Grape(s) : Garnatxa, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carinyena
Localization: Priorat, Spain
Tasting notes: Black Slate Escalade, a blend of Garnatxa, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Carinyena sourced from the foothills of the Montsant mountains. It stands out among its Black Slate siblings as the most elegant of the lineup being inclined more towards red fruit than black, with a high-toned minerality and spiciness. It is selected from fruit aged in foudre and French oak demi-muids.
The Domain: The estate was founded in 1997 by Jordi Vidal and two friends. Their top site, Les Brugueres, and its centenary vines of Garnatxa Blanca produce one of the most delicious, single-varietal white wines in the DOQ. Jordi also makes an elegant version of Black Slate from vines in Escaladei as well as our only Black Slate white from vines he tends in the village of La Morera.
Jordi organically farms several sites that vary in location, elevation and soil. While most are located near the winery there are a few vineyards in the neighboring villages of La Vilella Alta, Poboleda and La Morera. Some sites are planted on steep slopes and terraces while the remainder is on lower-elevation alluvial soils. The vine age at Concreria d’Scala Dei ranges from 10 to well over 100 years old. While most of the vines are rooted in llicorella soils there are higher percentages of clay and limestone nearer the Montsant range. The estate controls 26.5 hectares planted with Garnatxa Negra, Carinyena, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Garnatxa Blanca and Pedro Ximénez.
With nearly a dozen sites and such an array of varieties, the harvest at Conreria d’Scala Dei is quite hectic. Each site and variety is harvested by hand and brought to the cellar to be fermented separately. The whites are crushed and see a short maceration before pressing followed by fermentation and aging in the tank. The reds see short macerations, of less than 20 days, followed by aging in neutral French and American oak barrels.