Single Bottle - Standard - 750ml
Last time I tasted with him, Álvaro Palacios was talking about the 2012 L'Ermita as though it was the best wine in his 24 years in Priorat. It was also the latest to be harvested and had the lowest yields ever, so the expectation about the wine was really high. The wine has been in bottle since mid-April 2014. Produced with the blend found in this north-facing amphitheater, 92% Garnacha, 7% Cariñena and the remaining 1% of white grapes. The people who harvest pick the grapes off the stems one by one and discard whatever is not perfect. The wine is all finesse and subtlety with notes of flowers, red fruit and minerals in great balance. The palate is elastic, meaning it fills all the corners and is both powerful and elegant, plus rough and delicate. Simply a great wine. All that Palacios said was true, until the 2013 vintage arrived. Only 1,670 bottles were produced in 2012, the driest vintage to date in Priorat. 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.