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Terroir al Límit

Purity in Motion: The New ’21 & ’22 Releases.
Terroir al Límit
Sometimes you’re judged on the wines you don’t make as much as those you do. Dominik Huber and Tatjana Peceric released only a single wine from the 2020 vintage, a year blighted by heat and disease pressure. Shackled by Covid restrictions, Terroir al Límit was also deprived of the workforce needed to battle the heavy mildew outbreaks. Ultimately, Huber and Peceric picked their battles, focusing their efforts on protecting their Arbossar vineyard, the site closest to their base in Torroja. That wine, as it turned out, was gold standard. Thankfully, 2021 sees the return of Terroir al Límit’s full deck of wines. And what a vintage it is.

A cooler and wetter ‘northern’ growing season allowed Huber to harvest some of his lowest potential alcohol levels yet with excellent flavour and intensity. This year’s release includes some of the most elegant, pure-fruited and mineral-etched wines we have tasted from this producer. Marrying compelling finesse, intensity and lifted freshness, the reds are a Priorat masterclass in transparency and balance. Looking out from Huber’s winery over these wild Catalonian peaks and crags, it can be hard to fathom how such silk and freshness could be drawn from such an unforgiving, rocky landscape. The whites, on the other hand, are easier to imagine. These strikingly pure, chiselled wines taste like those same rocks have been pulverised in a blender and sent to the bottle.

Huber and Peceric are obsessed with purity, and since 2021 every one of their wines has been raised exclusively in concrete vessels. Indeed, Terroir al Límit recently sold its entire oak inventory. Oak has never played a defining role here, and experience with the Montsant project, Terroir Sense Fronteres—wines that have never seen any oak—has swayed this grower’s view. “We came to see that our wines respond better to concrete,” Huber explains. “They are crunchier and more vital. It’s not necessarily the same for other growers, but it works for us.” Amen. Alongside this progression, the growers now bottle their wines earlier to capture as much vibrancy and energy as possible. The resulting wine are some of the most thrilling on the world stage.

The Wines

Terroir al Límit Priorat Históric Blanc 2022

Terroir al Límit Priorat Históric Blanc 2022

Terroir Históric is Dominik Huber’s homage to the wines of Priorat before high-octane winemaking techniques from France—and the influence of stateside critics—took hold. With this idea to create an all-encompassing view of Priorat, the vineyards for Históric cover multiple soil types and terroirs across these concertinaed hills: from slate to clay and granite to alluvial soils; from aubagues (shady spots) to solanes (sunny spots); and from 350 to 800 metres in altitude. All sites are certified organic.

This white is 75% Grenache Blanc and 25% Macabeo, roughly the same blend as would have been used generations ago. Over the years the style has lessened its reliance on skin contact, so today the grapes are mostly pressed as whole clusters, with the juice wild-fermented and raised on lees for six months in a 5,000-litre concrete tank. No destemming, no stainless steel, no pigeage, no extraction and no new oak—nothing added, nothing taken away. The result is a fresh, mineral and expressive white that oozes texture and stony savouriness.

Terroir al Límit Priorat Históric Blanc 2022
Terroir al Límit Priorat Históric Negre 2021

Terroir al Límit Priorat Históric Negre 2021

The Históric Negre is 75% Grenache and 25% Carignan—roughly the same blend as used in this region a generation ago. A healthy dose of the Grenache was grown in La Morera, high in the Montsant ranges on clay/limestone soils. The remainder of the fruit came from vines throughout Priorat, grown on slate and schist, providing savoury minerality. Fermented as whole clusters with indigenous yeasts, the wine was then aged for six months in a 5,000-litre concrete tank.

The style is juicy, lifted and enticing; floral tones over cherry fruit, subtle spice and earthy, smoky tones. It’s a lovely, old-is-new-again Priorat, packed with pure fruit and minerality, with no hint of oak treatment. It has a long, juicy finish with just a pinch of very fine tannins. As is custom, this represents outstanding value for money, and we challenge you to stop at just one glass. Hands down the finest red we have tasted under this label. 



“The red 2021 Terroir Históric has moderate ripeness and 13.5% alcohol from a slightly cooler year that resulted in a tighter wine that is a little closed. It was bottled a little earlier with good freshness, more vertical and a little reticent but with balance. It has purity and is clean, with fine tannins. It aged exclusively in stainless steel (in the past they used concrete). It's medium-bodied, fresh and easy to drink.”
93 points, Luis Gutiérrez, The Wine Advocate
Terroir al Límit Priorat Históric Negre 2021
Terroir al Límit Priorat Pedra de Guix 2021

Terroir al Límit Priorat Pedra de Guix 2021

This is a Vi de Coster, the equivalent of 1er Cru. As we have said before, this is one of the most mineral, sculpted whites we know. It tastes as if the wine was tapped directly from pure rock—which, of course, it was. Forget about how rare white Priorat is; Pedra de Guix gives the great whites of the world a run for their money.

