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.
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.
"A pale ruby-colored pure Garnacha from clay and limestone soils (a rarity in Priorat), the 2019 Les Manyes is very primary and fruit-driven, with an explosive nose of berries, wild herbs and flowers and it has a medium-bodied palate, juicy and with very fine chalky tannins. It's a very pretty Garnacha that is open and expressive. It has good ripeness and plenty of aromas, denoting proper ripeness of the grapes that had the time to develop aromas and flavors. This is ethereal but full of energy and light. It opens up and evolves very nicely in the glass." - 98 points, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
"A great ethereal nose, with savory herbs (rosemary and oregano), citrus such as grapefruit and blood orange, and wild spices with a hint of cement and bitter almond. The palate is effortlessly dry with sleek, grainy tannins that merge into the wild berries and dried herbs, leaving a pleasantly dry and bitter finish. Long, refined and savory, with a focus on wild Mediterranean herbs. Burgundy-like garnacha peluda." - 95 points, James Suckling
Producer: Terroir al Limit
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