Bodegas Forgas del Salnés – Rodrigo Mendéz
Rodrigo Mendéz (Rodri, as his friends call him) represents the revolution of Galicia as a source of sensational and unique wines, and since he started making wines in the mid 2000s he is a source of inspiration to many other wine growers in the region. Since he desired to produce also red wines in a region mostly famous for its Albariño variety, he contacted Raul Perez for his advise and the result is that they’re not only best friends, but also initiated some joint projects (Raul and Rodri produce together the original and famous wine named Sketch, which production they share between them). Rodri’s vineyards at their most are hidden away in the mountain surrounded by forrests thus isolated, allowing Rodri to farm them organically without the effect of non-existent neighboring vineyards.
Forgas del Salnés source its grapes from 7.5ha of vineyards, some are their own and few are rented, as the highly original Finca Genoveva vineyard which is planted with 200 years old vines and is the source of two of Rodri’s top wines: Finca Genoveva white Albariño and a red Caiño. Visiting this amazing vineyard is an inspiring experience, not found anywhere else in the world. The vines are trained in a way their canopy and fruit hang over 2 meters high above ground, allowing the breeze from the Atlantic Ocean to freely flow under and around the vines and fruit preventing them from rotting. The same practice is applied to other Rodri’s vineyards, some of them lie very close to the Ocean thus covered with clouds from the sea during the morning hours.
All vineyards are treated separately to maintain their authentic characters and terroir, some in stainless steel but most in used foundres and oak barrels. The style of the red is very Burgundian in character, but the fame of this extraordinary Bodega comes from its white Albariño vines, which are unique in their amazing freshness and depth of flavors. Besides the famed Finca Genoveva Albariño, Rodri produced (twice so far, in 2005 & 2013) a special version of Leirana named after Rodri’s grandmother Leirana María Luisa Lázaro which is aged in the cellars for 5-6 years before release. Some of the wines are produced without the appellation seal (as the rare Pinot Noir, considered one of the the best PN produced in Spain), as well as white Caiño planted in high density (Tras de Canda), El Barredo Pinot Noir made in Bierzo together with Raul Perez and few other single vineyard tiny production cuvees as O Raio do Vella from a 100% Albariño and other a blend od Caiño and Espadeiro grapes, 300 and 500 bottles per year each.
Total production is about 45,000 bottles, 75-80% of them white.