This is a blend of three varieties from three villages: Poboleda (on schist) provides the Grenache Blanc; Torroja (on alluvial soils) the Macabeo; and the chalky/gypsum soils of El Lloar contribute the Pedro Ximenez. The old vines of these sites are between 50 and 80 years old. The grapes are gently basket-pressed over the course of several hours and the juice ferments wild in diamond-shaped concrete vats, where it matures for 11 months. With most of the grapes today pressed off their skins prior to fermentation, the style now hinges on purity and tension rather than development, as was the case in the past. This comes without any sacrifice to the salinity and structure derived from its rocky soils.

Bottled unfiltered, it’s an outstanding, pungent and stony rendition of this Priorat benchmark, with laser-point acidity balanced by just the right amount of phenolic grip and textural weight. Such precision and detail are more than rare in the whites from this part of the world. Gutiérrez’s 96-point score does not flatter this stunning white. 

“They shortened the élevage of the white 2021 Pedra de Guix to 11 months, and they also stopped using the 1,800-liter foudre, where the wine partially aged in the past, and now it's matured in concrete vats. The wine is floral, vertical and a lot less oxidative than even the 2019, which is less oxidative than previous years. It's a different profile of wine with very good depth and freshness. Funnily enough, this 2021 has a little more alcohol than the 2019 (13.5%), but the wine feels lighter on its feet.”
96 points, Luis Gutiérrez, The Wine Advocate
“More intensity here with a very subtle nutty edge. Pine nuts, dried pineapples, lemon peel and stones. Saline and concentrated in flavor but nothing hefty here. Fine tannins and bright acidity extend to a long, savory finish. Drink now or hold.”
95 points, Zekun Shuai, jamessuckling.com
Terroir al Límit Priorat Pedra de Guix 2021
Terroir al Límit Priorat Terra de Cuques Blanc 2022

Terroir al Límit Priorat Terra de Cuques Blanc 2022

This is a Vi de Terra Viva—the equivalent of a village wine. From 2022, the Terra de Cuques white is a blend of Grenache Blanc (60%) and Pedro Ximenez (40%), from 25-plus-year-old vines on slate/clay in La Morera del Montsant. The vineyards face northeast and are 400 to 600 metres above sea level. The aspect means the vines are sheltered from the sun’s harshest rays, while the altitude results in cool nights that lock in refreshing acidity. The bush vines also play a role in maximising coolness and freshness.

As with all the whites here, this is evolving to be a more precise and focused style, while the inclusion of Grenache Blanc further contributes precision and freshness. The grapes are hand-harvested, fermented as whole bunches for five days in stainless steel and cement tanks, and then aged for six months in cement. It’s a wonderfully unique expression of high-country Priorat, with mouth-coating texture and beautifully entwined, energising mineral grip.

“Jasmine floralness with tile, beeswax, stones and dried lemon peel. Full-bodied and firm on the palate with solid tannins and a long, ample finish. Lovely phenolics. Garnacha blanca and macabeo. 8908 bottles filled. Drink or hold.”
94 points, Zekun Shuai, jamessuckling.com
Terroir al Límit Priorat Terra de Cuques Blanc 2022
Terroir al Límit Priorat Terra de Cuques Negre 2019

Terroir al Límit Priorat Terra de Cuques Negre 2019

Terra de Cuques Negre is the new name for Terroir al Límit’s former Torroja Vi de Vila (village wine). This is primarily because Huber wanted to introduce fruit from a variety of villages, not only Torroja. This 2019 is the second release to include fruit from several small vineyards in the cooler, high-altitude terroirs of Poboleda and La Morera, heading northwards towards the Montsant ranges. Despite the new vineyards, the wine remains an equal split of Carignan and Grenache.

Over 350 metres above sea level, these vineyards are some of the highest old-vine red sites in Priorat (the youngest vines for this blend are more than 30 years old). Most of the vines sit on llicorella slate soils, except for a portion of the Grenache, which is planted on much sparser limestone/clay soils. This cuvée is also the beneficiary of any declassified material from Terroir al Límit’s top vineyards. Made with 100% whole bunches, the grapes were harvested by hand and layered into tank, where their weight produced just enough juice to begin fermentation. The wine was raised in 3,500-litre Stockinger foudres and a variety of concrete tanks for 14 months. 


