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Terroir al limit, Pedra de Guix Blanco 2015
Pedro Ximenez 33%, Macabeo 33%, Garnacha Blanca 33%
Pedra de Guix is a blend of old-vine Pedro Ximenez, Macabeo and Garnacha Blanca, all from different plots and the result is fresh, mineral and expressive, reminiscent of white Hermitage.
Natural fermentation in neutral oak barrels. Aged for 18 months, combination of 500-litre barrels and Stockinger foudre.
In 2001 a food and wine obsessed German named Dominik Huber, and winemaker Eben Sadie fell in love with Priorat. With the help of some friends they found a plot of old vine Garnacha and Carignan, and rented some cellar space to make their first vintage of Dits del Terroir.
As the project grew, and they took on more vineyard sites, Dominik dedicated more time to farming - implementing biodynamics, and other methods to reduce the stress on vines in this stark and difficult terrain. This new approach paid off, directly impacting the quality of the fruit. With better grapes coming into the cellar, they had a realisation: super-ripe grapes, combined with extractive winemaking, and aging in barriques was masking the essence of the vineyards they were working. They started to practice whole-bunch fermentation, and out went the small barrels, replaced with concrete tanks and large oak.
Dominik now bottles in the Burgundian model: wine are classified as crus, village wines (Vi de Vila), or regional wines such as the Terroir Historic red and white, where grapes are sourced from trusted growers across the Priorat. The resulting lithe and elegant, pure and expressive wines have gone from strength to strength, and fully deserve the reputation and cult-status they’ve since acquired. Eben left to dedicate more time to his projects in South Africa, but Dominik remains as the soul of the project.
Wine Advocate 95pts (2015) - The white 2015 Pedra de Guix is a blend of one-third each of Pedro Ximénez, Garnacha Blanca and Macabeo from old vines on different soils and different villages. There is always a touch of skin contact and some controlled oxidation in the whites here, as it gives them character. The whites here also have the structure to stand up to food—they are more food wines than refreshing whites, even if they are fresh. This is ripe and open but very precise, and it seems to have better delineation. The palate is dry and shows some austerity. It has beautiful flintstone notes and a salinity that give it freshness and character. For Dominik Huber, it's a wine that shows a side of Priorat that is not easy to show with reds. Each grape aged separately in 500-liter oak barrels, and the blend had a further 12 months in foudre before it was bottled.
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