Terroir Al Límit Soc. Lda. 'Les Manyes', Priorat DOCa, Spain 2011
*Sourced from a private cellar
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.