The top wine of Clos I Terrasses, Clos Erasmus, is one of the benchmarks of the area, and a reference in the country. The project was born in 1989, from being friends with a couple of local chancers, named Alvaro Palacios and Rene Barbier, who persuaded the owner, Daphne Glorian, that some old Garnacha vines on the local licorella (schist) soils might just make a decent bottle of wine. The first 10 vintages were made at Rene Barbier's Clos Mogador until Daphne purchased an old cellar.
The wines have gone from strength to strength, mixing the characteristic dense fruit, exotic spice and licorella minerality with a freshness and elegance that sets the wine apart from many of this grand appellation.
Due to the extreme hand selection of the grapes for Clos Erasmus, the nurturing of younger vines and certain barrels being declassified, the winery is able to produce a second wine, Laurel.
Sourced from 3 small vineyards in the Gratallops, this blend of Grenache, Syrah with a touch of Cabernet Sauvignon is Clos I Terrasses’ second wine, made from the grapes from younger vines, or the occasional declassified barrel of top wine Clos Erasmus. But it is a thing of beauty unto itself, aged for 16-18 months in 20hl oak tanks, 228-litre French oak barrels and amphorae.
'This is of pale purple colour. The nose is fragrant and floral with lavender, black cherry and cherry kernel baking spice, layered; full-bodied and classy. Medium, silky high quality tannins. We could secure a small allocation of this, and we I am sure won't have it as long as we would like to - this drinks now, if decanted for an hour ideally, or keep for the next minimum 3-5 years this will age beautifully for much longer.' Anja Breit, Philglas & Swiggot
'The second wine here and one that is easier to drink, the 2018 Laurel was produced with fruit from the younger vines, a couple of barrels that are declassified from Clos Erasmus and the Cabernet Sauvignon, more or less 70% Garnacha and 15% each Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. It has good ripeness and still a pH of 3.3. It fermented mostly in oak vats and 2,000-liter concrete vats with indigenous yeasts and matured for 18 months in 20,000-liter oak and concrete vats, second use barriques and some clay amphorae. It's a bright translucent ruby color and has a perfumed and delicate nose with notes of orange peel and flowers; this is the most elegant and ethereal vintage of Laurel as far as I can remember, with red rather than black fruit and a kind of cranberry quality. The palate is medium-bodied, textured and fluid, with subtleness, balance and very fine tannins. The oak is perfectly integrated, and the wine is easy to drink, approachable and very pleasurable right now. It's a fresh vintage with energy and finesse, quite different from previous vintages. I love it. 22,825 bottles and 515 magnums produced. It was bottled in May 2020.' 96pts, Luis Gutiérrez, RobertParker.com