• Rias Baixas Golden Feat:  Rodrigo Mendez & Raul Perez Goliardo A Telleira

    Rias Baixas Golden Feat: Rodrigo Mendez & Raul Perez Goliardo A Telleira

    This summer's wine route through Spain and Portugal was all about increasing my familiarity with producers I've been enamored with for a long time. Of course, traversing three weeks through land steeped in such rich history is going to also provide some revelations. In all, there was no single introduction to a wine that made things stand still like they did one night at the must-visit Mesón A Curva restaurant in Galicia when their owner blind-poured a glass. The reveal: a joint project between Rodrigo Mendez & a guy you may have heard of named Raul Perez, their Goliardo a Telleira Rias Baixas Albariño.

    Today, I'm very happy to offer the 2017 Forjas del Salnes Goliardo a Telleira Rias Baixas Albariño for $78 per bottle. 

    Only 1,000 bottles were produced of the 2017 Goliardo a Telleira. Like production numbers may lead you to believe, this is as unique and singular a wine as I've ever had from Galicia. 
    Val do Salnes, the birthplace of Albariño, is the coolest of the five subzones of Rias Baixas. With average temperatures here of 60 degrees between April and October, one would expect these Albariños on pure granite to showcase the most heightened sense of tension and salinity. But, the most profound trait in Goliardo is centered around multi-layered textures and that ultimate elusive chase to find density without weight.

    Rodrigo and Raul approached this micro-production cuvée with an eye on deep experimentation. This particular parcel of 1973-planted Albariño vines come from an incredibly sandy section over granite. Grapes see partial skin-contact fermentation, with malolactic blocked to preserve the verve that's so indicative of these sandy soils that mirror a beach setting. A single foudre is used for fermentation and wine is moved into stainless steel for several months prior to bottling.

    The orchard fruit tones of Albariño veers heavily into the under-ripe white pear register, with meyer lemon and orange peel building a greater presence on the mid-palate. The real magic of Goliardo comes in the beautifully incisive finish that simultaneously embodies a more rounded frame of acidity that's, at once, mouth-watering in its freshness, but with driving waves of layered complexity that continue to change and linger long after swallowing.

    Galician winemakers are more focused than ever before on wines that compel with their levity instead of power. Goliardo strikes me as the one project that's found a way to instill both of these virtues with a balance that inhibits any one descriptor from standing front-and-center. If Grand Cru white Burgundy perhaps exemplifies this balancing act the very best, I'd highly suggest you get acquainted with north-west Spain's boldest feat.
    Posted by Alexander Rosen