Goliardo A Telleira Albariño
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Rodrigo Méndez of Forjas del Salnés (known locally as Rodri) is the 5th generation in a family that has grown and crafted quality wine for centuries. Today he is considered one of the greatest Albariño producers in the world, offering more than 15 small-batch bottlings from the micro-terroirs around the Val do Salnés, the most coastal subzone in DO Rías Baixas—an appellation that was established by his grandfather. In another homage to his family’s legacy, Rodri is also leading the revitalization of several nearly extinct local red varietals.
Thanks to his rigorous approach and deep regional knowledge, Rodri’s wines are pure expressions of the diverse Salnés terroirs. As a winemaker, he embraces historic techniques that highlight the personality of the different vineyard sites and his basic philosophies and commitment to organic and low-intervention production (native yeast fermentation, extended lees contact without batonnage, minimal sulfur) are consistent across all his wines. As a grower, Rodri has deep respect for his region’s ancient vineyard sites trained in the traditional Parral (pergola) system; he takes a hands-on approach by insisting on longer hang times and manual harvest, all while practicing organic agriculture.
WHAT MAKES THIS WINE UNIQUE?
The unique winemaking techniques and talents of lifelong viticulturalist, Rodri Mendez, make for a very interesting project. This Albarino undergoes a process ranging from free run, natural must, to skin fermentation, to foudre fermentation to resting in a stainless steel tank.
2021 94WE 'Editors' Choice'; 2018 96WA; 2017 95WA; 2016 93WA; 2015 94WA
100% Albariño. Fruit comes from a single plot of vines planted in 1973. Tended in sandy soil at 5 m (16 ft) elevation.
VINIFICATION AND AGING:
Fermented and aged in 750L used barrels. No malolactic fermentation.
LOCATION, SOIL, CLIMATE:
Rías Baixas is tucked into the green rolling hills of the northwest corner of Spain, just above Portugal, hugging the deep blue Atlantic coastline. It is a breathtaking region overall, and the sub-region of Val do Salnes, the birthplace of Albariño, is no exception. Within the five unique subzones that fall under the D.O. Rías Baixas , Val do Salnes’ prime location is the coolest and most fertile area of the D.O. on the Atlantic coast of Spain. In fact, there is more Albariño vines planted there than any of the other four sub-regions sharing its Rías Baixas name. The soil here is pure granite with top layers of rocks and alluvial soil, perfect for the fresh, Albariño expression. With average temperatures of approximately 60F (16C) between April and October, Rías Baixas is also one of the rainiest areas in Spain with median annual rain falling 63inches (1600mm). This can often cause difficulties in reaching optimum sugar levels during the last few, very vital, weeks before harvest, often resulting in vintage variation.
Light bright yellow. Mineral-accented pear, orange zest and iodine on the incisive nose, accented by a suggestion of quinine. Dry and nervy on the palate, offering vibrant, densely packed Meyer lemon and pear flavors underscored by a suave floral element. Youthfully taut and focused on the impressively long, chewy finish, which features nervy citrus fruit tones and lingering stoniness. This complex, concentrated yet lively wine reminded me a lot of a top-drawer example of Puligny-Montrachet. -- Josh Raynolds.
2015: 12.5% / 2016: 13.0%
1.3 lbs (.59 kg)