"The red 2019 Terra de Cuques was produced with a 50/50 blend of Garnacha and Cariñena from different vineyards around the village of Torroja (there are some grapes from Poboleda, a cooler village). The grapes fermented in equal parts in stainless steel and concrete, then the wine matured in concrete and oak foudres (for the last time before they got rid of all the oak in the winery). It has the same alcohol on the label as the 2021 that I tasted next to it, as they didn't produce a 2020, but the profile of the wine is more open, juicy and expressive, a little more approachable if you like, with fine tannins and a pleasant mouthfeel."
93 points, Luis Gutiérrez, The Wine Advocate
Terroir al Límit Priorat Terra de Cuques Negre 2019
Terroir al Límit Priorat Arbossar 2021

Terroir al Límit Priorat Arbossar 2021

Another Vi de Coster, the equivalent of 1er Cru. Arbossar is a steep, 1.6-hectare vineyard of 100-plus-year-old Carignan planted on schist and granite. It’s close to the village of Torroja, where the Terroir al Límit cellars are based. Against conventional wisdom, Arbossar was planted on cooler, north-facing slopes. It was this unusual site, purchased in 2005, that informed much of Huber’s early experience with the terroirs of Priorat. As Luis Gutiérrez explains, it’s always a “fresher and more floral style” than the corresponding Dits del Terra (from the south-facing slopes). It’s picked earlier, too. The wines are made in a similar fashion: 100% whole-bunch vinification with wild yeasts and 16 months’ maturation, exclusively in concrete. Huber describes Arbossar as a wine with a French soul, a German head and a Spanish heart; we describe it as deeply impressive. With its striking perfume and refreshing spine wrapped in layers of raspberry and floral fruit, it is the most Burgundy-shaped Arbossar to date. This is finesse through and through.

“The 2021 Arbossar matured exclusively in concrete, and they also shortened the élevage because they saw that a longer élevage tired the wines a little too much and decided to bottle them before the following harvest. The wine is clean and precise, like a laser cut, with focus and red rather than black fruit. It's medium-bodied, has moderate alcohol, 13.5%, and very fine tannins. A surprisingly elegant Cariñena. This is a cool vineyard that delivers serious wines.”
95 points, Luis Gutiérrez, The Wine Advocate
“Huge nose with fresh yet ripe blue fruit, berries, flowers, white pepper and ginseng. This has excellent depth of fruit on the palate with dissolved but supportive tannins. Really long and tangy finish. A wine that I’d want to finish a bottle. Lasting almost a minute with pure fruit. A naked beauty. Drink or hold.”
97 points, Zekun Shuai, jamessuckling.com
Terroir al Límit Priorat Arbossar 2021
Terroir al Límit Priorat Dits del Terra 2021

Terroir al Límit Priorat Dits del Terra 2021

Dits del Terra is another Vi de Coster (equivalent to 1er Cru). It can be thought of as Arbossar’s south-facing sibling. It is also 100% Carignan, from three schist-rich sites where the vines are more than 80 years old. Dits del Terra was one of the first vineyards that Huber and his then-partner, Eben Sadie, acquired when they started making wine together in Priorat. The south-facing terroir brings more flesh and power, yet also beautiful acidity. The viticulture is, as always, biodynamic, and this site is currently undergoing organic certification. Huber and Peceric infuse the juice gently, using a jug to pour it over the whole bunches, and from 2021 it is vinified entirely in concrete. Again, there is so much brightness and charm, with svelte tannins and precise acidity slowly tapering to a lingering, mineral close. Priorat-Chambertin, anyone?

“The 2021 Dits del Terra shows lower alcohol and more freshness, and it has an herbal note and feels very young and undeveloped. Like most of the 2021s, they shortened the time of aging, and it was completely in concrete and didn't touch any oak (they sold all the foudres). There's purity and precision, elegance and freshness.”
96 points, Luis Gutiérrez, The Wine Advocate
“Reductive and a little decadent on the nose with some dried roses, ripe berries, wet earth and moss. Extremely bright and lively on the fleshy palate with lots of sap, succulent and fine, firm tannins. Meaty fruit with so much verve and purity. Long and broad finish. Drink or hold.”
96 points, Zekun Shuai, jamessuckling.com
Terroir al Límit Priorat Dits del Terra 2021
Terroir al Límit Priorat Les Manyes 2021

Terroir al Límit Priorat Les Manyes 2021

Vi d’Altura, the equivalent of Grand Cru. High in the Montsant ranges, the Manyes vineyard is located at the remarkable altitude of 800 metres (the highest in Priorat). This cool, north-facing site is only 1.4 hectares, and the vines are now about 55 years old. While Les Tosses is planted to Carignan on pure llicorella slate, Les Manyes is predominantly clay with elements of quartz and limestone and is planted almost exclusively to Grenache. It produces a Priorat Grenache like no other—if we had to put forward a single bottling that symbolises the unique wines of Dominik Huber, this would be it. This year Huber told us that the Grenache here is actually Garnatxa Peluda, a mutation of Grenache Noir producing smaller, thicker-skinned berries with higher acidity and less alcohol. Perhaps this is a key to the wine’s beguiling personality. Regardless, it is the antithesis of Priorat’s blockbuster image with the intensity, finesse and transparency of a great Grand Cru Burgundy.

