Clos I Terrasses, Laurel, 2018
Clos I Terrasses, Laurel, 2018
- Red Still
- Grenache, Syrah
The Laurel - the second, younger vine wine from Clos I Terrasses - is a fabulous wine in its own right. The warm soils of Gratallops and a blend of mostly Grenache and a little Syrah (with decreasing amounts of Cabernet) means we’ve previously called it “a Latin-tinged Chateauneuf-du-Pape.”
Vintage report from Daphne:
The 2018 vintage started off very well, with frequent rains from January thru May, with even a snowy episode in March. The view of the Montsant dusted with snow that morning was gorgeous, if inexpected.
The perfect conditions at the time of fruit set produced a riot of grapes, which were sustained thru the summer thanks to a few showers, just when we needed them, in spite of the temperatures climbing up steadily. Even though August turned out to be very hot, as often in the Priorat the breezes blowing from the Mediterranean kept the plants cool enough for them to keep maturing the grapes steadily. By the end of summer, it was clear that we had an amazing harvest ahead of us, with the grapes being not only perfect but plentiful. This was the first time ever we reached 21 hectolitres per hectare.
As a result the wines are fresh, vibrant, with a perfect armature of crisp fruit and acidity as well as a bright color. Both have an ethereal character making this vintage very special. Laurel is an explosion of flowers and red fruit, slightly on the tart side, yet fleshy, raspberries, bing cherries, white peach, orange and thyme blossoms. Clos Erasmus develops slowly in the glass, revealing first the graphite aromas which have travelled all the way from its roots, followed by blackberries, cranberries, licorice all wrapped up in soft tannins. An intriguing, juicy, teasing wine which engages your palate entirely.
Laurel 2018: Blend: 70% Garnatxa, 15% Syrah, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon.
From the younger vines, as well as the occasional declassified barrel of Clos Erasmus and the few grapes of Cabernet Sauvignon still on the estate. Destemmed, hand sorted and slightly crushed, it is vinified in wooden and concrete vats and macerated for 4 weeks. It aged in wooden and concrete vats, second and third year 228L barrels and amphorae. The many different containers add a specific touch each by letting the parcels develop their own character.
What the critics say:
"The second wine here and one that is easier to drink, the 2018 Laurel was produced with fruit from the younger vines, a couple of barrels that are declassified from Clos Erasmus and the Cabernet Sauvignon, more or less 70% Garnacha and 15% each Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. It has good ripeness and still a pH of 3.3. It fermented mostly in oak vats and 2,000-liter concrete vats with indigenous yeasts and matured for 18 months in 20,000-liter oak and concrete vats, second use barriques and some clay amphorae. It's a bright translucent ruby color and has a perfumed and delicate nose with notes of orange peel and flowers; this is the most elegant and ethereal vintage of Laurel as far as I can remember, with red rather than black fruit and a kind of cranberry quality. The palate is medium-bodied, textured and fluid, with subtleness, balance and very fine tannins. The oak is perfectly integrated, and the wine is easy to drink, approachable and very pleasurable right now. It's a fresh vintage with energy and finesse, quite different from previous vintages. I love it. 22,825 bottles and 515 magnums produced. It was bottled in May 2020."