Terroir Al Limit Les Manyes 2017  Front Label
Terroir Al Limit Les Manyes 2017  Front LabelTerroir Al Limit Les Manyes 2017  Front Bottle Shot

Terroir Al Limit Les Manyes 2017

  • RP98
  • JS95
750ML / 14.5% ABV
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  • RP99
  • JS95
  • W&S91
  • RP98
  • WS92
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750ML / 14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Tasting Les Manyes blind is a thrilling exercise. Without a reference point to guide you, you find yourself wandering around the Mediterranean confused if you’re in Spain, the Rhône, or Piedmont. There are a couple of reasons why Les Manyes is so unique in the Priorat. Firstly, this is not Garnatxa on llicorella; instead, it is Garnatxa Peluda grown on clay soils rich in chalk and gypsum located in the mountains above the village of Scala Dei – making for a wine with a distinctly different mineral profile that one normally expects from the Priorat. Secondly, it is made by Dominik Huber, who farms these grapes biodynamically, harvests them a few weeks before his neighbors, ferments them whole-cluster with indigenous yeasts, favors infusion over extraction, and presses half-way through the fermentation before finishing the wine and aging it in concrete tanks to preserve its soulful, red-fruit driven character.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 98
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
I tasted two vintages of the top Garnacha (Peluda), so next to the 2017 Les Manyes, I also had the 2018; it was great to see the differences in the wines, even if the analytical data showed pretty similar. This amazing vineyard at 800 meters in altitude on red clay and gypsum soils has more in common with some vineyards from Montsant than the majority of other vineyards from Priorat. In 2016, they started aging the wine 100% in concrete, and they have no intention of going back. This is quite austere and compact and has had a slow oxidation in concrete, and the wine feels quite stabilized and fresher than other 2017s but again perhaps not as deep as the 2018. It's not a showy vintage; it's quite subtle. It takes a long time to open up in the glass, and it's clearly the freshest of the 2017s. 3,200 bottles were filled in June 2020 after a longer élevage, exclusively in concrete for this second bottling lot.
JS 95
James Suckling
A really beautiful wine with such depth and balance, showing creamy, polished tannins and a long, long finish. Full-bodied yet agile and caressingly textured. The finish shows plum, tile and chocolate character. Garnacha. Drink 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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Grenache thrives in any warm, Mediterranean climate where ample sunlight allows its clusters to achieve full phenolic ripeness. While Grenache's birthplace is Spain (there called Garnacha), today it is more recognized as the key player in the red blends of the Southern Rhône, namely Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Côtes du Rhône and its villages. Somm Secret—The Italian island of Sardinia produces bold, rustic, single varietal Grenache (there called Cannonau). California, Washington and Australia have achieved found success with Grenache, both flying solo and in blends.

RAE390047_2017 Item# 895770

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