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100-Points! A Perfect-Scoring Spanish Red from a Modern Legend - 03/06/2018 - Spain

Earning a perfect 100-point score from Jeb Dunnuck, Clos Erasmus has once again crafted a truly epic and category-defining wine.This is the fourth time this legendary estate was awarded such acclaim, placing it among the top wineries not only in Spain, but also the world. Given the wine’s extremely limited production, finding past vintages always comes at a premium, if you can track them down at all. In point of fact, you'd be lucky to find the 2004 and 2005 for under $400. The 2015 vintage offers the signature style for which this estate is so well-known. Rich, layered, and beautifully fruited, it’s not hard to understand why Jeb Dunnuck was so impressed. Its profile echoes in many ways the unique terroir of Priorat with an underlying stoniness that works as an excellent counterpoint against the dark fruit tones which carry from the first sip to the last. If you are after the pinnacle of Priorat, then the 2015 Clos Erasmus is the wine for you

Also available is the 95-point “little brother” of Clos Erasmus, the 2015 “Laurel.” Dunnuck was also quite taken with this bottling calling it “finest vintage of this cuvée I’ve tasted.” Priced under $50 the value here is incontestable.

Vintage Item Name Score Qty Retail Link
2015 Clos Erasmus Priorat 100 >36 $199.99 View
2015 Clos Erasmus "Laurel" Priorat 95 >48 $49.99 View

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2015 Clos Erasmus Priorat ($199.99)

100 points Jeb Dunnuck: "The 2015 Clos Erasmus has a similar level of purity to the 2013, yet is a riper, sexier wine that has an incredible voluptuousness and depth on the palate thats hard to believe. Kirsch, blackberries, cassis, graphite, liquid rock, dusty earth, and violet characteristics all emerge from this sensational, full-bodied, expansive Priorat that has sweet tannin and a huge finish. While its a very different wine than the 2013, its just as perfect. The 2015 is 75% Garnacha and 25% Syrah, aged 20 months in 40% new French Taransaud barrels, with 5% in clay amphorae. There are roughly 250 cases produced and its a heavenly, singular wine to drink over the coming 15-20+ years. Hats off to winemaker Daphne Glorian!" (02/2018)

K&L Notes: The story of Clos Erasmus, one of the founding group of "Clos" (tiny estates) to place a huge bet on the rustic and rural Priorat region 30 years ago, is one of the modern wine world's modern day legends. Proprietor Daphne Glorian picked up her things and moved her life from the French side of the Pyrenees to Priorat. While the remoteness and rugged conditions of Priorat do not necessarily make for what is the good life, it is safe to say that Daphne's bet was well placed. This single village, three vineyard (Escales, Aubagues and Socarrats) cuvee always earns scores in the high 90s. In fact, this vintage's perfect score is not its first, having earned the same 100 point scores in 2013 (in two publications), 2005, and 2004. Apart from scores, the story of Clos Erasmus and the resurgence of a once largely abandoned region in southern Catalunya is one of romance, renewal, entrepreneurial spirit, and hard work, as well as lots of delicious, intensely fruited Priorat wine, of course!

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2015 Clos Erasmus "Laurel" Priorat ($49.99)

95 points Jeb Dunnuck: "The 2015 Laurel comes from the younger vines of the estate and is 80% Garnacha, 15% Syrah and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Aged in larger oak vats, concrete tanks, and amphorae, it boasts a deep purple color as well as perfumed notes of resinous herbs, blackberries, liquid violets and pepper. Its rich, concentrated, and voluptuous, yet pure and elegant on the palate. Its undoubtedly the finest vintage of this cuvée Ive tasted, and the good news is that there are close to two thousand cases produced!" (02/2018)

K&L Notes: This cuvée from the iconic Clos Erasmus (one of the founding Priorat group of "Clos") is always a great value and bellwether for the vintage. On the nose, juicy mixed berry and red cherry fruits lead to a fresh and structured palate, with generous and bright fruit flavors. A blend of primarily Garnacha with some Syrah, Laurel is a wine made in a combination of used Burgundy-shaped barrels as well as some components in amphora. Less showy than the producer's "Clos," but a fantastic expression of the Priorat and, to some palates, the tastier and more interesting of the two wines, particularly when young. One of the great Priorats for under $50.

Staff ImageJoe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 27, 2018

If we were tell you that you could get a wine with a nearly identical varietal make-up, from similar terroir and made by the same winemaker as a recently awarded 100 pointer - let a lone a 100 pointer with an extensive track record of high 90s to 100 point ratings - at roughly 25% the retail, would you be interested? Moving on from that rhetorical question, I must say that Laurel is a special bottle of wine. It is a dense, richly fruited and mineral accented embodiment of the Priorat, made from biodynamically farmed grapes, carefully fermented with indigenous yeasts and aged in used barrels with a few amphoras thrown in for good measure. Real Priorat from one of the region's founding pioneers in Daphne Glorian, who is still humble even as she continues to makes some of the world's most highly coveted wines. This wine is as delicious an introduction into the Priorat as you are likely to find anywhere.