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Month: August 2020

Wine of the Week

Finca Genoveva with Rodri Méndez

Last Friday I visited Rodrigo Méndez and Forjas del Salnés. We started in the precious Finca Genoveva in Barro and ended with a delightful restaurant A Curva in Portonovo, all in the province of Pontevedra.

Finca Genoveva, a countryside “pazo” with a chapel seen in the back

Rodri is the nephew of another great producer, Gerardo Méndez of Do Ferreiro (that means “from the blacksmith” in gallego language), and Forjas (forges) de Salnés is named after the iron business that his grandfather had set up a long time ago.

Forjas del Salnés sources the wines from 7.5 hectares of vines in the villages of Meaño, Sanxenxo and Barro. Of these they own 4 hectares, the rest are rented from local growers. Genoveva is one of these. Aside from the more than 150 year old albariños there is equally old caíño tinto grapes that go into a single plot red wine without DO.

Rodri Méndez of Forjas del Salnés

This wine is produced from albariño vines planted in 1862 in sandy granite soil. It was fermented with whole clusters in big 2.500 liter oak foudres, and matured in them on lees for a year before bottling. Note: There is no oaky character in the wine.

Served with “vieiras”, the scallop shell associated with the pilgrims, at Mesón A Curva, Portonovo

Leirana Finca Genoveva Albariño 2018 (Forjas del Salnés)

Straw yellow. Aroma of flowers, red apples, minerals. It has concentration of flavours, but is very balanced, fine-tuned and elegant, with a super, integrated acidity and a saline finish. We have seen it more “wild” or edgy in previous vintages (such as 2015), but this is delicious.

Price: Medium

Food: White fish, seafood (oysters, clams, pulpo), rice dishes, chicken and salads

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Wine bars and restaurants and Wine of the Week

Caíño Longo at Malauva, Vigo

I am back in Vigo for the Emoción dos Viños fair to be held this weekend a bit further down the coast. A stop at Malauva is then mandatory. (Read about my last visit here.)

This time Josiño first recommended Monte Pío 2019, a very nice Salnés albariño from the bodega of the same name. It had all the typicity intact, which means aromas of apple and citrus from indigenous yeast, low sulphur, creamy after long time on lees and a clean citric aftertaste. Then a very different albariño, biodynamically grown, from Alberto Nanclares, Soverribas 2015. It had very typical aged albariño character, at least from my experience. This includes mature apples that hints to oxidation, just hints!, nuts (direction almonds/hazelnuts), and full, glyceric, dry and long in the mouth.

The first of two albariños, Josiño preparing some bread and tapas in the background

Our wine of the week is a wonderful Atlantic style red from the Ribeiro area. Cume do Avia is the producer (also mentioned here), and it’s also the name of the highest hill in the Ribeiro subregion of Avia. It is Diego, Álvaro and Fito, all relatives, who are Cume do Avia. They come from a family of vignerons, and started for themselves in 2005. They went organic from the start, with some biodynamic practises. They count on 9 hectares with 13 autochthonous grape varieties in Eira dos Mouros.

The soil consists of clay, schist and granite, east facing, with good sun exposure and ventilation. In the cellar they use indigenous yeast, no filtration, clarification with gravity and only a small amount of sulphite before bottling. The reds are made with low extraction.

Dos Canotos Caíño Longo 17 (Cume do Avia)

Light cherry red. Fresh red fruits, slightly herby. Juicy, but concentrated, with lots of integrated natural acidity, traces of iodine, salt. It’s not powerful, but very long, and so full of energy!

Price: Medium

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