A few weeks ago, I was given the chance to get to know the wines from Oxer Winery from Spain. A range of the Marko line to be more specific. These wines and also the winery itself was completely unknown to me, so the outcome and the taste would be very surprising to me. My already present interest for naturally made wines was nurished, because each of the wines were produced in the most natural way possible. Even though these the wines were not clarified or filtered in any way, they did came across as very clear and bright, especially in their colour. Before I take you onboard in its endless palate, I want to present the line up of the tasted wines.
- Marko 2019
- Marko Gure Arbasoak 2019
- Marko Loretxoa 2019
The sequence goes from basic to more developed and complex.
The winery itself is situated within the region of Rioja, while this specific line finds its origin in the Basque region. This of course has it influence regarding the taste of the wines.
Marko 2019 is their basic white, consisting the varieties of Petit Courbu, Gros Courbu and Gros Manseng. This blend will be used as a base for the following two as well. The typical characteristics for natural made wines are very present, and for me these are aromas of pickled citrus fruit. Talking about the Marko 2019 we find pickled lemon, along with green apple, lime, lemon zest and the inside of lemon peel. Despite al of these aromas of lemon and other citrus, the acitidy was average. Notes of sour cream does display that their was not only a malolactic fermentation, but also an aging on the lees. This lees is died off yeast that sink to the bottom of the tank after fermentation and give the wine a more rounder and creamier texture, so the mouthfeel we result to be a bit softer and more complex. The wine will go perfect with more rich fish like turbot or swordfish with a creamy lemon sauce.
The second wine, Marko Gure Arbasoak 2019 is in fact an extenstion of the first one. The same blend of varieties, aged a little bit longer on the lees, and completed with an short aging on oak. The infuence of the oak is very subtle both in the nose as on the palate, resulting in a great balance. Next to the oaky aromas, a bit more aromas of tropical fruit comes to mind, like pickled lime and orange, along with melon, yellow apple, Asian pear and a touch of salt that shows us that the coastal line is not afar. The creaminess is still present, but not as dominant as in the first wine and creates a more balanced whole with the rest of the aromas. Because of that the match with rich fish remaines, but is complemented with dishes containing dried mackerel, herring or hot smoked salmon. Different than the alumium cap we all know and love on the bottle, the winemaker decided to seal the bottleneck with the wax of candles. It is not only innovating and more ecologically, but we see it happen in a lot of regions and with a lot of wineries, even in classical regions like Burgundy. You only have to careful not to drop any wax in the wine.
The last one of the line was most fun and remarkeble to me because the aging was done in old sherry barrels! This alone gives you an entirely different range of flavours. The word Loretxoa is actually a Basque word meaning little flower and 'Little Flower' is a song written by a Basque singer called Benito Lertxundi and the writing on the label is a poem written by a Swiss poet Hermann Hesse. Once again wine reunites different cultural wines. Coming back to the wine, next to the again present notes of pickled citrus, we also find so much aging aromas like bruised apple, dried pear and of course sherry. Apart from that it has a lot of salty aromas and aromas of burned almonds and peanut. Even though the age of this wine is still pretty young, it has so much aging characteristics. Despite of the references to the Basque region, the wine and the grapes do come from the Rioja, where the warm climate helps to increase the number of aging aromas. Because of this we find beautiful food pairings with pickled and cured fish, along with roasted nuts as a side dish.
However I did not take my one advice and I had all three of them with some hard and soft cheeses, but as well pork wrapped in puff pastry. Heavenly combo! The aging of both the wine and the cheese make it a match made in heaven.
Every single one of these wine are fermented with natural yeast and have so much complexity. I just love it when wines catch me be surprise like this! With great pleasure I add this winery to my bucket list of visiting wineries and regions, where I would love to taste their whole range!
Are you just as curious as I am? Take a look on www.oxerwines.com
When you know an interesting winery or wine for me to write a article about, send me a direct message through this site and maybe your favourite wine will be included in one of the next blogs!
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Tue, 08 February