This past Saturday we decided, on a whim, to have a go at taking a Spanish train somewhere as we wanted to test out the viability of getting our pooch on board for a longer journey to say Bilboa. So off we went to the Big Smoke of Irun & we caught the TOPO train to Oiartzun only to find out that there’s nada in Oiartzun (do not worry if you cannot pronounce it, we can’t either). But a very kind woman at a bus told us we needed to go to Errenteria for any significant action and it was a simple 10 minute walk along the river. Done.
Errenteria is like many towns in the Basque country with a very sweet old part that is flanked or surrounded by huge industrial buildings & complexes. We quickly retreated to the old town which was a lovely mish-mash of narrow, crooked cobblestone laneways. And viola! We stumbled across this hole in the wall (literally) wine shop that was pleasingly stuffed with many non-standard, not seen on supermarket shelve wines. The owner was nice as and most pleasing to us was that we could pretty much understand what he said – Español improving sip by sip.
Hound #2 was smitten with the robot label wine & made a slight insistence that it was on the ‘to buy ‘ list and I recognised a tasty bottle of Mencia we’d had a few times at one of our local tabernas in Hondarribia.
The Maquinon made by Casa Rojo reminded us both a a damn decent Aussie Shiraz…with a nice mouth feel & decent weight on the palate and deep, dark voluptuous fruits – a rebuy for sure. The El Castro de Valtuille was a simple but excellent representation of the Mencia grape and most definitely a crowd pleaser and would easily pass muster for anyone’s house or party wine.