I really love Catavino – it’s such an informative and innovative source of information on Spanish & Portuguese wines. The food of the region is key, but it’s just as vital to know about the great wines available too. This is the place to find out!
Jose Pizzaro http://www.josepizarro.com

Wine of the Week – Bodegas Castro Martin

Editors note: Starting today, we will be highlighting an Iberian wine, or winery, every Friday. It may cover a single one, a project or a winery. We’ll try, in most cases, to choose wines that are widely distributed, but this will not always be possible. Hope you enjoy.

About a year and half ago, I stumbled across a wine website that had a link to an Iberian winery blog. Clicking the link, I was taken to a page with about three posts and no comments enabled. At the time, there were approximately three other winery blogs out there, and I was excited to see another pop up. However, this “blog” didn’t allow comments. Thus, in my world, it wasn’t a blog. Long story short, earlier this month, I made contact with Andrew McCarthy through a friend, and was able to help him with a little Blogspot coding to remedy this problem. Today Castro Martin sits at the 8th place in our sidebar list of Iberian winery blogs, and I’m glad to have them there. I have loved Castro Martin’s wines for quite some time, and today, both Gabriella and I would like to recommend their great Albarino’s from the popular region of Rias Baixas.

Seriously, these are some nice wines: full of body and pure fruit, they are both complex and easy to understand. The Castro Martin Albarino is straightforward pure flesh fruit with some zesty acidity. It is a 2006, and if you noticed, we’re almost to the end of 2008; meaning that for it to have this kind of zestiness is a credit to the winemaker or the grape. I’ve been lectured by winemakers who work with Albariño that contrary to popular thought, it should be aged. In fact, I have yet to do it, but I have a standing invitation with Lusco to taste through some older vintages just to illustrate this exact point. This wine is still alive, full of vivacity, and I trust will last for another year or two.

The second wine we’re suggesting is the A2O, a wine that unfortunately is spelled with a tilde (~) over the 2; thus making brand awareness an issue since no one I know can type it. But that’s beside the point. This wine is full of stuffing and ready to go for a 5 year stay in my cellar, if we can stop ourselves from drinking it all up. Rich and layered flavors supported on a framework of acidity that is strong and yet supple. I want more, and you should too. Check this wine out!!

This family owned winery itself has a history that stretches back well before DO of Rias Baixas existed, and their website claims that they were the first to use stainless steel tanks for their wines. And current winemaker, Angela Martin is responsible for the production of award winning wines, such as the Acio de Ouro (no info) in 2000, for best Albariño. There’s even rumor that in 2001, Andrew McCarthy attended a wine tasting that appeared to have lasted a bit longer than was to be expected, eventually ending in a marriage!

I don’t need to recap the entire history and wine making, because the site (despite its silly pop-up windows and some distracting flash) provides some good information for your to peruse on your own time. Here’s a direct link to avoid the pop-up window.

Complaints? Well I have to say, I hate fake cork. If your going to opt out of the real cork, then please move to screw caps. Fake cork is annoying, ugly and at times, harder to open than the real stuff. Please just get on with it and move to a screwcap if you don’t want the cork.  Otherwise, the wines are great and well worth seeking out. Not to mention, please leave a comment on their newly “open to comments” blog, where you can see what is happening in Galicia, Spain.

Cheers,

Ryan

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  • http://www.spanishtable.wordpress.com Kevin

    Mmmm, Castro Martín. This was the first Albariño that I tried back when there just a few of them here in California. Now the choices are numerous but sadly Castro Martín is not currently among them. Glad to hear that it is just as tasty as before. Hopefully we'll see it again here some day.

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