Martín Códax was a Galician troubadour who roamed around Spain 700 years ago, singing songs and reciting poetry. Almost nothing is known about the man, but some of his music survives and has been performed using traditional instruments. His name, and that of the wine, is pronounced more or less as mar-TEEN CO-dash.
Take a listen to his Cavalgaba noutro día and marvel in the Medieval tones, as well as hear for how far removed Galician is from Castellano or modern Spanish. Or check out Mandad'ei comigo, which features the unique sounds of the hurdy gurdy!
First up is a clear, delicate wine: the 2006 Martín Códax Albariño. $10, 13% abv. Grapefruit pith aroma, crisp and tart citrus flavor, green apple on the finish. I found this to be a delectable accompaniment to crab, though I think any shellfish would be a perfect match for this wine.
Next up is the 2006 Martín Códax Ergo Rioja Tempranillo. Both wines are from north central Spain, near Basque country. $15, 13.5% abv. 99.7% Tempranillo with .3% Graciano. In a standard 750 mL bottle, that comes out to 2.25 mL of Graciano or roughly half a teaspoon. But I'm not a winemaker, and I enjoyed this wine. Perhaps it was that tiny splash that made the difference.
It has blackberry tea flavors (sort of like a Celestial Seasonings blend), medium tannins and fully ripe plum flavors. Lingering finish that allows you to savor an extra glass after dinner. I bucked tradition and served this with ricotta-stuffed manicotti. Mixing Italian and Spanish? I know I could get burned at the stake for that, but I figured Mediterranean is Mediterranean and it wasn't that big of a stretch. It worked out quite well and a few salty olives helped with the enjoyment of the wine.