Ladeiras do Xil Falcoeira a Capilla 2018
Falcoeira is an intense and profound wine, like the place it comes from, which makes it one of the most exciting wines in the world. Viticulture is organic, and the grapes are hand-harvested. Wines are made with low intervention and minimal sulfur at bottling.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The vineyards of Ladeiras do Xil lie in the eastern part of this region near the village of Santa Cruz and monastery of Las Ermitas. This valley is among the most important and exciting areas for the potential of world-class viticulture in all of Galicia, as it lies in the southern part of Valdeorras, on the border of the Bibei subzone of Ribeira Sacra. This region is exceptionally rural and biologically diverse, where ancient vineyards developed by monasteries exist in harmony with dense forest and animal life. As a rule, Ladeiras do Xil uses only indigenous grape varieties which are bush trained and follow the natural contours of the land, mindful of the history of the vineyards and ecology of the surrounding area. Vineyards have existed in this valley since the Roman era, being further refined and perfected by members of the Cistercian monasteries, for which the area is famous. The soils here are shallow, acidic, and coarse-textured due to varying proportions of decomposed granite with naturally low fertility.
The pioneering duo of Pablo Eguzkiza and Telmo Rodríguez started working here in 2002. Recognizing the potential to make world-class wines in this incredibly important valley, they began a project that would take more than a decade to come to fruition. The philosophy of their company has always been vineyard first, winery second. The most important piece of the puzzle is the vineyard, and we are now just beginning to see the unfolding of the grandeur of their vision. They have been quietly conducting heroic work in the face of incredible obstacles, as the climate in Galicia is unforgiving.
Since 2014, the project has been led by the young vigneron Jorge Saa. He and his team have been quietly working, restoring the centuries-old terraces and replanting indigenous varieties as they were in the past: a diverse field blend, near the ancient village of Santa Cruz. Co-planting is essential in this region, and they are cultivating a number of varieties including Merenzao, Sousón, Mencía, Godello, Treixadura, Godello Tinto, Brancellao, Doña Blanca, Garnacha, and Palomino.
With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended red wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged resulting in a wide variety of red wine styles. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a red wine blend variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.
How to Serve Red Wine
A common piece of advice is to serve red wine at “room temperature,” but this suggestion is imprecise. After all, room temperature in January is likely to be quite different than in August, even considering the possible effect of central heating and air conditioning systems. The proper temperature to aim for is 55° F to 60° F for lighter-bodied reds and 60° F to 65° F for fuller-bodied wines.
How Long Does Red Wine Last?
Once opened and re-corked, a bottle stored in a cool, dark environment (like your fridge) will stay fresh and nicely drinkable for a day or two. There are products available that can extend that period by a couple of days. As for unopened bottles, optimal storage means keeping them on their sides in a moderately humid environment at about 57° F. Red wines stored in this manner will stay good – and possibly improve – for anywhere from one year to multiple decades. Assessing how long to hold on to a bottle is a complicated science. If you are planning long-term storage of your reds, seek the advice of a wine professional.