2018 Black Slate "Escaladei" Vi de la Vila Priorat

SKU #1549000 92 points Vinous

Outer quote mark Deep, shimmering violet. Lively dark berry, potpourri and licorice aromas are complemented by smoky mineral and exotic spice flourishes. Juicy and lively on the palate, offering pliant black raspberry, bitter cherry and violet pastille flavors that deepen and become sweeter with air. Finishes very long and spicy, with solid mineral thrust and polished, slow-building tannins that sneak in late. (JR) Inner quote mark (3/2021)

K&L Notes

The Vi de Vila project is mapping out of Priorat terroir in an Burgundian manner. Priorat is a dramatic appellation to say the least. Located in the Catalan mountains, the original vineyards were planted in the region by Monks who were seeking isolation and hardship. The vineyards are planted on steep mountain and hill sides and the soils are variations of decomposed slate and quartz that are called Llicorella. There are 12 villages in the Vi de Vila range. From the beginning Black Slate has been giving the US reasonably priced expressions of these wines. This wine is sourced from vineyards that surround the village of Escaladei. This is mostly Garancha with the remaining 20% being a blend of Samso, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. It was fermented in concrete and then aged for 18 month in a mixture of the French oak foudres and demi-muids.

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Price: $22.99

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Product Reviews:

By: Kirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/16/2021 | Send Email
I love these Black Slate wines. I love the labels. Wine and rocks, it makes me so happy. I love that there is an image of the stony soils of each of the Vi de Vila villages. This Black Slate smells and looks great but it is on the palate that it really shines. This is a wine with great balance. I know that is not the first thing that most people look for from this region, but it is strikingly so, I love getting surprised by wines. The tannins are very polished, you notice them but they are not a distraction. It is medium full bodied and effortless. It has good acid, but it does not stand out at all. Once I was done getting distracted by the feel of the wine, it was the finish that pulled me back to the flavors. The dark red fruits, the dusty herbal notes, a faint spice, and that Priorat earthiness, all of it lingering and lingering. With additional sips the fruit tones blossom, they range from cherry, to plum and pluots with just a hint of a marionberry. All those fruit tones are ripe and pure, very balanced, just like the wine. What is exciting about the vineyards that surround the village of Escaladei are the mix of the classic Llicorella slate (pictured on the label) but there is limestone there too. You can feel it, there is a unique breadth to its earthy minerality on the finish. A quick fun fact… the village is named after the Priory Cartoixa d’Scala Dei which was founded in the 12th century. It was those monks who originally brought vines into the region.

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