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Forjas del Salnes Albarino Leirana 2019


100% Albarino. The work of Rodrigo Rodri Méndez in the Salnés valley has been an exciting source of inspiration in Rías Baixas since its launch in the mid-2000s. The nephew of Do Ferreiro's Gerardo Méndez, another notable Albariño producer and a Luckysomm favorite, Rodri named his winery after the iron business that his grandfather Francisco Méndez had set up. He lovingly tended and planted many vineyards in the area with both white and red grape varieties. Resolved to produce red wines in a region almost exclusively devoted to whites, Rodri sought the help of Raúl Pérez , a key producer in NW Spain and another favorite Luckysomm producer (sensing a theme here?), who encouraged him not to leave aside the distinctive Albariños of the area. In fact, Raúl makes in Forjas del Salnés his highly original Sketch, probably the first Spanish wine to be aged underwater. Both producers share a project in Ribeira Sacra, in the subarea of Chantada, called Castro Candaz. Forjas del Salnés sources its grapes from 12Ha of vineyards in the villages of Meaño, Sanxenxo, and Barro in the Salnés valley. Some of their own and others rented to local growers. In fact, most grapes from these vineyards go into its flagship wine, Leirana, which is what we have here. Rodri makes wine in a way that harkens back to lost methods – painstaking work that eschews the tutti-frutti style that’s become the mainstream. Rather than allowing the wine to go through malolactic fermentation, Rodri lets his fruit hang longer than his neighbors in the appellation, allowing the natural weight and viscosity of the wine to balance the searing acidity that this maritime zone produces. This is a wine that is unmistakably maritime. Using almost forgotten minimal intervention techniques learned through generational viticultural knowledge, Rodri recreates the Albariño of yesteryear. This wine couldn't have a better pedigree and is a must on any dinner table.

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