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Terroir al limit, Terroir Historic Blanco 2018
Macabeo, Grenache Blanc:
Natural yeasts in concrete tank. Aged for 6 months in concrete tanks.
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 theyvve 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 91+pts(2016) - The 2016 Terroir Historic Blanc is a blend of 75% Garnacha Blanca and 25% Macabeo aged in concrete vats for some six months. They use organically grown grapes that come from their own vineyards and from other growers. It has light skin contact, as it's the traditional 'brisat' style, which gives the wine structuring tannins and some herbaceous and spicy notes (they even use stems) that go very well with food and results in slightly lower alcohol. The 2016 vintage is fresher than the initial 2015, which is when they started this project with the idea to deliver affordable wines that have a traditional profile, wines from the Mediterranean but being careful with alcohol. This has 13% alcohol, which is the minimum allowed by the appellation of origin. It's tasty and soft, a tad fresher than the 2015.