Among the superstars of Priorat, none is more extraordinary than the microscopic Clos Erasmus. With an annual production of only 400 cases, Clos Erasmus is indeed the rarest winery of the region. Often called a Garagiste, Clos Erasmus shares cult status not unlike its fellow microscopic producers - Pingus, Valandraud and Le Pin. It has another unique position in the history of Spanish winemaking; it is owned and produced by a woman, Daphne Glorian. The wine is produced from four vineyard sites, with a total vineyard surface of 2 hectares. All are precipitously perched on terraces originally carved into the mountainside by the Greeks, for their cultivation of vines, olives and almonds. Las Escalas, the first vineyard site Daphne visited, was to become Clos Erasmus. She recognized potential for this once important vineyard region. The terraces were restored, vines planted alongside the existing old vines of Grenache and in 1990 Clos Erasmus was born. With yields of only 18-20 hectolitres per hectare, this incredible Grenache, Cabernet and Syrah wine is like no other on earth. Alas, it is also very expensive. This, Clos Erasmus's second wine, is made with the same vinification process as that of the Clos Erasmus Priorat. Shortly before bottling, however, Daphne declassifies a few barrels that would otherwise have been headed for the Priorat. This wine is mixed with wine from younger vine plantings and is bottled as Laurel. Still quite rare, and an exceptional value!
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