2016 Clos Erasmus Priorat

SKU #1425288 99 points Jeb Dunnuck

 Not far off the magical 2013, the 2016 Clos Erasmus shows the purity and freshness of the vintage yet backs it up with rock star depth of fruit and richness. A huge nose of blueberries, crème de cassis, blood orange, and violets give way to a full-bodied Priorat that has flawless balance and purity, a stacked mid-palate, ripe tannins, and a finish that goes on for over a minute. This is pure, elegant, yet powerful Priorat at its finest. The 2016 is a blend of 75% Grenache and 25% Syrah that spent 18 months in 40% new oak. Give bottles 2-3 years, count yourself lucky, and enjoy over the following 15-20 years.  (4/2019)

95-99 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 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. But not all of the Syrah will make it into the blend, and there is also a 700-liter amphora I didn't taste that will also be a component of the final blend (but usually not all 700 liters of it). In addition, I tasted some seven different components of the 2016 Laurel that also looked to be phenomenal! (LG)  (4/2018)

K&L Notes

The story of Clos Erasmus, one of the founding group of "Clos" (tiny estates) to place a huge bet on the rustic and rural Priorat region 30 years ago, is one of the modern wine world's modern day legends. Proprietor Daphne Glorian picked up her things and moved her life from the French side of the Pyrenees to Priorat. While the remoteness and rugged conditions of Priorat do not necessarily make for what is the good life, it is safe to say that Daphne's bet was well placed. This single village, three vineyard (Escales, Aubagues and Socarrats) cuvee always earns scores in the high 90s. In fact, this vintage's perfect score is not its first, having earned the same 100 point scores in 2013 (in two publications), 2005, and 2004. Apart from scores, the story of Clos Erasmus and the resurgence of a once largely abandoned region in southern Catalunya is one of romance, renewal, entrepreneurial spirit, and hard work, as well as lots of delicious, intensely fruited Priorat wine, of course!


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Price: $169.99

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Varietal:

Grenache

- Fat, ripe and rich with ample fruit and vibrant acidity, wines made from Grenache are easy to love. While its origins are still under dispute - some suggest Spain, where it is called Garnacha, while others say it came first from Sardinia, where it is called Cannonau - it is inarguably one of the most planted varietals in the world. A hearty grape, Grenache does well in hot, dry regions and its sturdy stalk also makes it well-suited to withstand blustery conditions like the Provençal Mistral. It ripens at relatively high sugar levels, which translates to higher potential alcohol in the wines it produces. Grenache may be most famous in the Southern Rhône areas such as Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Gigondas where it has long been an important component of delicious blends. But it's also the source of the crisp rosés from Tavel, Lirac and Provence, and age-worthy vins doux naturels like Rivsaltes and Banyuls. Grenache is also found in large swaths of northeastern Spain, in Navarre, in Rioja, where it plays a supporting role in blends with Tempranillo, and in the distinctive wines of Priorat. The grape was once the most widely planted varietal in Australia, though Shiraz and Cabernet have overtaken it. In California, Grenache plantings have dwindled from their heyday in the San Joaquin Valley, but it is starting to see a resurgence, albeit in smaller plantings, where other Rhône varietals thrive.
Country:

Spain

- With more land under vine than any other country in the world, Spain is the great sleeping wine giant. In recent years, a great deal of money and passion has been poured in the burgeoning Spanish wine industry, helping to improve quality among its vast array of wines from sparkling Cava to Sherry to Rioja Gran Reserva. The most important red-wine-producing regions are Rioja, Ribera del Duero and Navarra in the north and Priorat and Penedes in the northeast.
Sub-Region:

Priorato