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2016 Cartoixa, Scala Dei
Red, Richly Textured and Full-Bodied
67 in stock
Tasting Note: Robust, rounded Priorat red, full of black fruit, particularly plums, sweetly perfumed with violets and vanilla.
Food Matching: Ideal companion for stews and casseroles, cured cheeses, cured Iberian ham and other quality cold meats, and especially with venison and grilled meats.
Vineyard: Scala Dei are THE wine of the Priorat with the D.O.C being built around Scala Dei Cartoixa which is still produced today. Founded in the 12th Century by Cartesian monks who were trying to settle around Montsant (the Holy Mountain), local shepherds told them that at night they could see the Angels climbing God’s stairs to meet him (Scala Dei – Ladder of God). So they settled and started making wine and the name was born. In the late 19th century the first wine referencing Priorat was produced by them and called “Priorato de Scala Dei”, it was sent to Paris and received gold. Fast forward some years and the DO is created for one wine only, Scala Dei Cartoixa. It is for this reason that every single bottle of wine produced in the DOC Priorat has the logo of Scala Dei on the bottle, whether it be from Franck Massard or Alvaro Palacios. They truly are the singular founder of the region. Grapes from the region’s historical varietals (Garnacha and Cariñena) and from its most vintage vineyards (about 60 years old) planted on terraces, the Priorat’s typical “costers” with their licorella slate terroirs. Due to the steep landscape, the trellising of the vines and above all the desire to obtain only the choicest grapes, harvesting is carried out solely by hand. The vineplots are situated 500 and 800 metres above sea level. Each year, depending on the vintage’s characteristics and given the possibility of choosing among an endless number of small vineplots scattered at different altitudes and facing in all possible directions, we select those which have produced the best grapes. These are then fermented separately, gently crushed to preserve the expression of the fruit and all steps are taken during the winemaking process to maintain all the varietal quality, the grapes had during the time of harvesting.
Vinification: When winemaker Ricard Rofes joined Scala Dei he set about tasting as many back vintages as he could to understand the history of the wine style. Upon tasting a complete vertical set from 1974 to the present day he found that those produced before the arrival of modern technology were more balanced, had aged more gracefully and were generally just better wines. In order to replicate this he did away with all the technology in the winery, bringing back concrete vats and removing the shiny stainless steel. To this day he insists that the only tech he uses is temperature control when absolutely necessary! True minimal intervention and absolute respect to the heritage of these magnificent wines! This wine is made from grapes selected from the finest vineplots. Each plot was fermented separately in small stainless steel and cement tanks at a controlled temperature. Maceration lasted about 3 weeks depending on the varietal and the grapes, in order to obtain a wine with body. After crushing, the wine was racked into barrels for malolactic fermentation. Raising this vintage lasted 18 months and for her the best French oak barrels were selected. The mixture of new barrels and one or two wines depending on what each wine asks us, new oak for more corpulent, first or second year for the finer garnachas characterizes the aging of this wine.