La Cartuja Priorat 2018  Front Label
La Cartuja Priorat 2018  Front LabelLa Cartuja Priorat 2018  Front Bottle Shot

La Cartuja Priorat 2018

  • JS91
  • WW90
750ML / 14% ABV
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3.6 60 Ratings
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3.6 60 Ratings
750ML / 14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2018 La Cartuja Priorat is a brilliant ruby color. Ripe dark berries, licorice, smoky minerals, and a hint of succulent flowers on the perfumed nose. Juicy, round, and open-knit; a peppery note adds lift and cut to warm blackberry, bitter cherry, and licorice pastille flavors. The long, mineral-accented finish shows very good focus and closes on a youthfully tannic note, leaving cherry pit and floral notes behind.

Blend: 70% Garnacha, 30% Mazuelo

Critical Acclaim

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JS 91
James Suckling

A refined, delicious red with sliced-berry, chocolate and walnut aromas and flavors. Medium body. Creamy and delicious. Drink now.

WW 90
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
COMMENTARY: The 2018 Bodegas La Cartuja is classic and authentic. TASTING NOTES: This wine shows aromas and flavors of dried spices, savory earth, black fruits, and mineral notes. Enjoy it with Greek lamb stew. (Tasted: October 10, 2021, San Francisco, CA)
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La Cartuja

La Cartuja

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La Cartuja, Spain
La Cartuja Winery Image

La Cartuja was founded in 2007 by Borja Osborne (from the Osborne family), Alberto Orte and Patrick Mata with the purpose in mind of making an estate-bottled wine showing the mineral complexity of Priorat at an inconceivable price (one of Ole's fortes. The single estate of 24 ha (59 acres) by the name La Solana ("Les Solanes" in Catatalan) is located in the very heart of Priorat between the towns of El Molar and El Lloar, just south west of the town of Gratallops. La Solana vineyard sits at 250m elevation with south-east facing slopes.

La Cartuja was the name assigned during medieval times, to a large geographical area governed by the Cartussian monks. This geographical area had its own code of law (similar to the Vatican estates). During medieval times Priorat as a whole was a "Cartuja". It wasn't a civil domain but a religious state. Needless to say that Priorat's winemaking heritage belongs to the Cartussian monks who tended these difficult isolated vineyards for centuries. As a side note, if you are looking for the oldest vines in Spain and the best areas to make wine look for the areas where the monks established themselves during medieval times.

What makes La Cartuja Unique?

Estate-owned small production wine; a singular location at the heart of Priorat; Organic viticulture; oak ageing is short, a Priorat wine that shows depth but drinkability while young; an extraordinary value!

Photo Credit: Friederike Paetzold, Vinimenta.com

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Tiny and entirely composed of craggy, jagged and deeply terraced vineyards, Priorat is a Catalan wine-producing region that was virtually abandoned until the early 1990s. Its renaissance came with the arrival of one man, René Barbier, who recognized the region’s forgotten potential. He banded with five friends to create five “Clos” in the village of Gratallops. Their aim was to revive some of Priorat’s ancient Carignan vines, as well as plant new—mainly French—varieties. These winemakers were technically skilled, well-trained and locally inspired; not surprisingly their results were a far cry from the few rustic and overly fermented wines already produced.

This movement escalated Priorat’s popularity for a few reasons. Its new wines were modern and made with well-recognized varieties, namely old Carignan and Grenache blended with Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. When the demand arrived, scarcity commanded higher prices and as the region discovered its new acclaim, investors came running from near and far. Within ten years, the area under vine practically doubled.

Priorat’s steep slopes of licorella (brown and black slate) and quartzite soils, protection from the cold winds of the Siera de Monstant and a lack of water, leading to incredibly low vine yields, all work together to make the region’s wines unique. While similar blends could and are produced elsewhere, the mineral essence and unprecedented concentration of a Priorat wine is unmistakable.

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With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended red wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged resulting in a wide variety of red wine styles. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a red wine blend variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.

How to Serve Red Wine

A common piece of advice is to serve red wine at “room temperature,” but this suggestion is imprecise. After all, room temperature in January is likely to be quite different than in August, even considering the possible effect of central heating and air conditioning systems. The proper temperature to aim for is 55° F to 60° F for lighter-bodied reds and 60° F to 65° F for fuller-bodied wines. How much does this matter?

How Long Does Red Wine Last?

Once opened and re-corked, a bottle stored in a cool, dark environment (like your fridge) will stay fresh and nicely drinkable for a day or two. There are products available that can extend that period by a couple of days. As for unopened bottles, optimal storage means keeping them on their sides in a moderately humid environment at about 57° F. Red wines stored in this manner will stay good – and possibly improve – for anywhere from one year to multiple decades. Assessing how long to hold on to a bottle is a complicated science. If you are planning long-term storage of your reds, seek the advice of a wine professional.

PBC9179764_2018 Item# 611331

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