Black Slate Escaladei 2016 – Perfection from the Priorat

  • Black Slate Escaladei 2016 is from the Priorat wine region of Spain
  • Escaladei is the oldest village in the Priorat with old vine vineyards
  • The name Black Slate refers to the soil that typifies this area and produces a wine of distinctive character
Black Slate Escaladei 2016

Black Slate Escaladei 2016 – fantastic wine

Black Slate Escaladei 2016 – Perfection from the Priorat at $19.99

Priorat wine dates back to the 12th Century when the Monks planted vines.  The Priorat and the Rioja wine region are the only two wine areas designated as D.O.Q.  D.O.Q. is the highest wine classification achievable in Spain. Many of the wines from the Priorat region are rated very highly by wine critics and are very expensive. The Black Slate Escaladei 2016 is a fantastic opportunity to taste a quality Priorat wine for under $20. What sets the Priorat apart from other Spanish wine regions is that the old vines are anchored in the black slate soil. The soil is Llicorella to the Catalonians.


Black Slate, or as the natives call it, Llicorella

Each Priorat Vintage, wine importer Eric Solomon seeks out vintners and vineyards from the eleven small villages in the Priorat to select a vintner to produce a wine indicative of the region’s characteristics and priced around $20. For the 2016 vintage, the best appears to be the Black Slate Escaladei. KL Wines and wine shops in Hollywood, Redwood City, and San Francisco are selling the Black Slate for $19.99. Check for the Black Slate Escaladei 2016 selling near you.

The Black Slate Escaladei 2016 is a blend of 90% Garnacha, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 2% Carignane from the vineyards of Jordi Vidal. The nose brings a fresh scent of fragrance and red fruit. The Garnacha delivers deep Pinot Noir-like flavors, rich in red fruit along with delicate spice. The bonus is the minerality of the Black Slate soil. The Escaladei wine is medium bodied and smooth on the palate.

Old Vine Garnacha

Old Vine Garnacha –  Vineyards of Scala Dei in Escaladei

The tech sheet on the Black Slate Escaladei 2016 tells us that the wine was fermented in concrete tanks and aged in large French oak barrels for 18 months. The grapes came from vines between 40 and 100 years old. All the vineyards are certified organic.

The ratings are high on this wine, with a 95 from Jeb Dunnuck and a 92 from the Wine Advocate.  I rank it at 92 Points. I do not believe it will last very long at KL Wines. I have collected the Black Slate series since 2012, and this selection is very different from the others. The 90% Garnacha makes a massive difference in style from previous vintages.

In 2013 Janelle and I attended the European Wine Bloggers Conference in Longoria, Spain. We signed up for a pre-press tour to the Priorat. The trip was an intensive three-day excursion to both the Priorat and Monstant wine regions. To this day it remains our most exciting and enjoyable wine country experience. The area is fascinating.

Priorat wine bloggers

Wine Bloggers in the vineyards of Cellars Scala Dei in the Priorat

cartoixa d’Scala Dei

The Monastery Cartoixa d’Scala Dei with the Montsant Mountains in the background

The village of Esccaldei is near the famous Monk Monastery, Cartoixa d’Scala Dei. The vineyards for the Escaladei sit just outside the old Monastery. The views and scenery are breathtaking. The Monastery is now in ruins, but if you tour the Priorat, the Cartoixa d’Scala Dei is well worth a visit.

Previous Reviews of Black Slate



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