Terroir Al Limit Pedra de Guix 2017  Front Label
Terroir Al Limit Pedra de Guix 2017  Front LabelTerroir Al Limit Pedra de Guix 2017  Front Bottle Shot

Terroir Al Limit Pedra de Guix 2017

  • JS95
  • RP95
750ML / 13% ABV
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750ML / 13% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The hands-off biodynamic approach of this wine reflects the alluring taste of time and patience, a gentle velvet beauty that moves with waves of citrus, nuts and flowers across the palate. Rich, soft and ripe. The longer it is opened, the fresher it becomes in the glass, developing tension, depth, and a mouthwatering salinity expressing the soils of the region: clay, alluvial and slate. Anything but a simple pour and go, this is ultimately an expression of tradition and place. 

Critical Acclaim

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JS 95
James Suckling
A wonderful white with so much dried-lemon and mango character with salty undertones and lots of lemon curd and cream. Full-bodied, layered and flavorful. So much flavor and character. The intensity is really high, at the same time fresh and vivid. Drink or hold.
RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The white 2017 Pedra de Guix is a blend of one-third each Pedro Ximénez, Garnacha Blanca and Macabeo grapes from the villages of Lloar, Torroja and Poboleda, respectively. They consider this an homage to Jerez and think this is a vintage with more freshness and better acidity than previous years. It fermented in concrete vats with indigenous yeasts and matured in well-seasoned 1,800-liter oak foudres. This is an oxidative white that in this vintage matured in less old oak than in the past, when the wine was more oxidative. This is livelier and fresher, even if it does have the nutty undertones but coupled with elegance and freshness, which is the direction they want for this wine. There is a creamy touch here, but the palate is still quite austere, with the chalky tannins and mouthfeel and the dry, almost salty finish. This is more ethereal than previous years, long and complex. A very unusual white, indeed a bit à la Jerez.
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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 white grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended white wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used in white wine blends, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a soft and full-bodied white wine blend, like Chardonnay, would do well combined with one that is more fragrant and naturally high in acidity. 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.

RAE390046_2017 Item# 896652

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