This blend of Grenache, Syrah with a touch of Cabernet Sauvignon is Clos I Terrasses’ second wine, made from the grapes from younger vines, or the occasional declassified barrel of top wine Clos Erasmus. But it is a thing of beauty unto itself, aged for 16-18 months in a combination of vessels and full of intense aromas of fresh blackberries, cherries, and spice. Dense and concentrated, but extremely energetic and with huge ageing potential.
Read about Clos i Terrasses owner Daphne Glorian's role in the emergence of Priorat as a fine wine region in our interview: Five Fall into Adventure
2020 was a challenging year that gave them a lot of work in the vineyard, but it it paid off. The 2020 Laurel feels very elegant, balanced and fresh, a little lighter perhaps, with perfectly ripe tannins, a little in line with 2016 or 2013. It might be a little unusual for the house style or perhaps a slight change, as they are gradually going for softer vinifications; you don't really need to extract in Priorat, because the wines are powerful enough on their own. It's still extremely young and has a lactic touch (that blows off with a bit of time in the glass); it was only bottled at the end of May 2022, three months before I tasted it. Even if it's the second wine here, it's a wine that needs a little bit of time and improves in the bottle. Having said that, the 2020s feel more open, expressive and approachable than the 2019s, which are more tannic and powerful while the 2020s feel a little more Burgundian if you like. This has to be one of the finest vintages of Laurel so far. After some time in the glass, the aromatics of the Syrah (which was perhaps a little more this year, some 12% versus 8% in 2019) made an appearance—violets, smoked bacon. Daphne Glorian told me that everything was easy, that the wine was expressive and open from day one and that the fermentations were smooth.
Drink Date: 2023 - 2030
Daphne Glorian is a pioneer in the Priorat 'New Wave'. Clos I Terrasses was born in 1989 when Alvaro Palacios and Rene Barbier persuaded their friend Daphne to do something crazy: spend all her savings on some old Garnacha vines, planted on 17 terraces, just outside the village of Gratallops. Priorat’s reputation as a region for fine wines was yet to be established.
The first 10 vintages were made at Barbier’s Clos Mogador until Daphne purchased an old cellar from Palacios. The wines have gone from strength to strength, regularly gaining top marks, and Priorat is firmly on the map as one of Spain's top wine regions.
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