SPAIN

Spain located on the Iberian Peninsula, has over 2.9 million acres planted—making it the most widely planted wine producing nation but it is the third largest producer of wine in the world, the largest being France followed by Italy. This is due, in part, to the very low yields and wide spacing of the old vines planted on the dry, infertile soil found in many Spanish wine regions. The country has an abundance of native grape varieties, with over 400 varieties planted throughout Spain though 80 percent of the country's wine production is from only 20 grapes—including the reds Tempranillo, Garnacha, and Monastrell; the whites Albariño from Galicia, Palomino, Airen, and Macabeo; and the three cava grapes Parellada, Xarel·lo, and Macabeo. Major Spanish wine regions include the Rioja and Ribera del Duero which are known for their Tempranillo production; Valdepeñas, drunk by Unamuno and Hemingway, known for high quality tempranillo at low prices; Jerez, the home of the fortified wine Sherry; Rías Baixas in the northwest region of Galicia that is known for its white wines made from Albariño and Catalonia which includes the Cava and still wine producing regions of the Penedès as well the Priorat region. Spanish wine laws created the Denominación de Origen (DO) system in 1932 and were later revised in 1970. The system shares many similarities with the hierarchical Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) system of France, Portugal's Denominação de Origem Controlada (DOC) and Italy's Denominazione di origine controllata (DOC) system.

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  1. CLOS ERASMUS 2017 LAUREL

    Item #: i_350152
    Bottle Size: 750ML
    Wine Advocate: 95
    This red made it into our Top Spanish Wines of 2020 because of its wonderfully expressive, early-drinking take on the extra full-bodied Priorat style. It has the pedigree, as it’s the 2nd wine to the world-famous Clos Erasmus. While sourced from the same organically farmed vineyards, it’s made in a distinctive way to create a softer style. The wines befitting the Laurel style are separated early on and aged in a very modern combination of oak, concrete egg, and clay amphorae for 16 months, creating a layering of textures and flavor sensations that arise from each container. In Priorat, there is a wider range of profiles available due to the range of varieties that this relatively new wine region is allowed. Laurel is a Grenache-driven wine that greatly contributes to the mouth-filling body and softness, accompanied by 20% Syrah and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. The aromas and flavors are dark plum and black cherry with a classic, savory herbal quality like the garrigue of Rhone wines, and delicate French oak that contributes to a licorice note. The texture is one of the wine’s most notable features, with velvety ripe tannin that provides a soft finish.

    WINE ADVOCATE 95 POINTS - "The 2017 Laurel is a blend of the younger vines, some barrels that were declassified from Clos Erasmus and the remaining Cabernet Sauvignon, and in the low-yielding and dry 2017 vintage, it's 70% Garnacha, 20% Syrah and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, with 15% alcohol. The wine fermented mostly in concrete and oak vats with indigenous yeasts and matured in a combination of oak vats, concrete, used barriques and amphorae for 16 months. They produce this to be approachable from the moment it's released. The 2017s feel very aromatic, open, expressive and young, quite primary, tender and juicy and surprisingly fresh for a dry, warm year that resulted in a very early harvest. There is a peachy, soft, approachable quality here that I like very much. Surprisingly enough, winemaker and proprietor Daphne Glorian sees reminiscences of the 2013s in the 2017s, and I have to agree. Different from 2016, but at the same quality level. 19,126 bottles were filled in May 2019."
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