Single Bottle - Jeroboam – 4 ½ -5 Liters
As I put my nose in the glass of the 2013 L'Ermita, my heart started beating faster. If we all thought 2012 was scarce and expensive, wait for the 2013. Made mostly of Garnacha with some 8% Cariñena and a pinch of white grapes interspersed in the vineyard, the L'Ermita fermented in oak vats with natural yeasts, and underwent malo in barrel where the wine then matured for 16 months. The grapes took a very long time to ripen and even if they were waiting for the acidity to go down, the final bottled wine (after malolactic) has an unbelievable pH of 3.26, figures that are seldom seen outside of whites without malo. The nose shows extremely elegant and balanced with citric freshness, blood orange and grapefruit peel, violets and lilies, earth and Mediterranean herbs. The bottle I tasted should have been in bottle shock, as it was bottled on 12/02/2015, exactly one week before I wrote this note. The wine explodes in your mouth, filling it with enormous brutal volume and finely threaded, sharp acidity. This is probably the best L'Ermita to date and is a legendary wine. I just couldn't get myself to spit this wine, which went down like velvet on my throat. Velvet? No, satin! Unfortunately 2013 was the latest harvest ever, the north-facing amphitheater of L'Ermita was harvested on November 5. In this nearly catastrophic vintage (yield-wise...), no more than 640 bottles were filled. Unobtainable and truly world class. There is an amazing video about the harvest of L'Ermita in 2013 worth searching for in Youtube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLMJ2NxCIXU) . I tasted with Álvaro Palacios a few days after bottling the 2013s, as I had to taste the Riojas from the family winery Palacios Remondo, so we did Rioja and Priorat at the same time. The wines might be suffering a bit from the operation, but it's clearly an exceptional vintage. While 2012 is Mediterranean, 2013 is truly Atlantic. Lively and fresh wines. 2013 L'Ermita is other worldy, without a doubt a 100-pointer. I visited the vineyard twice this year and the work they do there is unbelievable, the vines are manicured! Other than the exceptional l'Ermita, 2013 in general might be their best vintage ever. From 2015 there will be a new wine here, from a north-facing vineyard he bought in 2013, the best vineyard that had always contributed to Terrasses. The owner retired and the sons wanted to sell, so he jumped at the opportunity. So there will be a new single-vineyard wine called Aubaguetes from the village of Bellmunt. It will be mostly Garnacha with some 2% Cariñena form the usual llicorella soils. I tasted through 2013 and 2014, which will not be commercially released, and the wine is completely different, it has a peachy nose, and a different personality to the rest of mostly Gratallops wines. The price is still undecided, but it will be above Dofí.