The inspiration for the Black Slate Project is a Burgundian
concept of village nomenclature, applied to the Priorat. One
region, nine historic villages, each with its distinct character but
all unmistakably Priorat. Sun scorched vines cling to
breathtakingly steep hillsides with their roots deeply plunged in
the llicorella soils of this pristine, ancient region.
Bodegas Mas Alta is a joint project with renowned Rhone
negociant and winemaker, Michel Tardieu, and noted French
enologist, Philippe Cambie. It is located in the middle of D.O.C.
Priorat, based in the village of Vilella Alta. The estate vineyards
are high density plantings at approximately 1050 feet above sea
level, in front of Serra del Montsant, a mountain range that
reaches 3300 feet. Very steep and abrupt, the altitude,
inclination, and slopes make a decisive influence on grape's
maturity. The vineyards of La Viella Alta are situated on steep
slopes of slates alongside of what once was the river of
Escaladei. The heat of south-facing vineyards combing with the
cooler north-facing parcels to create a well-balanced wine with
ripe fruit and softness.
Varieties: 60% Grenache Noir, 35% Carignan and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon
Age of Vines: 15- 60 years old
"When’s the last time anyone found a Priorat rated over 90 points for under $25 a bottle? A project of acclaimed Rhone Valley winemakers Philippe Cambie and Michel Tardieu from one of Priorat’s nine villages, La Vilella Alta, the 2010 Black Slate was fashioned from 60% Garnacha, 35% Carignan and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged 12 months in French oak, and bottled unfined and unfiltered. Notes of graphite, blueberry liqueur, raspberries, crushed rocks and spring flowers jump from the glass of this inky/purple-colored wine. It possesses fabulous intensity, a multidimensional mouthfeel, supple tannins and a long finish. The natural alcohol pushes 16%, and there are 1,000 cases exported to the United States. It should keep for 5-10+ years. Priorat wines such as this normally sell for over $100 a bottle."
The Wine Advocate