Wine of the Year #2:
Joe's Pick - 2016 Ladeiras do Xil Falcoeira A Capilla

Posted by Joe Salamone

Falcoeira A Capilla is a vineyard that was historically regarded as one of the great sites of Galicia.

I knew nothing about this the first time that I tasted the wine. Still, the 2016 Falcoeira made its greatness felt in an undeniable way.

It had power, finesse, and a layered complexity. I was reminded of Grand Cru red Burgundy by the way that it consolidated so much intensity and so many different elements into a seamlessly elegant whole. Comparisons are always problematic (and a bit silly), but that’s the easiest way to explain how much the wine impressed me.

The 2016 Ladeiras do Xil Falcoeira A Capilla was one of the most surprising and most deeply memorable bottles I tasted this year.

The top vineyards of Galicia, a region in Northeastern Spain, are obviously important. They’re rocky, incredibly steep, terraced vineyards that recall Côte-Rôtie. Falcoeira, a south-facing, precipitous site of weathered granite, is an extremely dramatic example.

It’s easy to understand why someone would spend over a decade recuperating the vineyard - restoring terraces, replanting vineyards, etc. That’s exactly what Telmo Rodriguez and Pablo Eguzkiza did at Falcoeira, releasing their first vintage in 2012.

Telmo Rodriguez and Pablo Eguzkiza met at enology school and built a reputation for scouting out great sites in Spain’s forgotten vineyards. Their work restoring the nearly extinct, but very historically significant wines of Málaga serves as a prime example of their scholarship and their courage. Their work in Galicia may be the most important project yet. In the 90s, the area remained obscure, and many vineyards were abandoned. Today, Galicia is one of the most exciting regions in Spain.

In Falcoeira, they replanted the vineyard in the old-fashioned style with head trained, field blends of native grapes (Mencia, Brencellao, Sousón, Garnacha Tintorera, and more). In the winery, the grapes ferment spontaneously and age in foudre.

The 2016 Falcoeira is monumental in its grandeur. It possesses a heartbreaking amount of purity and poise. The complexity is head-spinning; it has notes of herbs, granite, iodine, spice, and red fruits. Everything is delivered with a finely etched purity and a classy, suave texture.

It’s rare that I encounter a wine with this level of sophistication and depth. The “wow” factor of the 2016 Falcoeira is unmistakable and deserves to be recognized on the world stage.

To order, email or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone

Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits