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Forjas del Salnés, Jancis Robinson

Spanish wine specialist, ex-sommelier at El Bulli and international wine judge, Ferran Centelles recently wrote an article on Salnés producers and their wines on He says he “had a chance to visit with Rodrigo Méndez of Forjas del Salnés. Méndez, working with Raúl Pérez, was instrumental in protecting the DO’s red wines, releasing the red Finca Genoveva in 2007. With it, however, they realised that they had not only to back red wines in Rías Baixas, but also to work on the white wines, trying to make wines without so much oenological management, without bâtonnage and without temperature control. This decision led them to change the way the vineyard is worked, especially to reduce buds and lower productivity to around 3,000 kg/ha. A few of his vineyards reach 8,000 kg/ha, but this is still low – the DO authorises a maximum of 12,000 kg for Albariño and even allows extraordinary increases, such as the 13,500 kg that will be authorised for this 2023 vintage.

The natural consequence of this decision is to rebalance the concentration of malic acid, thus allowing the grapes to ripen more and avoid having to undergo malolactic conversion, as this always gave them a note of bitterness that they did not like. Even so, we are talking about wines with 8.5 or even 9 g/l of acidity, so this extra ripening in no way reduces the freshness of the wine. But perhaps the biggest changes at Forjas have been in the cellar. Méndez is obsessed, in a good way, with barrels, with 70% of his wines seeing wood. By using foudres without temperature control, the wines will rise to maximum of 26 °C – quite high for fermenting white wines, but he prefers this, as it leads to less fruity aromas but greater complexity.

This complexity is enhanced by decisions such as retaining a degree of turbidity in the musts in order to gain greater textural volume. This method brings with it a greater risk of oxidation and dirty aromas, which Forjas manages by extending the ageing of the wine for more than a year.”

Wines We Discussed in This Article