This dry-farmed and hand-harvested blend of 27% merlot, 26% garnacha, 25% cabernet sauvignon, 15% cariñena and 7% syrah grew on vines between 10 and 50 years old planted at over 800 feet of elevation in granite and Llicorella slate soils near the renowned Priorat vineyard area of Gratallops. After the late September harvest, the bunches were hand-sorted followed by a three-day cold maceration and 30-day fermentation with daily pump-overs. The wine then aged eight months in medium toast, 225 and 300 liter French Allier and American oak barrels.
The 2018 Vega Escal Priorat is a knockout. Spanish wine fans will adore it, of course, but so will devotees of Châteauneuf du Pape and even Napa Cabernet blend drinkers! It’s natural to compare Priorat to great red Rhônes like Châteauneuf du Pape.
They share some grape varieties and the power, structure, ripeness, and spice/mineral complexity make them compatible with many of the same meals. Priorat’s concentrated reds, though, come from even steeper and higher vineyards, an even dryer climate, and even rarer soils. Priorat’s tiny average yields are less than half of Châteauneuf’s! They’re some of the lowest yields in the world.