The word 'Goliardo' adorns all of Forjas del Salnes' red range - it's possibly the greatest name for a bracket of wines we've come across. It comes from the Gallego dialect, the language of the Galician Autonomous Commnuity that lives in the North-West of Spain, in the isolated corner above Portugal. It's a trope, a word that describes a recurring image in Galician society; a slightly drunk, young philosopher so enamoured with his own knowledge that he can't help but lecture everyone within hearing distance whether they like it or not. Think first year philosophy majors at the University pub by 9pm on a Friday. It's a good natured jibe rather than a full throated insult (Gallego's not bad for that either...)
Apart from aptly placing these wines in Galicia, Rias Baixas to be precise, the term also sits nicely with what's in the bottle. Obscure, esoteric, fascinating for many but not for all, the Goliardo range are an attempt to preserve the rare, almost extinct red varietals that have all but disappeared as Albarino shot to global prominence. This entry level cuvée is predominately Caino, with smaller amounts of Loureiro Tinto, Espadeiro, and Souson. To be fair to Albarino, its dominance was also helped by local factors, like the fact that these varieties were much hard to grow in Rias Baixas, and much harder to turn into wine once they've been grown. They also naturally behave in a way that's been out of fashion during the same decades that Albarino rose to fame. Naturally low alcohol, pale coloured, given to Pinot-like or lighter weight they were largely forgotten as the Spain and the wider world sought out dark, deep and alcoholic wines like Shiraz and Tempranillo during the 80s and 90s.
So what's in the glass now? Pale coloured, elegant and sophisticated light red framed by sweet red cherry fruit slung along a long and pure acid line. There's more here too that speak of Rias Baixas and it's coastal position - a briny herbal undertone, like wakame sitting underneath the pure red fruit.