2016 Black Slate "Escala Dei" Vi de la Vila Priorat

SKU #1367841 95 points Jeb Dunnuck

 One of the gems in the Black Slate lineup is the 2016 Black Slate Escaladei which is 90% Garnacha, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Cariñena, all of which spent 18 months in foudre and barrels. It offers an incredibly perfumed style as well as more red fruits, white flowers, kirsch, and beautiful minerality. With medium to full-bodied richness, a light, silky texture, and sweet tannin, it pretty much maxes out the QPR scale and is a gorgeous wine.  (2/2018)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The red produced in conjunction with their US importer, the 2016 Black Slate Escaladei is a blend of Garnacha with 20% Syrah from the hamlet of Escaladei and a mix of other grapes from different vineyards on slate and clay soils. The two grapes fermented separately, and the Syrah matured in 300-liter oak barrels for eight months while part of the Garnacha was also in similar barrels and a 5,000-liter oak vat. It's beautifully perfumed, super floral and aromatic with virtually no hints of oak, quite unlike some of the other reds here. Ideally, this is what a red from Escaladei should be—elegant and perfumed. Very impressive, sleek and elegant. Great value. (LG) 92+  (4/2018)

K&L Notes

An elegant Grenache based blend from vines up to 100 years old, grown in the foothills of the Montsant mountains. Wine Advocate on this exciting project from importer Eric Solomon: "Black Slate is a project from US importer Eric Solomon who works with different producers across Priorat to create a range of wines that show the character of the different Priorat villages at affordable prices. Each wine belongs to the winery that produces it and they are all village wines that carry the name of the village.... La Conreria de Scala Dei produces a couple of custom cuvées for American importer Eric Solomon, sold under the brand Black Slate. They are one of two wineries in the tiny village of Scaladei (it's not really a village, it belongs to La Morera de Montsant) the place where it all started centuries ago with the Carthusian monks in the Scala Dei monastery." (06/2015)

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Price: $19.99

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Staff Image By: Joe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/3/2018 | Send Email
Of the several Black Slate bottlings, this one is typically my favorite, as it comes from higher elevation, relatively cooler climate sites in the village of Escala Dei, home to two wineries, one of which also happens to be the site of the original Carthusian monastery in Priorat. Fresh red fruits and black cherry aromas and flavors predominate, with an underlying minerality to the wine which is often tough to come by at this price point in Priorat, but does occasionally show up in the better wines. A great intro for anyone new to the Priorat, and at under $20 an affordable case purchase for those who are already well acquainted and fans of this region's excellent wines.

Staff Image By: Stefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/3/2018 | Send Email
I was very impressed by this Priorat. The high altitude vineyards give it nice freshness and lift. The fruit is still deep and dark, but not overtly rich or soft. The large foudre barrels add a complexity and intensity. This wine has nice balance and is my top choice for Priorat.

Staff Image By: Gary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/3/2018 | Send Email
What a difference high altitude makes in Priorat! The Escala Dei Vi De La Vila Black Slate is still a big, powerful wine, but has Beucastel like grace on the back end. The dark, intense fruit of this wine is quite nicely balanced by a good acid line as well as complex, earthy flavors. If you are a fan of old fashioned Rhone wines this will thrill you, if you love Priorat already, it is a must!

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