In a region now filled with big names, Daphne Glorian has been a quiet godmother to the younger generations of winemakers, continuing to promote the good name of Priorat with her exceptional and highly sought-after wines. Her boutique estate of 10 hectares barely produces 140 cases each year, so her first label, Clos Erasmus, is inevitably scarce and expensive. Deservedly so, however, as this is one of the regions’ and indeed Spain’s greatest of all red wines – rich, powerful, dense and exotically perfumed. Clos Erasmus is also one of the few Spanish wines ever to achieve 100 Parker points, proof that the Priorat region in the right hands produces wines to rival the finest from Rioja and Ribera Del Duero.
Clos Erasmus, despite its current global renown and acclaim, actually started life by accident, when Swiss-born Daphne Glorian visited Priorat with her friends in the late 1980s. Originally, although taken with the inspiring beauty of the region’s terraced vineyards, Daphne had no intention of purchasing any vines, until Priorat pioneers Alvaro Palacios and Rene Barbier convinced her of the untapped potential of the area. For although vineyards had been found in Priorat since Roman times, it was only since the 1990s that Priorat emerged from an unknown backwater to an important wine appellation. Taking plenty of advice and valuable guidance from Rene, Daphne purchased a plot and planted Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Grenache vines to complement the existing old-vine Grenache plantations. Her hard work and dedication soon transformed this boutique estate into one of Spain’s rising stars, which has operated bio-dynamically since 2004.
Ever since her estate was awarded 100 Parker points for the 2004 vintage, Daphne has not looked back and the high demand for both her first and second wine speaks volumes. The flagship Erasmus is aged for often over 20 months in new oak, the resulting wine is massively powerful and expressive. Although many can hardly wait, it deserves at least 5-6 years bottle age. The second and fantastically good value wine Laurel is a softer, lighter version that can always be enjoyed on release. But the most remarkable thing about this estate is how informal and relaxed everything feels, despite Clos Erasmus’ global fame. For our special clients and if booked in advance, Daphne will happily show you around herself and after tasting a range of her wonderful wines, perhaps join you for lunch. So for a perfect introduction to the remarkable and stunningly beautiful Priorat region, we cannot think of a better place to start!