Crafted from 50 year old Garnacha vines, suffering away in the blistering Catalan heat just above the Scala Dei Monastery, we were absolutely stunned by the fruit expression of this Priorat. The Wine Advocate said “The nose is high-pitched, very lifted…perfumed, with a mixture of flowers and berries and hints of oriental spices..The palate mixes that chalky minerality with the juiciness of the Garnacha, a mixture of Mediterranean and Atlantic characters. It gets better and better in the glass, opening up and showing more nuances.” Don’t miss this über-collectible red! We scored only two boxes.
Funnily enough, Dominik Huber has only one varietal Garnacha wine, and it's a top one. The vineyard is in Torroja where the soils are slate and for Dominik slate works better with Cariñena, so he sources the Garnacha from elsewhere. The prodigious 2012 Les Manyes is an unusual single-vineyard Garnacha from a 50-year-old plot over the Montsant Mountains, in the Masdeu zone above the Scala Dei Monastery (not in Torroja at all!), where the soils are not the usual slate, but they are clay-rich with a chalk component. The vineyard is really high and surrounded by impressive dry stone walls and constructions, there is even a route to admire these old works of art. The full clusters were macerated and fermented with indigenous yeasts and the wine matured for two years in old foudres from Austria. The nose is high-pitched, very lifted, with a different personality from its siblings, perfumed, with a mixture of flowers and acid berries hints of oriental spices, but more mineral and earthy and less fragrant than previous vintages, with restrained ripeness. The palate mixes that chalky minerality with the juiciness of the Garnacha, a mixture of Mediterranean and Atlantic characters. It gets better and better in the glass, opening up and showing more nuances. Compact, round, terse and serious, it doesn't show any oak or alcohol, and if you look at the figures the alcohol is only 13.5. Awesome balance. Only 1,500 bottles were filled in November 2014.