Terroir Al Limit Terra de Cuques Rouge 2018  Front Label
Terroir Al Limit Terra de Cuques Rouge 2018  Front LabelTerroir Al Limit Terra de Cuques Rouge 2018  Front Bottle Shot

Terroir Al Limit Terra de Cuques Rouge 2018

  • JS94
  • RP92
  • W&S92
750ML / 15% ABV
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750ML / 15% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The Terra de Cuques Negre (formerly Vi de Vila Torroja) is Dominik Huber’s “village” wine and among his reds, the only one where he blends Garnatxa Negra with Carinyena. It comes from several vineyards ranging in age from 25–40 years old located around the village of Torroja, which are on primarily classic llicorella soils and a portion of the Garnatxa planted on much scarcer clay-limestone soils. The grapes are harvested by hand and layered, whole-cluster, into a fermentation tank where the grapes’ weight produces just enough juice to begin fermentation. At this point, Dominik lets nature take its course. After a short maceration, the wine is transferred to concrete vats and Stockinger foudres to complete its primary and malolactic fermentations.

Critical Acclaim

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JS 94
James Suckling
A firm, silky red with cherry and blackberry aromas and flavors. It’s full-bodied, yet linear and vivid. Lots of energy. Drink after 2022.
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The ripe red 2018 Terra de Cuques is a 50/50 blend of Garnacha and Cariñena from different vineyards around the village of Torroja (there are some grapes from Poboleda, a cooler village) that fermented equal parts in stainless steel and concrete; it matured in concrete and foudres but with the intention to abandon the aging in oak in the near future. It has lots of notes of licorice and Mediterranean herbs, intermixed with ripe berries and very little impact from the oak. The palate is round and reveals abundant grainy tannins. This is a powerful Terra de Cuques.
Rating: 92+
W&S 92
Wine & Spirits
Dominik Huber blends this wine from a range of parcels around Torroja, where the garnacha and carignan grow mostly on llicorella soils (one parcel of the garnacha in this blend grows on clay and limestone). The grapes, from 20- to 40-year-old vines, go directly as whole clusters into a tank, where he lets their weight crush some of the fruit so that it starts fermenting on its own, then he presses it off to finish in concrete vats and foudres. The first impression is a little volatile, with the scent of poire William and blackcurrant liqueur. Air brings up a fresher blackberry perfume that lasts along with the light schist savor. Spicy and welcoming, this is set to decant for setas or other dishes with wild mushrooms.
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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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With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended red 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 resulting in a wide variety of red wine styles. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a red wine blend 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.

How to Serve Red Wine

A common piece of advice is to serve red wine at “room temperature,” but this suggestion is imprecise. After all, room temperature in January is likely to be quite different than in August, even considering the possible effect of central heating and air conditioning systems. The proper temperature to aim for is 55° F to 60° F for lighter-bodied reds and 60° F to 65° F for fuller-bodied wines.

How Long Does Red Wine Last?

Once opened and re-corked, a bottle stored in a cool, dark environment (like your fridge) will stay fresh and nicely drinkable for a day or two. There are products available that can extend that period by a couple of days. As for unopened bottles, optimal storage means keeping them on their sides in a moderately humid environment at about 57° F. Red wines stored in this manner will stay good – and possibly improve – for anywhere from one year to multiple decades. Assessing how long to hold on to a bottle is a complicated science. If you are planning long-term storage of your reds, seek the advice of a wine professional.

RAE390048_2018 Item# 895807

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