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Such a powerful mouthful of wine that after swallowing, it’s almost hard to talk. Explosively aromatic, with jam, tar, licorice and exotic spices, it leads with concentrated fruit, then follows with a sledgehammer of polished tannins that somehow dissolve on the finish, where the fruit reemerges like a rainbow. With a slab of well-aged, chargrilled beef--paradise. Drink now through 2005. 450 cases made.Wine Spectator | 97 WSSaturated ruby. More perfumed, more floral, fruit-driven aromas of blackcurrant, black cherry, black raspberry, mocha and clove; vibrant and youthful. Huge, sensual and deep on the palate, with great creamy depth of flavor. Still a bit youthfully tight but has the structure and concentration to develop over the next decade or two. Great persistence on the finish; huge, dusty, noble tannins coat the entire palate.Vinous Media | 95+ VMA clone of the 1994, the 1995 L’Ermita does not reveal quite the power and density of its older sibling, but that is a tough call ... especially at this age. The color is an opaque purple, and the wine displays more pain grille, grilled jus de viande, blackberry, and floral notes in its aromatics, which seem slightly more evolved than the 1994’s. In the mouth, the 1995 is deep, powerful, and rich, with low acidity, better sweetness and integration of tannin (only when compared to the massive 1994), layers of extract and flavor, and a 40-second finish. It is a remarkable wine with formidable style, intensity, and flavor. Anticipated maturity: 2002-2020.Robert Parker | 94 RP
Irresistible fruit meets immovable structure. It’srare that such a juicy, ripe fruit-bomb, lush withblackberry and blueberry flavors, is also soconcentrated and well structured, but this richred effortlessly marries power and grace. Abenchmark for the appellation. Drink now through 2010. 300 cases made.Wine Spectator | 96 WSBright ruby. Highly nuanced aromas of blackcurrant, pungent minerals and spicy, toasty oak. Large-scaled yet light on its feet. Terrific fruit carries through to a very long, ripely tannic aftertaste. Kept fresh and lively by a flavor of licorice and very good acidity. A great showing for a vintage with a modest reputation for red wine in Spain. Palacios used more heavily toasted barrels following the rainy harvest of ’97, but eschews charred oak in richer years like ’98.Vinous Media | 92 VM
The still young and primary 2020 Clos Erasmus feels very floral and ethereal (within Priorat and Clos Erasmus); it’s a fresher and lighter expression but without being weak. It’s still a baby that needs to burn the baby fat (there are still some lactic notes from the malolactic in barrel). The wine is always around 3.2 or 3.3 pH and has some 15% to 15.5% alcohol, but the sensation this year is of a much fresher, more balanced and elegant wine. This should make an elegant bottle of mature Priorat with a decade in bottle, and I guess it will be long lived. Glorian mentioned that a small lot that normally goes to Laurel was added to the blend of Erasmus, resulting in a lot of added freshness and a note of orange blossom, which makes sense to me with the floral character of the wines and the extra freshness I perceived. This is really beautiful. It’s a very special vintage of Erasmus that unfurls incredible complexity and tantalizing aromas with time in the glass—blood orange (talk about freshness!), curry and cassis. It has great purity, complexity, elegance and finesse... A very different Clos Erasmus. Bravo! There are some 3,600 bottles. It was bottled in May 2022.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 100 RP
2020 was a challenging year that gave them a lot of work in the vineyard, but it it paid off. The 2020 Laurel feels very elegant, balanced and fresh, a little lighter perhaps, with perfectly ripe tannins, a little in line with 2016 or 2013. It might be a little unusual for the house style or perhaps a slight change, as they are gradually going for softer vinifications; you don’t really need to extract in Priorat, because the wines are powerful enough on their own. It’s still extremely young and has a lactic touch (that blows off with a bit of time in the glass); it was only bottled at the end of May 2022, three months before I tasted it. Even if it’s the second wine here, it’s a wine that needs a little bit of time and improves in the bottle. Having said that, the 2020s feel more open, expressive and approachable than the 2019s, which are more tannic and powerful while the 2020s feel a little more Burgundian if you like. This has to be one of the finest vintages of Laurel so far. After some time in the glass, the aromatics of the Syrah (which was perhaps a little more this year, some 12% versus 8% in 2019) made an appearance—violets, smoked bacon. Daphne Glorian told me that everything was easy, that the wine was expressive and open from day one and that the fermentations were smooth. There are some 19,000 bottles of this.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96 RP
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