One of the most memorable aspects of my prior trip to Spain was my visit to the Talai-Berri Winery in Basque country. On a sunny autumn day, I stood on the back porch of the winery, overlooking their beautiful vineyards, and sipped Txacoli, a crisp, flavorful and slightly effervescent wine. Since then, I have been an ardent admirer of this wine, and have been very pleased to see more and more brands available locally.
While perusing the shelves at Lower Falls Wine Company, I found a wine new to me, a Spanish wine reminiscent of Txacoli, so I had to buy a bottle and try it. The 2009 Avinyó Vi D'Agulla ($15) is produced by the Esteve Nadal family of Avinyonet del Penedès. They also produce Cava, and each bottle of such has an inscription in Catalan that signifies the family philosophy: "From the must of the flower and with the rigor of a work well crafted."
This wine is made from the Petit Grain Muscat grape, and its name means "wine with a prickle." The vineyards are organically grown, though the winery does not possess an organic certification. It is produced with all free run juice, is fermented in stainless steel, undergoes secondary fermentation in the tank and has an alcohol content of only 10.5%.
Like Txacoli, this is a slightly frizzante wine, which is refreshing, crisp and clean. Its aroma combines floral notes with fresh citrus smells. On the palate, the citrus flavors were dominant, with subtler notes of green apple. It was medium-bodied with a good finish, and certainly was an excellent summer wine and paired well with some roast chicken. The main difference to me between this wine and Txacoli, was that this wine had more floral aspects to it, undoubtedly due to the Muscat grape. I definitely enjoyed the wine, though I still think I prefer Txacoli.