Forjas del Salnés, Rías Baixas
Impressive whites and reds from this top small estate in Spain's Galicia


Forjas del Salnés is a small winery in the Salnés subdistrict of Rias Baixas in Spain. Rodrigo Méndez (above) is the dude here: it’s his family domain, and I met with him for dinner at the fabulous Moro, with a few other good folk.


These are stunning wines, made in quite small quantities, from old vines – some epically old – in granitic soils. Rodrigo’s reds, made from the Galician varieties Caiño, Espadeiro and Loureiro, have a big reputation in Spain, but I was really blown away by the whites, including the foot-trodden skin contact Cos Pes.


Raúl Pérez consults here, and the approach is quite natural with no added yeasts or enzymes, rarely any temperature control, and a focus on older, large oak, except for the reds (which are aged in 300 litre barrels).

UK agent is Carte Blanche



Forjas del Salnés Leirana Albariño 2014 Rías-Baixas, Spain
This is a blen of 12 lots, 90% fermented in stainless steel, 10% in old oak. Very precise, lively, citrussy and pure with amazing intensity. Has a linear personality and high acidity. 93/100

Forjas del Salnés Leirana Albariño 2013 Rías-Baixas, Spain
Linear, pure and citrussy with bright grapefruit flavours. Some pithiness and keen acidity. Lovely purity. 92/100

Forjas del Salnés Leirana Albariño 2009 Rías-Baixas, Spain
Complex with some evolution. Tangerine, citrus pith, wax and fennel notes, as well as some cheesy, nutty complexity. Developing in interesting ways. 92/100

Forjas del Salnés Leirana Genoveva 2013 Rías-Baixas, Spain
This is from the Finca Genoveva vineyard, owned by a 90 year old lady called Lola. Rodrigo met her, won her over, and rescued this vineyard which had been in some danger. It has 150-200 year old vines, planted on granite soils. Lively and fresh with a really mineral character. Fresh with precise grapefruit and mineral characters. 93/100

Forjas del Salnés Leirana Genoveva 2010 Rías-Baixas, Spain
Nutty and textured with spice, fennel and pear, as well as a hint of marmalade. Lovely texture here: an amazing wine. 94/100

Forjas del Salnés Goliardo a Telleria 2012 Rías-Baixas, Spain
This is from a small ¼ hectare vineyard with 50 year old vines, fermented in old demi-muids. Lovely delicate textured wine with pear, citrus and marmalade, with subtle nuttiness. Very mineral, showing real complexity and precision. 94/100

Forjas del Salnés Goliardo 2011 Rías-Baixas, Spain
Very aromatic, pithy and powerful with spice, citrus and nut notes. There's a vivid grapefruit core. Complex, intense, distinctive and powerful. 94/100

Forjas del Salnés Leirana Barrica 2008 Rías-Baixas, Spain
This is from the oldest vineyard Rodrigo's family own, which is 110 years old. His Barrica cuvee is no longer made. Nutty, powerful and spicy with wax and citrus notes. Very distinctive with a strong limey edge. This has aged beautifully. 93/100

Forjas del Salnés Leirana Barrica 2007 Rías-Baixas, Spain
Textured with lovely lime, tangerine, marmalade and spice notes, as well as some creaminess. This is stylish, showing nice depth and brighness. 94/100

Forjas del Salnés Leirana M Luisa Lázaro 2005 Rías-Baixas, Spain
This was made with Raúl Peréz, and this is the only vintage made of this wine. Very pure, precise, mineral and taut. Finely structured with real linearity and focus. Shows real finesse. 95/100

Forjas del Salnés Cos Pés 2013 Rías-Baixas, Spain
This is made like a red wine, with two months on skins after foot treading. For the treading, smaller people and children only are used! Fine and expressive with lovely pear, citrus and spice. Textured with nice depth and a fine, detailed, grippy structure. Very expressive. 95/100

Forjas del Salnés Clos Pés 2012 Rías-Baixas, Spain
Very stylish and fresh. Pure and linear with citrus, pear and spice. Keen acidity with some stoniness. So stylish and focused with purity. 94/100

Forjas del Salnés Bastión de la Luna 2013 Rías-Baixas, Spain
Made with the indigenous red varieties Cai
ño, Loueriro Tinta, Espadeira. Fresh, fruity, sappy and grainy. A bit peppery with nice stoniness, showing white pepper, raspberries and cherries. So fresh. 93/100

Forjas del Salnés Bastión de la Luna 2006 Rías-Baixas, Spain
This is the first release of this wine. Grippy, fresh and showing attractive sweet cherry fruit, as well as some ripe berries. Fresh and vivid with an attractive grainy edge. 92/100

Forjas del Salnés Goliardo Caiño Tintos de Mar 2013 Rías-Baixas, Spain
From 180-200 year old vines, 30% whole cluster, aged in second-use barrels. Juicy, pure and peppery with bright, vivid fruit. So focused and linear, this is a supple wine with such energy. 94/100

Forjas del Salnés Genoveva Tinto 2012 Rías-Baixas, Spain
100% whole cluster, just two barrels made. Very lively, sappy, spicy, peppery raspberry fruit. Super-fresh and juicy with fine citrus, red cherry and raspberry fruit, a nice peppery edge and a hint of mint. Expressive, fine and really exciting. 96/100

Forjas del Salnés Pinot Noir 2010 Rías-Baixas, Spain
Fine and peppery with lovely cherry fruit nose. Supple, fresh cherry fruit on the palate. Supple and drinkable with lovely juicy, bright red berry fruits. Juicy super-fresh style. 93/100

Forjas del Salnés Goliardo Louriero Tinto 2012 Rías-Baixas, Spain
Juicy and bright with nice fresh red cherries and raspberries, and really high acidity. Bright, linear and focused. So distinctive. 92/100

Forjas del Salnés Goliardo Louriero Tinto 2006 Rías-Baixas, Spain
Quite serious and spicy with nice density, as well as grippy, gravelly tannins, juicy cherries and plums. 93/100

See also:

Terroir al Limit, Spain
Visiting Rioja

Wines tasted 09/15  
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