The Region – Rías Baixas
The Albariño wine of Martín Códax® is produced under the strict rules of the Rías Baixas D.O. (denomination of origin, or appellation). Translated from Gallego, the native language of Galicia, Rías Baixas means “the lower fjords”, referring to the deep fingers of water there that reach inland from the sea.
Albariño wine is sometimes called “The Wine of the Sea” because of the impact that the Atlantic Ocean has on the weather over the vineyards, and because the wine goes so well with seafood from the local villages. The moderate climate and well-drained soils provide perfect growing conditions for Albariño – ample water, ample sunshine in the summer, and mineral-rich soils of eroded granite sand, chalk, and clay.
The area is lush and green, unlike the common idea of Spain. It is cool, not hot, with many rivers running through hillside and valley vineyards. The landscape is so rocky that even the posts of the pergolas that hold the canopy of vines overhead in old farmstead vineyards are made of granite.
Winter storms on the Spanish shore of the Atlantic bring moderate temperatures and rain from the southwest, a result of the circulation of tropical air from the equator. The ocean regulates the temperature over the land, with little difference between day and night. High pressure fronts from the Azores settle over the region in summer, giving a long, friendly growing season to the vineyards, with the driest weather perfectly timed for late ripening and a September harvest.
Rías Baixas is divided into five sub-regions: Val do Salnes, Ribera del Ulla, Soutomayor, Condadodo Tea and O Rosal, the largest of which is Val do Salnes, home to Martín Códax wines.
The Grape – Albariño
Albariño, long the best-kept secret of Spanish winemaking, is making its mark in the world. It is aromatic, complex but immediately pleasing, dry, but full-bodied: peach, melon, grapefruit and lemon zest flavors decorating a frame of refreshing minerality.
One story says the grape was brought to the region from Germany by Benedictine monks in the Middle Ages and is descended from Riesling. Another story says the grape is native to the seaside hills of Galicia. This is a grape so special and so important in Spain that the grape itself is subject to regulation, not just the wine. Inspectors examine every load of grapes arriving at the winery to certify that they were grown in vineyards that meet the exacting standards set for Albariño in Galicia.
Albariño is made to be enjoyed when it is young, and the flavors float on a slight tingle that touches the tongue on the first sip. “Refreshing” is a word often associated with this style. To preserve the delicate qualities and subtle sequences of flavors that the wine so generously offers, winemakers restrict their fermentations and storage to stainless steel.
This is the style of Martín Códax Albariño. One hundred percent Albariño. One hundred percent estate grown. One hundred percent stainless steel.
Delicious and highly recommended, this clean, crisp wine with its floral hints and pleasing balance of acidity is just one example of why the consumer should turn to Spain for excellent wines at exceptional value at $15.00, SRP. Lovely paired with shellfish, veal, poultry in light sauces and cold roast beef. Great with goat cheese.
Martin Codax Albarino 2010 = $15.00
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Spanish Table Wines, ©2011 Martín Códax USA, Hayward, CA. All rights reserved.
Martin Codax® 2010 Rías Baixas Albariño
Region: Rías Biaxas, D.O.
In the local Gallego language of Galicia in Northwest Spain, the name Rías Baixas means “the lower fjords, referring to the narrow fingers of deep water that stretch far inland. The white Albariño grape thrives in this region of rains and mists. Locally, Albariño is called “the wine of the sea” (and is, unsurprisingly, a perfect match for seafood).
Produced under the stringent rules of the Rías Baixas Denominación de Origen (DO), Martín Códax Albariño is thoroughly food friendly, and designed to be consumed young. This is an aromatic wine, elegant, dry and crisp on the finish. The key aromatic and flavor notes are pear, passion fruit and apple. Acidity is bright and integrates well with aromatic elements into a balanced whole.
Albariño stands on its own as an aperitif but reaches its glory stage when matched with food. This is not only because of the firm acidity, but also because of the wine’s mouth-engaging fullness. Seafood, poultry, light salads, and lightly-sauced pastas are only a few of the many possibilities.
The summer of 2010 was on the hot side with little precipitation. Following an excellent flowering season, we saw correspondingly high yields and good ripening among the grapes, all the while maintaining desirable levels of acidity (and lower levels of malic acid). These conditions were ideal for the production of a well-structured, well-balanced Albariño with floral and stone-fruit notes.
Winemaker: Katia Alvarez
For this 100% Albariño wine, grapes were hand-picked in mid-September 2010. Grapes were de-stemmed but not crushed, which allowed whole berry membrane pressing to preserve varietal character. After juice settling, fermentation occurred in stainless steel at 18º Celsius for three weeks. Approximately 15% of the blend was allowed to undergo malolactic fermentation, leading to enhanced flavor complexity while preserving the acidity. Following fermentation, the wine underwent light sur lie aging for four months, with no oak contact.
Varietal Content: 100% Albariño
Varietal Origin: Rías Baixas
Titratable Acidity: 0.65g/100ml
Alcohol Level: 12.82%
Residual Sugar: 0.25g/100ml
A refreshing food friendly white wine, crisp, elegant and dry, showing aromas and flavors of pear, passion fruit and apple with bright acidity.