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Average critic rating : 94.0 points



The 2011 L’Arbossar is a great example of how Carinena is able to deal with the heat of a vintage like 2011 on schist soils. It has notes of red fruit, citric (orange rind) and some malty, subtle smoky aromas, riper and fuller than the 2010 L’Arbossar. The palate is medium-bodied, vertical, fresh and pungent. A great Carinena, and a superb showing for a difficult vintage like 2011. Drink 2014-2019. ||South African Eben Sadie of Sadie Family winery (Columela) fame and German Dominik Huber are the names behind this outstanding tiny winery in the village of Torroja. They both arrived in Priorat and were captivated by the place. Sadie returned to his homeland, but Huber never did. In fact, his French wife lives and works with him in Torroja where they live with their two-year-old son. His motivation is food and gastronomy, so he needs to produce wines that go well with food. He gets ripe grapes without very high alcohol; all vineyards are worked organically and all wines are below 14% alcohol. While I tasted 2010 and 2011 it was impossible not to talk about 2012, and especially the recent 2013 which, despite being disastrous in many parts of Europe, seems to be nearly perfect in Priorat. According to Huber, 2013 is the best vintage he’s ever seen, very relaxed and long, with vineyards maturing little by little. In the last few years he has developed some very strong ideas, and I feel a big change in the wines starting with the 2010 vintage, with much more elegance, less wood (really imperceptible, very well-integrated): He does not believe in 225-liter barriques in Mediterranean regions, oak works better in bigger volumes in Priorat; they are progressively moving to foudres. Priorat has to be organic and the soils have to be alive. He reckons hydric stress is responsible for many of the harsh tannins that you find in many reds. There will be new wines offered in the future, a whole new line of wines, with more whites and light wines. You will see very little (if any) technical details in my tasting notes as basically all the reds are vinified with full clusters and aged in used 500-liter and foudres. I tasted a really breathtaking collection of wines here, both whites and reds. Terroir al Limit is one of the names that are defining the Priorats of the 21st century. Unfortunately the wines are produced in small quantities and the prices are high.||Imported by Eric Solomon, European Cellars, Charlotte, NC; tel. (704) 358-1565 Wine Advocate.February, 2014


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