Roadside lunch, Galician style: caldo gallego, bread, and the house wine (unfortunately, not Do Ferreiro)
This was fun. One of the tables at De Maison Selections' recent San Francisco trade tasting featured the wines of Do Ferreiro, poured by winemaker Gerardo Mendez. Of particular interest was a vertical of Do Ferreiro's Cepas Vellas, their famed single vineyard bottling produced from a 200 year-old (yes, 200!), one hectare vineyard composed of sandy, broken down granite, sitting very proximate to the ocean. The 2007 was all lime and brine, intense and impressive. 2006 was a totally different animal, very saline but smoky as well - almost Islay in Galicia type smoke. 2005 was broad and ripe, but still fresh, though the 2004 was as ripe but with better acidity - the most generous, expressive, and delicious wine of the tasting.
I asked Gerardo which was the oldest vintage of cepas vellas he had recently drunk and he told me it was the 1999, which still showed very fresh and lively. I'm not surprised. And I'm not sure if better albariño is being made anywhere else in Rias Baixas. Do not look for the 2008 Do Ferreiro Cepas Vellas as it does not exist; extensive hail damage destroyed much of the fruit. However, when the 2009 is released next year, I think I might have to grab some and start my own vertical.