Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Priorat, Gratallops

We have just received another great shipment from one our favorite Importers, Eric Solomon. We are going to feature a few wines from a small subregion of Priorat, Gratallops. While we have had great success with the Black Slate wines from Porrera and Vila Alta in the past this is the first time we have been able to get the Celler Cecilio Black Slate Gratallops. August Vicent is not only the proprietor Celler Cecilio, the oldest registered estate in Priorat (established in 1942), but he happens to be a neighbor of Daphne Glorian, owner and wine maker of Priorat's most famous Estate Clos Erasmus. These wines have an amazing pedgree and we cannot recommend the highly enough:

2014 Celler Cecilio Black Slate Gratallops...$16.99
August Vicent makes characterful, lush and exotically-spiced wines from his vineyards in the village and has been persuaded to sell us some for our Black Slate Gratallops. It is a blend of Garnatxa Negra, Carinyena, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon from vines ranging in age from 20 to 65+ years old. Fermented entirely with indigenous yeasts, it is aged in a combination of concrete and French oak barrels.

2014 Celler Cecilio Negre $23.99
Not Yet Rated, the 2013 was rated 95/100 by Robert Parker of The Wine Advocate
Its simple and unassuming name, Negre, somehow fails to do justice to this wine which is a blend of half Garnatxa Negre with old-vine Carinyena and younger-vine Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Harvested by hand it is fermented in stainless steel tanks by indigenous yeasts with a maceration of around 20 days before finishing in concrete tanks and large neutral oak barrels. At a very reasonable price, it captures the richness and power of the wines of Gratallops – relying solely on the quality of the fruit rather than the cleverness of the winemaker.

2014 Clos Erasmus Laurel....$51.99
I was really blown away by the aromatics of the 2014 Laurel. As soon as I put my nose in the glass I was transported to the vineyards of Gratallops, with a blast of wild herbs and flowers followed by a stream of smoked meat, juicy red currants and raspberries. It is mostly Garnacha but with some 10% each Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. This might very well be the finest Laurel to date. Simply stunning!
Rated 95/100 The Wine Advocate

2012 Clos Erasmus Priorat $199.99
The palate shows power, elegance and a special mineral savoriness akin to licking stones. There is more Garnacha in the blend (there's only 15% Syrah) which gives a Mediterranean juiciness. A new life for Erasmus, very much recognizable as Priorat, Gratallops and Erasmus, but with a more elegant haircut. Only 2,000 bottles produced.
Rated 98/100 The Wine Advocate

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