“Quite simply, one of the absolute benchmarks for fine Priorat”: 2016 Clos Erasmus

Posted on: 11/2/18 5:23 PM

Clos Erasmus

Clos i Terrases’s Clos Erasmus is an icon among the collector class. Opulent, powerful, intense and mineral, Clos Erasmus sits comfortably beside other bastions of Spanish greatness – Pingus, Vega Sicilia, and Lopez de Heredia, among a handful of others. But the sheer greatness of these wines extends far beyond Spain. Simply put, Clos Erasmus is among a small number of wines that ranks among the truly exceptional. This is true in any vintage. However, in a sleek and stylish number like 2016, this wine simply cannot be overlooked.

Quantities are always small. We will do our best to accommodate all comers.

Clos Erasmus

2016 Clos i Terrasses Clos Erasmus, Priorat 

“I sampled a number of different barrels that will contribute to the blend of the 2016 Clos Erasmus, which should be bottled around May 2018, and I couldn’t help but to report on what promises to be a fresh and balanced year. I tasted Syrah and Garnacha from two vineyards (Escales and Socarrat) from new and second use Taransaud barrels that showed very young and precise, somewhat tender, with very precise flavors and velvety texture. There might be some 2,500 bottles of the 2016…In addition, I tasted some seven different components of the 2016 Laurel that also looked to be phenomenal!” 95-99 pts. Wine Advocate

More about the Wine:

From previous offers: A mere 1.5 hours’ drive from Barcelona, it almost feels like you’ve been dropped on the moon. The Priorat landscape is desolate, with steep, rocky vineyards that shimmer with an unearthly pale sheen and rule out any hope of mechanization. Vineyard work here is a singular act of death-defying bravery. But through the shallow rocky topsoil of black slate and quartz known as llicorella, ancient vines are able to tunnel deep into the underground water table. The resulting sparse vegetation still looks decidedly scrubby and gnarly.

Nonetheless, wine has been made in the torturous-looking landscape since the 12th century, when Carthusian monks from the Monastery of Scala Dei introduced the art of viticulture to the area. The prior of Scala Dei ruled over the seven villages of the area as a feudal lord, and the area became known as the Priorat (in the Catalan dialect, Priorato en español.)

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, after phylloxera had devastated the area, a group of visionary vignerons were drawn back to the region’s potential. This “gang of five” restored tumbledown terraced vineyards, resuscitating or replanting the vines (in some cases in costers rather than terraces) and shared the same tiny winery until 1993. Those five wines, Clos Mogador, Finca Dofi, Clos Erasmus, Clos Martinet and Clos de l’Obac, re-made the Priorat region into what it is today and quickly became as jealously coveted as Grand Cru Burgundy or first-growth Bordeaux.

Daphne Glorian’s iconic Clos Erasmus is still crafted naturally from three tiny biodynamically farmed vineyards: Escales, Aubagues and Socarrats, around the tiny hilltop town of Gratallops. Fermentation occurs in a combination of oak, concrete egg and amphrorae via indigenous yeasts, then the wine is aged for 20 months in two-thirds new 228L Taransaud barrels and amphorae.

There is no better manifestation of Priorat’s majesty and no better jewel for your cellar. Please order in the quantity desired and I will do my best to make sure no hearts are broken today.

Posted in Reserve List By Ian Halbert