Awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their May 2021 edition panel test of Spain's indigenous whites (see blue link below for the review).
Martin Codax, Lias Albarino DO Rias Baixas 2017 - May 2021 Decanter review
Martín Códax was founded in 1986 by a group of winemakers led by 9th generation winemaker Luciano Amodeo. Today it comprises around 2,400 tiny vineyard parcels managed by 550 families in Rías Baixas. It has become the largest producer in Galicia with 450 hectares of vineyard planted with Albariño, representing 13% of the total Rías Baixas DO – which the cooperative was instrumental in creating (in fact the statutes were signed at the winery) and are estate-grown Albariño specialists, conducting ongoing research into the variety. They named the cooperative after the medieval Galician poet and musician Martín Códax, and the winery has strong links to local art and music.
Fruit for the Lías Albariño comes from the 13 hectare Pé Redondo vineyard situated 165 metres above sea level. This is 100 metres higher than the average altitude of Salnés vineyards, which in turn allows for slower maturation and later picking, giving the grapes greater complexity of flavour. The site is sloped with shallow soil made up of mostly granitic sand, and a topsoil rich in organic matter. Under this is the “xabre”, a Galician word used to describe the decomposed granite. Vines are trained in a Vertical Shoot Position, which ensures good exposure and distribution of fruit along the wires. These techniques further contribute to a longer maturation on the vine, which results in greater complexity and elegance in the wine.
The 2017 vintage was excellent, both in terms of quality and quantity. It started with dry weather and above average temperatures in April which favoured a problem free budburst. Good weather during the summer ensured that the grapes reached optimum levels of ripeness with the right balance between aromatic intensity and acidity. The 2017 harvest was earlier than usual, starting on 24th August.
The wine was fermented in stainless-steel tanks at temperatures of 16- 18˚C. A portion of the wine then underwent malolactic fermentation before ageing for 6-8 months on lees with regular bâtonnage. The wine was then transfered and matured for a year in stainless-steel tanks before blending.
This wine is bright yellow in colour with golden highlights. On the nose, it is intense and aromatic with fruity notes of ripe apples, apricots and peach. On the palate, it is well-balanced with juicy fruit flavours, a clean acidity and a long finish with mineral notes.