Wine Review: Terroir Al Limit Soc. LDA. Torroja 2016. Priorat

So, I’ve been told this is somewhat of a unicorn wine. 20, 686 bottles were produced and we stumbled across one in a small but great restaurant in Amsterdam. I won’t tell you where, because I need to keep my supply.

This winery is insta-famous and is certainly the only reason I could recognize it on the wine list. Our curiosity was piqued; as it was either this or a Tondonia Cubillo from 2008 (we actually ordered that later as well).

Let’s start with a tiny bit of history, Terroir Al Limit was set up by Dominik Huber and Eben Sadie in 2001, with the first wines being made from purchased fruit. The winery is located in Priorat, an area south of Barcelona, known for its spectacular terroir. Sadie left in 2012 to return to South Africa, and the winery was left in the very capable hand of Dominik. They make only a handful of wines, but they are exceptionally made with great skill and attention.

This Torroja is farmed around the village of Torroja del Priorat at an altitude of 400m and is a blend of Grenache and Carignan with an average vine age of  25-40 years old. Their website describes the winemaking process better than I could:

All the reds are vinified in a very similar way. The technique is very old and was traditionally used in Burgundy. We use the whole non-destemmed grape and empty the small 10kg cases gently into our vats, avoiding the accumulation of air and using some CO2. When the vat is full, we just cover it and wait for natural fermentation to take place.

Terroir Al Limit

They are using carbonic maceration, natural fermentation, and wild yeasts. It’s impressive, unrushed, refined and brilliant.

The wine itself is deep ruby red colour, with a rich earthy nose, undertones of delicate flowers and squashy dark fruits. In the mouth, it feels full and velvety, perfectly balanced with nuances of leather and those dark fruits again. It is a wine that delivers the aromas into the taste with a long finish (which you don’t have time to appreciate if you are me, and just keep sipping).

This is a wine I will remember, and in fact, I’m looking where I can buy a case!