• Priorat Re-Discovered: Terroir al Límit

    Priorat Re-Discovered: Terroir al Límit

    In college, when I primarily drank California wines, Priorat was my introduction to the Old World. While my palate has changed a lot since the early 2000s, it's been surprising to see a winemaker here who, in tandem, has changed the profile of the region.

    Trends in the 1990s placed nearly every winery here into a camp of high extraction and high oak influence. However, Dominik Huber's lineup centers around Garnacha and Carinyena's explosive violet aromatics, with wild strawberry and an array of blue fruit tones. In the right hands, the black slate (aka llicorella) and clay soils in Priorat instill each wine with a deeply layered and saturating mineral punch.

    Huber employs an organic and biodynamic approach. Given the arid climate, one would imagine this a popular regimen, but it's still rare. Infusion and semi-carbonic fermentation, which limits extraction and keeps the beastly tannins more at bay, make Terroir al Límit a complete outlier. Lastly, Huber's aging in Austrian Stockinger foudre is an integral key to preserving terroir.

    This is the one destination in Priorat that you must become familiar with if your palate leans toward Burgundy and Northern Rhône. Although the wines here could never be mistaken for the former, their clarity and poise are founded on similar principles.

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    Posted by Max Kogod