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Alvaro Palacios 'L'Ermita' 2013

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Red Wine /// Garnacha // Priorat / Spain
As I put my nose in the glass of the 2013 L'Ermita, my heart started beating faster. If we all thought 2012 was scarce and expensive, wait for the 2013. Made mostly of Garnacha with some 8% Cariñena and a pinch of white grapes interspersed in the vineyard, the L'Ermita fermented in oak vats with natural yeasts, and underwent malo in barrel where the wine then matured for 16 months. The grapes took a very long time to ripen and even if they were waiting for the acidity to go down, the final bottled wine (after malolactic) has an unbelievable pH of 3.26, figures that are seldom seen outside of whites without malo. The nose shows extremely elegant and balanced with citric freshness, blood orange and grapefruit peel, violets and lilies, earth and Mediterranean herbs. The bottle I tasted should have been in bottle shock, as it was bottled on 12/02/2015, exactly one week before I wrote this note. The wine explodes in your mouth, filling it with enormous brutal volume and finely threaded, sharp acidity. This is probably the best L'Ermita to date and is a legendary wine. I just couldn't get myself to spit this wine, which went down like velvet on my throat. Velvet? No, satin! Unfortunately 2013 was the latest harvest ever, the north-facing amphitheater of L'Ermita was harvested on November 5. In this nearly catastrophic vintage (yield-wise...), no more than 640 bottles were filled. Unobtainable and truly world class. 100 POINTS PARKER 2016-2035