa M. posted a request in a well know wine forum for driving directions here in Stumptown. The winner would get a free bottle of her favorite summer wine. Turned out to be my lucky day, because she wanted to get from essentially where I work to the rough location of my favorite local bakery St. Honore. How easy is that? I posted my directions and, viola, I'm a winner.
I wish life were always so simple.
The prize was a bottle of 2007 Ameztoi Getariako Txakolina Rubentis, perhaps the most pink rose I've ever seen. The color was a shade lighter than watermelon candy (think Jolly Ranchers), with no shades of red, orange or salmon. Just bright, brilliant pink unlike any rose I've seen before.
The aroma showed salted watermelon with floral notes and a bracing citrus quality. In the mouth, it had strong mineral and citrus flavors, then light cherry candy notes and a surprisingly (relatively) soft texture for such an austere, even nervous wine. I could gulp this down all by myself, and at only 11% alcohol I might have done just that had my neighbor not shared it with me.
The only possible issue with this delicious, unique rose is that it's not necessarily a crowd pleaser, unless you're hosting a gaggle of wine geeks. This is more akin to vinho verde than more common French rose. I think its severity might turn off the less choosy wine drinker.
According to Julian Jeff's old Faber book "The Wines of Spain," this producer is a family run bodega in the Basque area of Spain, on the northern Atlantic coast. The importer, Demaison Selections, suggests it's a blend of hondarribi beltza and hondarribi zuri, grapes I've never heard of much less tried. If you're adventurous and can manage to track of this down, definitely go for it. Thanks Melissa. I owe you. Maybe a croissant at St. Honore?