Just a mere stone’s throw from the Atlantic, lifelong viticulturist Rodrigo Mendez’s garage winery, Forjas del Salnés, produces an outstanding collection of wines born from his family’s old vines in Rías Baixas. With consultation from Spanish superstar Raúl Pérèz, this small estate has blossomed into one of Spain’s most compelling success stories. Today we’re focusing on the newest vintage of a long-time store favorite, their terrific Leirana Albariño.
2018 Leirana Albariño
Impeccably balanced and beautifully concentrated, the 2018 Leirana is precise, lively, salty and pure with impressive intensity. One of, if not the most, complete and impressive Albariños we have tasted this year…no surprise coming from this top small estate in Spain's Galicia.
More About the Wine
The success of Mr. Mendez’s Leirana isn’t necessarily difficult to comprehend. His family owns over 70 year old vines in one of the coolest sections of Galicia. The vineyard soil - mainly granitic sand over granite bedrock – explains the wine’s exquisite mineral backbone. Of course, he also gained the help of one of the most famous winemakers in the world, Raúl Pérèz. That didn’t hurt, either.
Ironically, Mr. Pérèz’s biggest move to the wine was really not doing anything at all – Leirana is minimally processed. This includes avoiding inoculation, and relying on spontaneous fermentation and insisting minimal temperature control. The only intervention is the artificial blocking of malolactic fermentation – but Leirana’s crystalline acidity sings.
It’s now an annual tradition for customers to request Leirana, and as word of mouth continues to spread on the value this wine holds we only anticipate that this will soon become a blood sport (if it isn’t already). But for a wine this good, with material this complex and well-priced, it’s only natural to expect this. Grab as much as you can.