Daphne Glorian sent us her assessment of the 2020 vintage at Clos i Terrasses. Only through constant and meticulous work were many of the difficulties experienced by others in the Priorat avoided by Daphne and her team. After 20 years of spending time with Daphne and talking about her work, I’ve noticed that she is usually quite reserved about evaluating her own wines. She has even stopped writing tasting notes because she feels she cannot be objective. It is often said that the winemaker transcends vintage. In practical terms, I learned this from Daphne long before it became common wisdom. – Steven Spanbauer
The 2020 season was one of the most challenging vintages due to a dramatic infestation of mildew, the like of which no one in the Priorat remembers having ever seen. The mild spring temperatures and constant rains during the growing season created the perfect conditions for fungus, but the virulence of the strain took everyone by surprise. With so much humidity in the air, the first signs of fungus in May were expected, but by June, it was obvious that we were dealing with a particularly nasty phenomenon.
One of the many advantages of farming organically is that we are extremely vigilant and aim to prevent the diseases and stop them before they have time to take root and spread. My team did an amazing job, no parcel was left unattended for more than three days, and the constant attention kept the plague mostly at bay. Then, in July, the weather finally turned sunny and dry, and the wind cleaned the leaves of remaining spores. By harvest time, it was clear that the effort had paid off, everyone was exhausted, but we lost barely 10% of the crop.
The harvest started slightly early, as the grapes ripened quickly, and the fermentations went smoothly. The resulting wines show not only their roots but an exceptionally intense character, almost ethereal, of white flowers and red fruit—the 2020 vintage dances in the glass.
The grapes come from the same parcels year after year, Escales, Aubagues, and Socarrats, which are fermented and aged separately. Destemmed, sorted by hand, and slightly crushed, the grapes ferment in 10-15 HL wooden vats. The macerations lasted 35-38 days. The malolactic fermentation took place in barrel. The wines were aged in 228L barrels (40% new).
Laurel is made from the younger vines of Garnatxa and Syrah, the remaining Cabernet Sauvignon, and an occasional declassified Clos Erasmus barrel. Destemmed, hand sorted, and slightly crushed, it is vinified in wooden and concrete vats and macerated for four weeks. It aged in wooden and concrete vats, third-year 228L barrels, and amphorae. The many different containers add a specific touch to each one of the parcels.
A PDF of the 2020 Clos i Terrasses Vintage Report is also available.