Priorat is a small, dynamic and most fashionable wine region of Spain where winemaking dates back to 12th Century, when monks of the Carthusian Order established the Priorato dei Scala Dei monastery and planted vineyards there.
Fascinated by its old vines, steep slopes and brown slate soils, in 1980s a bunch of dreamers and academics came to rescue this deserted historic appellation by experimenting winemaking around the town of Gratallops and then others followed. And now, although small, Priorat is one of the most important wine regions in Spain, actually one of the two holding the top-tier DOCa classification (other is Rioja) in Spain. Their Grenache based wines are world class that can be found only in Chateauneuf-du-Pape and top-end wines of Sine Qua Non in California.
Daphne Glorian (Clos i Terrasses) was one of the four "pioneers" who transformed the Priorat into a cult wine region. Others were, if you are wondering, René Barbier (Clos Mogador), José Luis Perez (Mas Martinet) and Alvaro Palacios (Finca Dofi).
Clos i Terrasses produces one of the most prestigious wines in the region, Clos Erasmus, which received 100 points from Robert Parker at several vintages. However, their smaller wine Laurel no longer stands in the shadow of its big brother Clos Erasmus, as evidenced by its 95 point score in recent vintages by the Wine Advocate it is a big wine on its own.
Made mostly from Garnacha (Grenache) and some Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, spends 18-21 months in a combination of vessels; oak barrels, egg-shaped cement and amphorae. It is organic and biodynamic.
On the nose, you get fresh blueberry and wild berries, along with floral notes of violets and then a little minerality of graphite. Expressive and pure. In the blend, Cabernet Sauvignon brings silky cassis fruit and Syrah is as fresh as in Northern Rhone. Densely flavored fruits, cassis, plums and violets, but never fat in its floral cheerfulness and freshness, it shows a great elegance. Tannins are silky soft, think of a fine left bank Bordeaux like Margaux. Laurel has immense potential with its density and complexity that it would be unfair to call it second wine of Clos Erasmus. While Erasmus was one of the biggest wines of Spain, Laurel is a top value that we keep bringing every vintage. Don't miss it!
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