The wines of Terroir al Limit, Priorat, Spain
Remarkable terroir-driven Priorat wines from Dominik Hubre

In 2004 Eben Sadie and Dominik Hubre (below) started a new project in the trendy Catalan wine region of Priorat, called Terroir al Limit. They prospected the region for great old vines to work with, and then began taking a very un-Spanish approach in the cellar, avoiding small oak barrels and instead opting for inert tanks and larger foudres. The wines are made in quite a natural way, and the vineyards are managed biodynamically. 

Eben is now so busy he's not involved in any practical way with the project, so it's now Dominik's baby (although Eben remains a significant shareholder). These wines are stunning: so fresh and expressive, and are a unique expression of this dramatic region, whose wines are so often blighted by new oak and over-ripeness. Alas, they are fiendishly expensive (the village level wines are 23, the midrange 43, and the last two top wines are 130 a bottle).

THE WINES

Terroir al Limit Muscat Grappe Entiere 2012 Priorato, Spain
Skin-fermented Muscat. Open, lifted, appley nose. Distinctive palate is grippy with notes of tea, apples and herbs. Quite crazy. Weird but lovely. 92/100

Terroir al Limit Terra de Cuques 2011 Priorato, Spain
Some skin contact in the press. 80% Pedro Ximenex, 20% Moscatello. Very fresh, floral nose with bright citrus notes, as well as some herbs. Nice texture on the palate which is rounded, fine and expressive, with citrus and apricot. Lovely purity. 93/100

Terroir al Limit Pedra de Guix 2011 Priorato, Spain
Grenache Blanc on slate, Maccabeu from riverbed soil and Pedro Ximenex from clay in Lloar. Fresh and very mineral with pear and apple notes. Taut, reductive edge to the ripe, focused fruits. Lemony edge. Very expressive. 93/100

Terroir al Limit Torroja 2011 Terroir al Limit Priorato, Spain
Dominik describes this as a 'village level' wine. It's half and half Garnatxa and Carinena. Focused bright cherries and plums, quite grippy and dry. Lovely freshness with nice acidity and lovely purity. 92/100

Terroir al Limit Dits del Terroir 2010 Priorato, Spain
Carinena from a south facing vineyard of pure slate. Sweetly aromatic with lovely freshness. Ripe but fresh with red cherries, some raspberry and nice weight and structure. Hints of leather and minerals, with grippy structure on the finish. 94/100

Terroir al Limit Arbossar 2010 Priorato, Spain
Carinena from schist and granite, north facing vineyard. Real finesse and purity here. Good structure with some warm herbal notes under the pure raspberry and cherry fruit. Very fine and expressive. 94/100

Terroir al Limit Les Tosses 2011 Priorato, Spain
Carinena from black slate, 600 metres altitude. Sweet black cherry nose shows real finesse. Sweet, pure and alive on the palate with a silky texture and ripe black cherry and plum fruit. Ripe but very fresh with fine structure. 95/100

Terroir al Limit Les Maynes 2011 Priorato, Spain
Garnatxa from clay soils at 800 metres. So fine, supple and elegant with lovely purity. It has a lighter personality than the Carinenas, but it has real mineral power with good acidity and fine structure. 95/100

UK agent: Carte Blanche

See also:

Visiting Torres, Priorat

Wines tasted 01/11  
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