Clos Erasmus (stained label) 2003
Other Red Wine from Priorat, Spain
The Wine Advocate - "The 2003 Clos Erasmus is a candidate for wine of the vintage in Spain. Made from 85% Garnacha and 15% Syrah, the wine is aged for 18 months in new French oak. Deep purple, the wine releases an ethereal nose of smoke, crushed stone, pencil lead, cassis, kirsch, black cherry and wild blueberry. On the palate the wine is liquid minerality, opulent, rich, yet focused and well-delineated. The finish lasts for over one minute. "
International Wine Cellar - "Ruby-red. Sexy aromas of black cherry, raspberry, licorice and flowers. Dense, rich and vinous, combining an almost liqueur-like sweetness of currant and raspberry fruit with terrific underlying structure. An outstanding 2003 Priorat wine with compelling texture and depth of flavor and palate-staining length. For the first time, this wine was vinified in a new open-top Taransaud fermenter. "
Wine Spectator - "A powerful red with mouthcoating texture, muscular tannins and ripe, spicy, heady flavors. Raisin, black cherry, licorice and coffee notes mingle and linger on the finish. Port-like in its structure."
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Clos Erasmus Winery
"Women I Love" by Robert Parker, Food & Wine Magazine, March 1998: "A female vineyard owner in Spain is even rarer than one in France. As the proprietor of Clos Erasmus, a microscopic vineyard in northeastern Spain, the remarkable Daphne Glorian (who recently married American importer Eric Solomon of European Cellars), produces several hundred cases a year of an extraordinarily rich and concentrated red wine from Priorato, among the country's most fashionable appellations. This spectacular wine offers copious quantities of blackberry and raspberry fruits; it's an outstanding example of what can be achieved in this region." View all Clos Erasmus Wines
About Priorat(pree-ohr-aht) Spain, sparking envy among collectors. The region has become something of a cult wine producer, creating wines that cost up to 5 times that of a quality Rioja. The region has a special soil, called llicorella made of a brown slate mixed together with rocks. Mountains surround the area and the vines are tended by hand.
Notable FactsThe red wines here are based on Garnacha, and produce inky wine with intense fruit flavors of blackberry and plums, not to mention a required minimum of 13.5% alcohol. The secondary grape of the region is Carinena (Carignan in France). This grape has lost favor in most parts of the world due to its rustic nature, but here in Priorat it's a welcome structural addition to the Garnacha based wines.
The most popular red varieties of Spain include Tempranillo and Garnacha (Grenache). Whites don't garner quite as much recognition, but there are some regional varieties not to be missed, like Albarino and Verdejo. The popular red regions of Spain include Rioja, known for its outstanding wines of the Tempranillo grape; Ribera del Duero, producing high quality reds from Tempranillo and Garnacha; Galacia, with the sub-region of Rias Baixas, home to the deliciously crisp and floral Albarino grape; and Priorat, a region increasing in popularity with its high-quality cult reds. Other regions of note are Rueda, growing the Verdejo grape, La Mancha, a wide desert region, covered in the most planted white variety in the world, Airen, and Jumilla, making wines based on Monastrell (Mourvedre).
Spain's wine laws are based on the Denominacion de Origen (DO) classification system, devised in the 1930's. A four tiered system, the most basic level is Vina de Mesa (table wine) followed by Vino de la Tierra (country wine), DO and at the top DOC. Currently, only Rioja and Priorat have DOC status, while over 65 DO's scatter the country.
Most DO regions are classified and regulated by how long they age the wines. On a red wine label, one may find the terms Crianza, Reserva or Gran Reserva, denoting the wine's barrel and bottle time. Crianza is usually two years between barrel and bottle (the time in each depends on the DO and/or the winemaker), Reserva up to 4 years and Gran Reserva 5 – 6 years. Classifications of each region and wine are controlled by the region's Consejo Regulador.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.