RIAX BAIXAS - SPAIN
This brand new collaboration between Rías Baixas native Rodrigo Mendez and mad scientist Raúl Pérez has produced some very promising releases in its brief lifespan.
Rodrigo Mendez’s family hails from the Rías Baixas, the owners of the winery Do Ferreiro. These vineyards are located within the Val do Salnes, the coolest of Rias Baixas five sub-zones, within the village of Meano. Rodrigo’s vineyards are not typical for Galicia: they’re hidden away up in the mountains, surrounded by pine forests, where high altitude keeps them cool rather than the coastal winds common in other parts of the region. The vineyards are quite isolated, meaning Rodrigo is able to farm using organic methods as he does not have to worry about diseases or pesticides drifting in from neighbouring vineyards. He grows native Galician grape varieties and uses natural yeasts to ferment them.
Rodrigo Mendez ‘Cies’ Albarino 2013
Cies is the name of an island in Rias Baixas. 100% Albarino. Vines planted from 1954-1964. Tended in sandy and granite soil at sea level. Wild yeast fermentation. Fermented without temperature control in old wood vessels with a very small percentage in stainless steel tank. Half the wine is then oak aged for 12 months and half is aged in steel tanks. The portion aged in oak goes through ageing (elevage) in large, 225 and 60 lit barrels. The wine does not undergo malolactic fermentation.
Rodrigo Mendez ‘Salvora’ Albarino 2011
Salvora is the name of an island in Rias Baixas. The wine is produced from a single vineyard within the village of Meano, Salnes subzone, planted in 1905. Salvora is fermented and aged in big old vessels of 600 litres for 12 months before bottling. During the entire process of vinification and ageing this wine is not chilled. 100% of the yeast here is indigenous and the wine does not undergo malolactic fermentation. This is the way Albariño has always been made until the beginning to the 1980's when stainless steel technology was implemented by all wineries - something that makes this wine even more special. Only 333 cases of 6 bottles produced.