Terroir Al Limit Dits del Terra 2018  Front Label
Terroir Al Limit Dits del Terra 2018  Front LabelTerroir Al Limit Dits del Terra 2018  Front Bottle Shot

Terroir Al Limit Dits del Terra 2018

  • RP95
  • JS95
750ML / 13.5% ABV
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  • RP93
  • RP95
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750ML / 13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Dits del Terra gets its name from the gnarled, nearly 85-year-old vines of Carinyena that look like ancient fingers clawing into the schist soils of this site near the village of Torroja. This is one of the first vineyards that Dominik and his then partner, Eben Sadie, acquired when they started making wine together in the Priorat. Being south-facing, it is also fascinating to taste it alongside L’Arbossar, its nearby, north-facing twin.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The south-facing Cariñena vineyard used for the 2018 Dits del Terra is worked biodynamically and is in the process of being certified organic. The grapes fermented in concrete with indigenous yeasts, and the wine matured in 50% oak foudre and 50% in concrete. The 2019 will be 100% concrete. You can immediately notice the cooler year and the longer ripening cycle here compared with the 2017; there is more depth here, and the quality of the tannins is completely different and provide for a more elegant mouthfeel. The oak is neatly integrated and folded into the structure of the wine. It comes through as medium-bodied, powerful and elegant. It should develop nicely in bottle.
JS 95
James Suckling
Beautiful aromas of crushed berries and orange peel with peaches and nectarines. It’s full-bodied and layered with dark berries and citrus fruit. Some stone and tar, to. Flavorful finish. Drink now or hold.
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Terroir Al Limit

Terroir Al Limit

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Terroir Al Limit, Spain
In 2000, Eben Sadie and Dominik Huber first met at Mas Martinet. Eben was a promising and highly-regarded young enologist from South Africa. Dominik, a native German, was a wine enthusiast with a business administration background but with interests in the culinary arts. In short order, they became fast friends. With the help of the Pérez family of Mas Martinet, Eben and Dominik purchased some fruit and leased a little corner in the cellar of Cims de Porrera, where they vinified their first vintage of Dits del Terra in 2001. After two years at Cims de Porrera, they moved into a tiny cellar in Torroja del Priorat. The move coincided with the first vintage of Arbossar in 2003. In the following years, they released additional cuvées: Torroja in 2005, Manyes and Tosses in 2006, Pedra de Guix in 2008, and Terra de Cuques in 2011. Since its founding, Terroir al Limit has slowly evolved its understanding of the Priroat as a region as capable as Burgundy in its complexity and potential to make elegant and transparent wines. The Torroja and Terra de Cuques are the village wines, Dits del Terra and Arbossar the Premier Crus, and Manyes and Tosses are the Grand Crus. With the demands arising from increased production and additional farming responsibilities and Eben Sadie spending more time in South Africa with his various projects, Dominik began working full time at Terroir al Limit in 2007. Devoting himself primarily to the cultivation of the growing number of vineyard sites, Dominik could see his vineyard efforts were resulting in healthier fruit. With better fruit coming into the cellar, Eben and Dominik had a profound realization that ripe, concentrated grapes combined with extractive winemaking and aging in barriques didn’t show their vineyards’ authenticity. Consequently, they reevaluated their work in the cellar by phasing out all their 225-liter barrels, then utilizing a more gentle Burgundian approach to vinification, preferring whole clusters and avoiding either pigeage or remontage. The goal at Terroir al Limit is to foster wines of infusion rather than extraction, thereby emphasizing elegance rather than the typical heaviness of the Priorat. Currently, the wines are aged mainly in concrete tanks, with a few upright Stockinger foudres, and 500L neutral French oak demi-muids. Realizing that organic or biodynamic farming during an era of global warming is insufficient for a region as hot and dry as the Priorat, Dominik farms rigorously to guarantee the health and vitality of his soils so they can retain as much moisture as possible, reducing the hydric stress on the vines in summer and allowing for an earlier harvest of physiologically ripe fruit. Eben Sadie left Terroir al Limit in 2011 to devout his energies to his extraordinary work in South Africa, but he left it in the capable hands of Dominik Huber. Each successive vintage is a testament to their original vision for Terroir al Limit, as well as Dominik’s continued quest to make the most elegant and expressive wines in the Priorat.
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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. This Spanish wine's 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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Responsible for some of the most stunning old vine red wine on the planet, Carignan has an amazing capacity to survive dry, arid climates and still produce lovely, mouthwatering wine. In Spain it goes by the name of Mazuelo or Cariñena and while it may have originated there in the province of Aragón, its popularity lies elsewhere, particularly in Languedoc-Roussillon. Somm Secret—Historically Carignan did not enjoy the respect that it does today. In the mid 20th century, Carignan covered nearly 140,000 ha in Algeria, where it was made into low quality bulk and blending wine to supply mass-market demand.

RAE390045_2018 Item# 895790

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