Huber ferments this cuvée with 100% whole bunches and indigenous yeasts and, as of the 2016 vintage, the wine has no contact with wood. Again, it is expensive, but we’re talking about one of Spain’s greatest reds, with a price tag that remains about one-third of its closest Priorat competitor.

“The impressive 2021 Les Manyes was very young and a little closed, even reductive and took time in the glass to take off. It slowly developed an acute note of violets and wild plants. It has a little more color than the 2019, but the maceration was more or less the same, so it must be from the year. It's very attractive, juicy and easy to drink, with notes that made me think of Château Rayas. It's fresher than the 2019 I tasted next to it. It's elegant and fruit-driven, right now very young, and it still doesn't have the complexity that it should gain over time.”
97 points, Luis Gutiérrez, The Wine Advocate
“An epiphany here with its wild, tangy nose full of white pepper, mezcal, blood oranges, forest floor and dried herbs. Really broad and precise, with a chunk of fine, mealy tannins that knit seamlessly on the palate. Nice bitterness at the end to seal it up before an extremely long, nervy finish. Pure garnacha peluda from Les Manyes vineyard. It goes on and on. 3506 bottles. Irresistibly attractive now, but can hold.”
99 points, Zekun Shuai, jamessuckling.com
Terroir al Límit Priorat Les Manyes 2021
Terroir al Límit Priorat Les Tosses 2021

Terroir al Límit Priorat Les Tosses 2021

Vi d’Altura, the equivalent of Grand Cru. There are two Vi d’Altura wines produced here: Les Tosses and Les Manyes. These are Terroir al Límit’s finest Priorats, as tasted through the prism of Carignan (for Les Tosses) and Grenache (for Les Manyes). They are simply two of the greatest reds emanating from Spain.

The two-hectare Les Tosses vineyard sits on a stony ridge of deep, black slate soils to the northeast of the village of Torroja, at a striking altitude of 650 metres. It is one of very few ancient vineyards at this elevation. The 80-year-old bush vines are mainly Carignan, with a tiny percentage of Grenache. They face east, like watchmen guarding the valley, and are planted at a density of 6,605 plants per hectare. These vines, along with those of Les Manyes, receive the most intricate attention from the Terroir al Límit team, with each vine treated like a prized possession.

Dominik Huber uses only the best portion of this ‘Grand Cru’ site for this bottling (the rest goes into the village wine). He ferments 100% whole bunches with indigenous yeasts. Pressing occurred halfway through, and then the wines went into concrete vessels for eight months. It is not cheap but it is one of Spain’s finest reds, and made in tiny quantities.

“Most wines from 2021 felt very young, a little closed and perhaps a little reductive too, like the 2021 Les Tosses. The wine has moderate ripeness and alcohol at 13.5% and has a medium-bodied palate with very fine tannins. It's still young and undeveloped.”
97+ points, Luis Gutiérrez, The Wine Advocate
“Slate and blueberries with some dried grapefruit, blood oranges and tiles. Fluid with a medium to full body and immaculate tannins. Crunchy at first, then tight with ductile tannins with extremely vibrant acidity. Really long, with a natural flair. Drink or hold.”
97 points, Zekun Shuai, jamessuckling.com
Terroir al Límit Priorat Les Tosses 2021

“Terroir al Límit is one of the names that are defining the Priorats of the 21st century. They don't have a destemmer here (or in Montsant), and all their wines ferment with indigenous yeasts, so the wines are about naked expression of the grapes and places, wines of great purity.” Luis Gutiérrez, The Wine Advocate



“Next level wines. I can think of few Spanish producers making wines of such excitement, charisma and transparent-feeling representation of place. Terroir al Límit produce cuvées of skeletal architecture, and filigreed expression of grape varieties, like no other from Priorat, let alone Spain.”
Mike Bennie, The Wine Front



“Some of Huber’s most compelling wines are white, namely his Pedra de Guix, a blend of native grapes from vines up to eighty years old. This wine proves that Priorat’s famed minerality shows up as deftly in white wine as in red.”
Parr & Mackay, The Sommelier’s Atlas of Taste

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