Merum Priorati Inici 2018  Front Label
Merum Priorati Inici 2018  Front LabelMerum Priorati Inici 2018  Front Bottle Shot

Merum Priorati Inici 2018

  • WW92
  • W&S91
750ML / 15% ABV
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  • WS92
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4.9 15 Ratings
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4.9 15 Ratings
750ML / 15% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Brilliant, clean, and cherry red in color with a cardinal-red rim. The nose is rich with red fruit, bringing raspberries and red currants to mind, with notes of aniseed. Fresh and fruity on entry, red fruit once again comes to the fore, this time blended with echoes of vanilla from its brief stint in oak. It is well balanced and its mature, velvety tannins usher in a long, elegant finish.

Critical Acclaim

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WW 92
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
COMMENTARY: The 2018 Merum Priorati Inici is a smashing good red wine showing power with freshness. TASTING NOTES: This wine excels in its aroma and flavors with a dynamic combination of black fruits, rocks, and dried fruits. Pair it with spit-roasted garlic and a rosemary-infused leg of lamb. (Tasted: December 22, 2021, San Francisco, CA)
W&S 91
Wine & Spirits
Velvet tannins wrap black-raspberry flavors in this warm, ripe and lively Priorat. Mostly garnacha (60 percent), the vines are relatively young (14 to 20 years old), delivering a wine with generous alcohol, a little syrup-rich, suited to rare grilled beef.
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Merum Priorati

Merum Priorati

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Merum Priorati, Spain
Merum Priorati Slate Winery Image

Merum Priorati is one of the most important wine estates in Priorat, founded in 2004 by two Catalan families, and located in the east of the appellation around the pretty village of Porrera. The three vineyard plots (Les Foreses, Plana Marjot and Les Escomelles) cover a total of 103 hectares, but just 29ha are given over to vines, as this is one of the wildest, most rugged terrains where few vines thrive and those that do produce less than 1 kg of grapes per vine (and as low as 250g per vine for the older Garnacha and Cariñena plants). Vineyards here are not measured in hectares, but by numbers of vines planted, due to extreme terracing and contours on these stunning mountainsides. There isn't what you'd call soil more just a carpet of broken black slate called Licorella. Five grape varieties still manage to thrive here on the estate: Garnacha, Cariñena, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Impeccably made but not over polished, wines are truly hand-made: fermentation is in small, open top vats with long cuvasion, delivering wines which are intense and seriously complex against a backdrop of bright and vibrant modern fruit.

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Tiny and entirely composed of craggy, jagged and deeply terraced vineyards, Priorat is a Catalan wine-producing region that was virtually abandoned until the early 1990s. Its renaissance came with the arrival of one man, René Barbier, who recognized the region’s forgotten potential. He banded with five friends to create five “Clos” in the village of Gratallops. Their aim was to revive some of Priorat’s ancient Carignan vines, as well as plant new—mainly French—varieties. These winemakers were technically skilled, well-trained and locally inspired; not surprisingly their results were a far cry from the few rustic and overly fermented wines already produced.

This movement escalated Priorat’s popularity for a few reasons. Its new wines were modern and made with well-recognized varieties, namely old Carignan and Grenache blended with Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. When the demand arrived, scarcity commanded higher prices and as the region discovered its new acclaim, investors came running from near and far. Within ten years, the area under vine practically doubled.

Priorat’s steep slopes of licorella (brown and black slate) and quartzite soils, protection from the cold winds of the Siera de Monstant and a lack of water, leading to incredibly low vine yields, all work together to make the region’s wines unique. While similar blends could and are produced elsewhere, the mineral essence and unprecedented concentration of a Priorat wine is unmistakable.

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With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.

MTF97282_18_2018 Item# 819059

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