Notes from Kermit Lynch:
"In 1994, Marianne and Joseph Hillau founded Domaine Etxegaraya (pronounced “Etch-uh-guh-RYE-uh”). The domaine sits protected in a shaded valley, below the town of Irouléguy, with a view of Spain from their classic, whitewashed home. With quiet intensity and characteristic Basque courage, Marianne and her daughter now manage their seven hectares of vineyards on their own. The vineyard land of Irouléguy is known for its reddish-brown sandstone, richly streaked with mica, silica, iron oxide, and dolomite. These minerals infuse balanced freshness into the hearty, earthy structure of Irouléguy’s traditional grape varietals. Marianne lends a certain tenderness to these complex wines which makes them more accessible than is typical for the region. T Make sure to try their single-vineyard Irouléguy “Cuvée Lehengoa.” Lehengoa means “yesteryear” in Basque—à propos given that the grapes hail from 150-year-old vines, said to be among the oldest left in France."