On a World-Class Level - 2011 Terroir Al Limit Dits de Terra

Posted by Joe Salamone

World-Class Spain
- Priorat Full of Grace
2011 Terroir Al Limit Dits del Terra
Harmony, Elegance & Slate

"These are wines that offer intensity of flavor instead of overwhelming power, and elegance and personality on a world- class level." -Neal Martin

I should start with a confession. I never imagined myself doing a Priorat offering. But having tasted three vintages of Terroir Al Limit's wines, I'm convinced that they're special and truly noteworthy.

For my palate, most of the Priorats on the market have just been too much: too much extraction, too much alcohol, too much wood. What shocked me about Terroir Al Limit is their sense of proportion and - above all - their breeding.

The first word that comes to mind is seductive. Terroir Al Limit nails the textural element in an extraordinary way. The 2011 Dits del Terra in particular delivers a suave texture in a seamless weave of Mediterranean herbs, roses, dusty minerals and dark fruits.

I'm almost positive that this is Crush's first Priorat offer. And, to be honest, from a business point of view it makes no sense. There's less than a handful of cases.

There's no getting around that the pricing is serious, but so is the wine. To return to Neal Martin's quote above, they are "world-class" and well worth the price tag.

The steep slate soils called llicorella of Priorat have long been recognized as a great place for making wine. In the 12th century, Carthusian monks settled here and started producing wine. There's little doubt that the region is capable of producing great wine. For me, Terroir Al Limit delivers on this potential in a unique way because the project is so keenly focused on achieving harmony, nuance and finesse above all else. It's easy for Priorat to be a wine of raw power, but what Terroir Al Limit does is truly extraordinary.

Terroir Al Limit was born when Eben Sadie, a South Africa enologist, met Dominik Huber, a German with an interest in gastronomy, at top Priorat producer Mas Martinet. They sought out old-vine parcels in high elevation cooler sites.

The Dits del Terra comes from an eighty-five year old vineyard of Cariñena (Carignan) planted in south facing slopes at 350 meters. The grapes are not destemmed and undergo native yeast fermentation and then the wine is aged in large foudres.

Dits del Terra offers up a beguiling set of aromatics: flowers, smoky crushed stone, exotic spices and layered, clearly delineated red fruits. The palate is ultra-fine, velvety and fresh. The total package is beautifully compelling.

These are really impressive, first class wines - something that we strongly encourage you to check out.

To order, reply to offers@crushwineco.com or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone
Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits