Campsa Guide 2006

April 20th, 2006

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Another wine guide, another accolade……

If I´m honest I have to admit that our Casal Caeiro Vendimia Seleccionada Barrica is a wine that I often forget to promote – I put this down to the fact that I have never been a great aficionado of oak, and more especially in white wines. I´m an unoaked Chablis man…….

Having said that, when I taste it, I am always pleasantly surprised by our Barrica. Angela and I have worked very hard to produce a wine that is well balanced – the natural fruit of the Albariño being complimented by a hint of oak, and ensuring that the subtlety of this delicate grape is not overpowered.

In addition, we have also invested in some top quality oak to further enhance and refine the finished product. After visiting Bordeaux for a comparative tasting with the renowned barrel producers Seguin Moreau, we finally selected their fine grain Allier oak, with a medium toast.

Our Barrica wine is fermented in stainless steel tanks, and only then is aged for an average of 5-6 months in 225 litre barrels (one third of the barrels are replaced each year). During the ageing period we taste regularly to chose the optimum moment to finally bottle the wine.

This year our efforts have been recognised by the Guia Campsa 2006, with our 2003 Barrica being awarded 90 points – don´t just take their word for it – you should buy some and have a taste for yourself!

Along side this in Campsa comes our (unoaked) Castro Martin 2004 which also emerges with 90 points. This does not mean to say that our two other wines are in any way inferior, it is simply that they were not reviewed in this year´s guide.

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Bud break – 27th March

First leaves appear – 10th April

With pruning out of the way the vines are starting to show first signs of life, and it won’t be too long before the rather barren, sad looking vineyards are transformed into the lush green colours of summer. Indeed, progress at the start of the growing cycle is quite dramatic, and within two weeks the first small leaves are beginning to appear.

Weather in Galicia continues to be quite changeable, with much needed rain continuing to fall on almost a daily basis (much more typical of the region than the last two years). The danger of spring frost has all but passed, so the next key moment in the cycle will be flowering – as always we will be keeping our fingers crossed.
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Avian’s striking new presentation

After months of deliberation, our new Avian label finally makes it’s debut on both the Belgium and Spanish markets. As with it’s predecessor, we have made a concious decision to continue the theme of original, eye catching design – a brand that stands out from the crowd, not only in style, but also in quality.

This quality claim is supported by the continued success of Avian in Spain’s Guia Gourmets 2006. You may recall that it was in the top ten of the best young white wines of Spain, and also third overall in value for money.

So keep your sunglasses handy – you might just need them!
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Pergolas make pruning a back breaking chore

I mentioned in my previous post that pruning has just finished for the year – as you can tell from the picture this comes as welcome news to those working the long hours at full stretch. The only upside of this “labour of love” is that most of the work this winter was conducted under blue skies, albeit a little chilly. The nights of light frost that we experienced in January and February were not only good for keeping the sap down, but also for killing off unfriendly bugs in the vineyard.

So far, March in Galcia has been quite wet, which after two dry winters has come as some relief, and should help to restore the depleted water table a little.

Finally, the new Avian label has arrived and we will be busy preparing the first order for our distributor in Madrid during the next day or so. Photos of the finished bottle to follow……

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Angela at Alimentaria
More progress in 2006…….

In the weeks leading up to Alimentaria we were successful in adding Germany to our list of exporting countries (not an easy market to penetrate owing to their own white wine production). We also strengthened our position in the U.S., by adding to our importer network across the Altlantic.

Alimentaria in Barcelona, was a typically exhausting wine fair week – long days on the feet, and too many late nights – artificial sleeping potions were not required! Our efforts were well rewarded however, with interest being shown from not only some interesting European markets, but also from one or two much further afield. Not wishing to count the proverbial chickens, we will post more information about these new contacts as and when the first wine has been shipped!

Back at base in Galicia, pruning work in the vineyards is almost complete, and Spring officially starts today. Happily it is also the time of year to start stocking up with Albariño, and we have been quite busy preparing orders for our customers. May this serve as a reminder – If you haven’t placed your new orders yet, then now is the time!

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February has continued where January left off with yet more accolades in the International Press.

In the Annual Vancouver Wine Awards Bodega Castro Martin was a winner in the category of medium white wines, and therefore qualifies as one of British Columbia’s top 100 wines. Described as “wild, leesy, highly aromatic and insanely delicious with seafood” (I think this is the first time I have heard our wine described as “wild” – but so long as we keep winning, who cares?!…..

Meanwhile, on the other side of the planet the Australian Financial Review quite liked our Castro Martin too…. Really deep and fragrant; ripe, grilled peach smelling, with lovely fragrant lychee floral smells. Quite rich and viscous on the tongue with ripe stone fruit, but tingly with mouth-watering acidity. Good length and floral mouth aromas too. Quite delicious.

March brings us another exhausting week at Alimentaria…. see our next report for the full lowdown (and photos)

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Jan 2006 Press

February 17th, 2006

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We have been pretty successful in Spanish wine guides over the last few years, slowly but surely gaining ground in the ratings. In this years Guia Gourmets our wines were placed third and seventh in the category of best young white wines of Spain (Not just Galicia or Rias Baixas).

Our flagship wine Castro Martin was third in this classification and Avian was seventh, but in the category of value for money they were second and third respectively – again for the whole of Spain.

“In this year´s guide we highlight the high marks obtained by all the CastroMartin wines, and emphasise their terrific value for money”……… Guia Gourmets 2006

Meanwhile over in Denmark, the January 2006 edition of top food and wine magazine ‘Smag and Behag’ rated two of our wines first and second in their tasting of Albariños. The wines in question this time – Castro Martin and Casal Caeiro. No doubt the comments were good, but to be frank we didn’t understand a word! (Our Danish importer is however, working on the translation).

‘The Province’ newspaper in British Columbia, Canada also enjoyed our Castro Martin, commenting “Supple and sensual with gobs of tropical guava and apricot pit, it´s a winner that will turn you back onto wine´s lighter shades”.

We have more press to add from Australia, but will leave this for our February press posting……

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Opening times: Alimentaria will be open to professionals from 10 a.m. to 7p.m. between 6 and 9 March, and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on 10 March.

Please note the location of our stand:

INTERVIN Gran Via – Pavilion 2 (Level 0) – Aisle D – Stand 385

(We are on the stand of our Catalan distributor ESCOLA which can be found on the central aisle)

We will be present for the duration of the fair, but if you want to fix a firm appointment then just call or e-mail us at the bodega.

Looking forward to seeing you in Barcelona!

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Winter in the vineyards

Here at Castro Martin we pride ourselves on providing our customers with as much up-to-date information as possible. However, it is not feasable to update our website every day, or even every week, so we have now created our own Blogsite by way of a weekly supplement to help keep you informed.

Over the coming weeks we will be posting details of our stand at Alimentaria in Barcelona (Spain’s biggest food & wine fair) So, if it´s not too late, add the dates to your diary now: 6-10 March 2006

We will also be adding details of our latest press cuttings, including how one of our wines has been rated as the third best white wine in Spain!

One other important change next month, will be the complete overhaul of our Avian brand, with a striking new presentation – the new label will be previewed on this site very soon.

So, as they say……… Watch this space!

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