|Red, Table, Dry
|Certified Organic, Biodynamic
|2023 – 2045
|Fruit, Earth & Oak Aromas & Flavors
|Pleasing Fruit and/ or earth aromas and taste
|The varietal character of the grape really gets your attention
|Stops you in your tracks
|On the nose and palate, multiple sensory elements across the fruit, earth & oak spectrum
|More elements are in play, at more sensory-stimulating levels; a sense of place
|Each time you smell, each time you taste, you sense new, deeper elements
|Harmonious; not dominated by one element, like jammy fruit or oak
|The harmony holds as intensity builds
|A full chorus or orchestra , all in tune
|Some duration, a pleasant reminder
|Duration up to 20 seconds
|Duration exceeds 20 seconds
A panoply of dark fruit aromas draw you deeply into the glass, with sweet bacon and orange peel deep on the nose. It’s easy to get lost in contemplation, as if the vines of this wine’s deep-driving roots are pulling you into the soul of Priorat. Take a sip, and the wine leaps onto your palate – muscular yet poised like Baryshnikov taking the stage at the Met, commanding, then remarkably covering every corner of the palate with deep layers of flavor before trailing off to a very long – and always perfectly poised – multilayered finish. The wine, though beautiful now, developed depth over the course of the tasting, suggesting it will benefit from a few years of aging – if you can wait.
This is Grenache, with a “strong backbone” as it can only come from Priorat and its black schist “licorella” soils. Vineyard sources for Clos Erasmus are Escales, Aubages and Socarrats, each with its own soils and microclimate and contributing its own distinctive characteristics to the wine. Daphne Glorian is the winemaker, and such is her familiarity with her vineyards that she knows “give or take 5%” which grapes will go into the wine. Ester Nin manages viticulture. Grapes are hand harvested, with fermentation in a combination of oak vats, concrete egg and clay amphorae. Aging is 20 months in 228L French oak barrels (2/3 new) and clay amphorae.
Daphne Glorian, the proprietor, was among the first wave of winemakers to come to Priorat in the 1980s with the vision of revitalizing the then-defunct wine region. New World wines were the rage, and winemakers here found fame with bold extracted wines and often the use of international varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon. Daphne has maintained her focus on Grenache, believing that it is the grape that finds its best and fullest expression in Priorat. As the style pendulum has swung from New World extraction to more contemporary balance, Daphne said she has shortened maceration times slightly over the years to enhance freshness. In the case of the 2020 Erasmus, she also blended a small lot that normally goes to the Laurel bottling, adding freshness as well as the note of orange blossom that marks this vintage. Three thousand and two hundred bottles were produced, 40% of them allocated to the U.S. This wine is, in every way, worth seeking out.
Priorat is one of only two wine regions in Spain to qualify as DOCa (DOQ in Catalan), the highest qualification level accorded by Spanish wine regulation, along with Rioja DOCa. Though only an hour’s drive from the Mediterranean coast, Priorat is mountainous and remote, with a rich wine history beginning with the founding of the Carthusian Monastery of Scala Dei in 1194.