18 March 2009

Martín Códax Wines

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.


Samantha Dugan said...

Hey, that is two in a row, I love the Codax. (white don't know the red)Such a lovely little floral wine and again I agree with the pairing suggestion, seafood is the way to go.

fredric koeppel said...

why not serve manicotti with a rioja wine? the world is too intimately global to do otherwise.

Benito said...

Fredric & Samantha,

The food friendly nature of these bottles tickles my Southern accent: "These here are yer eatin' wines."

I don't know why the Spanish/Italian pairing bugged me, it certainly tasted great. Somehow I felt slightly guilty, as if I should close the curtains first. But for someone that's made haggis tamales and paired them with Pinot Noir, it's a wonder I have any shame left.

fredric koeppel said...

you of all people should have no shame.

Samantha Dugan said...

Mix it up Benito, and do it with the curtains OPEN, it's liberating.

Rebeca said...

Martín Códax Albariño is a refreshing food-friendly wine, showing a pale yellow color with touches of bright gold. Albariño is an aromatic and complex wine that is rich, elegant, dry and crisp. It is full-bodied, with aromas and flavors.

Guglielmo Rocchiccioli said...

I would like to propose the tasting notes of an Albariñon coming from Uruguay.


VISUAL ANALYSIS: according to the degree of limpidity, this wine can be defined limpid; the shade is intense straw yellow and there is a medium body.

OLFACTORY ANALYSIS: the succession of smells is offering a very confident range of fleeting scents as a hazelnut, almonds, herbs, yellow flowers, lemon peel and green apple.

GUSTATIVE ANALYSIS: we can identify a pretentious structure which is spreading all over the palate; the salivation is playing a main role in the mouth and the final is slightly bitterish. The gustative aromatic persistence is of 5 seconds.


* The sweet tendency of the fish and is counterbalancing the bitterish final of the wine
* The fatness of the salmon is counterweighing the salivation of the wine
* The structure of the recipe is matching to the structure of the wine
* The gustative persistence of the dish is pairing with the aromatic persistence of the wine

MY PERSONAL OPINION: there doesn’t seem to be anything new, or better a nice white wine for one of the most common fish.