In January 2015, we made a trip to Priorat DOQ in Spain and met the indomitable Daphne Glorian, owner of, and winemaker with her friend and colleague Ester Nin, at Clos Erasmus. It really was the tasting of a lifetime – and you can read about it here.
Clos Erasmus is a super petit estate of only 10 bio-dynamically farmed hectares which produces a maximum of 140 cases each year. Bottles start at C$200 and while this one was C$222 at purchase, it is currently available around the world for between $250-$450.
Glorian is the only female winemaker to have received two back-to-back 100 point scores from Robert Parker (for her 2004 and 2005), and this vintage was awarded a lofty 97. Jancis Robinson gave it an almost unheard of 18/20, and it earned 96 from each Antonio Galloni and Stephen Tanzer.
At this point, you are probably getting that I’ve been waiting for the perfect wine and food moment to enjoy this rare bottle.
People often write about wine and casually throw out sentences like, “Wow, it was amazing. The best I’ve ever had. A world class bottle!” Most of the time though, it’s pure hyperbole. It’s not often that it’s actually true – that the wine is globally bench-marked, and that is has a pedigree to go along with a measured assessment.
I’m not one for exaggeration.
This is a 75% Garnaxa (Garnacha / Grenache), 25% Syrah blend of translucent garnet wine with deeply herbal aromas of sour cherry, flowers, light moss, and umami. We opened it up and let it unwind for a good two hours, so by the time we got to the first course, it was showing a beautifully married berry, herb and violet profile.
The palate is dry with good acidity and flavours of cherry, berry, wet stone, soft purple flowers, herbs, and a lemon balm-like sorrel, all on a bed of basalmic. Tannins are velvety, and the construction of the broad body pulls through to support the long finish.
Deliciously elegant, seamless and well built, it needed about 2-3 hours in the decanter and glass to relax, but when it did, it was Outstanding.
We paired this bottle with steak tartare, pan-seared Vancouver Island raised steaks topped with herbed butter, lentils with eggplant and mint, and zucchini and smoked mussels for an unforgettable dining experience.
An excellent meal and excellent evening. I was thrilled to have delicious steak tartare hand-delivered by the very attentive wait staff 🙂
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