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La Faraona, Descendientes de J. Palacios 2018

Tasting Notes

The often-mysterious and ever-changing 2018 La Faraona comes from the vineyard called El Ferro, a very special plot ("I personally prune each single vine from La Faraona," Ricardo once told me. "She's mine!") of only 0.55 hectares that probably has 8% white grapes of the Godello and Jerez varieties. The vines are 72 years old on a very steep southeast-facing slope at 800 to 860 meters in altitude, and there is a tectonic fault that crosses the land and brings an unusual combination of elements and very shallow soils with the mother rock barely 30 centimeters down. The partly destemmed grapes fermented with indigenous yeasts in an oak vat, and the wine matured in foudre and barrique for 12 months. The perfume coming out of the glass was simply mind-boggling, a subtle and complex combination of flowers, herbs and spices that had taken me to different places (often the Loire) in the past, but this time it took me to the green and humid slopes of the Bierzo, the wet soils and the Atlantic smell of the ferns and moss. This is the most Atlantic of the 2018s. It has freshness and lightness but also lots of energy and light. It has great purity, a very strong sense of place, and it encapsulates the humid slopes of Corullón like no other. This is nothing short of amazing. Ricardo told me this has been the only vintage of La Faraona where the wine was harmonious all the way, starting from the grapes, which gives me an idea of a wine that is going to show and drink nicely throughout its life. It's different from the 2014, which was from a cooler year, but this is every bit as good. 1,666 bottles, 54 magnums, 10 double magnums and six jeroboams were filled the 22nd of January 2020. They've been regrafting a good percentage of the white vines to red for eight years. Drink 2020-2035.

Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate (249), June 2020

Dried lavender, currants, plums, stones, slate, cloves, anise and cracked pepper on the nose. Medium-bodied with tightly knit tannins. Sleek and mineral. Some iodine notes on the very long finish. Tightly wound. Needs time to open up. Try from 2023.

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, October 2021
Please note that these tasting notes/scores are not intended to be exhaustive and in some cases they may not be the most recently published figures. However, we always do our best to add latest scores and reviews when these come to our attention. We advise customers who wish to purchase wines based simply on critical reviews to carry out further research into the latest reports.