The Bodegas Merum Story
Merum Priorati is a family-owned affair with over 60 acres of estate-grown Catalan fruit to draw from. Their values are rooted deep in the land and the terroir which they work to craft wines that, as they say, ‘Ring with the voice of the earth’. Winemaking, of course, does the minimal, only what it needs to in order to help the grapes best express their true character. The results? Well, taste them yourself. The old licorella decked vines of Priorat offer a sense of Spanish wine majesty. It's wild, rugged terrain, where few wines thrive, straddling the extreme terraces and contours of the mountainside. A project founded in 2004 by two Catalan families, the winemaking side is overseen by oenologist Don Lewis (an Australian) and Narelle King. Impeccably made, but not over polished, these are truly artisanal and handmade wines. Production is minimal, with the number of total bottles counted in the thousands.
Why's this wine for you?

You may have noticed that little ‘Number Four’ badge sitting on the image just above. If you didn’t, go back quickly and check it out, it’s not something we get to show all that often.

That’s the rank of today’s offering, the Merum Priorati Desti 2018, in the annual Wine Spectator’s Top 100 wines.

Released every year since 1998, the ranking pretty much speaks for itself. This is the acclaimed magazine’s selection of what they consider to be the hundred most-exciting wines in the world out of the thousands that they have tasted in the last 12 months. So what gives it that ‘X-factor’ that has so enamoured Wine Spectator’s tasting panel?

Well, helping matters is the fact it comes from Priorat, the epicentre of ‘New’ Spain, a region in the North east that has positively blossomed in the last couple of decades (and one of only two in the country to hold the highest appellation classification of DOCa - the other is Rioja). A warm region where Grenache is king, the wines are definitely on trend at present, with new blood in the region uncovering and rejuvenating old vineyards and experimenting with new techniques to craft expressive and ripe red wines that scream ‘Mediterranean’.

Merum Priorati is a family owned affair with over 60 acres of estate-grown fruit to draw from. Their values are rooted deep in the land and the terroir which they work to craft wines that, as they say, ‘Ring with the voice of the earth’. Winemaking, of course, does the minimal, only what it needs to in order to help the grapes best express their true character. The results? Well, taste them yourself.

Has the gravity of this offer sunk in yet? This is a first-ever, never before seen in Australia chance at one of Priorat's most enigmatic wines for under $60, and it just so happened to have notched up a position in the world's most coveted wine list.

Under $60. Yeah, that’s right. Remarkable considering the three wines that came above it, (Heitz Cabernet Sauvignon, Château Pichon Longueville Baron and Dominus Estate) all retail for over $500.


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The Brief
Alcohol
Net Volume
750ml
Vintage
2018
Cellar to
2040
How's it taste?
Intense dark-cherry red in colour with a garnet rim. Complex on the nose with aromatic notes of red fruit, especially raspberries and redcurrants, spicy tones, and a backdrop of cassis. It gives a balsamic taste across the palate, with hints of sloe and pomegranate. Elegant and silky, it is well balanced with sweet, rounded tannins that lead to a smooth, lingering finish.
How was it made?
Desti is a blend of Carignan (30%), Grenache (60%) and Syrah (10%). All the harvested grapes are destemmed, led to macerate and fermented at a controlled temperature in stainless-steel vats. After three weeks with manual pumping over, grapes are gently pressed using a pneumatic horizontal press and are devatted by gravity. Once pressed, the wine is transferred to 500 litre medium-toast barrels, new and of second use. After malolactic fermentation, the wine ages for 18 months in the same barrels, after which it is blended and bottled. Desti is neither filtered nor fined and evolves in bottle for a long period of time before being released from the winery.
The Who
Critic Reviews
Expert Review
Expert Review
95 Points
Wine Spectator
Refined and elegant, this concentrated red shows cherry, violet, and anise notes, with expressive mineral undertones that give it finesse. Elements of mountain herb and spice echo through the finish. Grenache, Carignan and Syrah. Drink now through 2033. 14,000 cases made, 1,600 cases imported.
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