2011 Mas Alta Black Slate Vilella AltaBlend from Spain
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Producer: "Bodegas Mas Alta was founded by Michel and Christine Vanhoutte and their associates in 1999. With advice from French oenologists Michel Tardieu and Philippe Cambi...
- 94 Jeb Dunnuck - The Rhone Report
94 Jeb Dunnuck - The Rhone Report
"Even more impressive and the largest scaled of the Black Slate lineup, the 2011 Bodegas Mas Alta Priorat Black Slate La Vilella Alta is a blend of 60% Garnacha 35% Carignan, and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon that spent 12 months in French oak barrels. Voluptuous, sweetly fruited, and downright decadent, it boasts awesome aromatics of kirsch liqueur, chocolate, liquid mineral, and baking spices to go with a full-bodied, rounded, supple feel in the mouth. No light weight, with layers of fruit and texture, it stays remarkable fresh and clean on the finish. Count me a fan. Unfortunately, there are only 600 cases to go around, yet the price per quality here is off the charts. If you can find it, don't miss it. It will be interesting to follow these three Black Slate efforts over the coming years and ideally readers will have the opportunity to try them all." (03/13)
"Bodegas Mas Alta was founded by Michel and Christine Vanhoutte and their associates in 1999. With advice from French oenologists Michel Tardieu and Philippe Cambie, it is their desire to produce great wines that combine the typical characteristics and elegance of the Priorat area. Based in the traditional village of La Vilella Alta, Bodegas Mas Alta is the culmination of five Belgian partners' common desire to produce a great wine. This dream is now taking shape thanks to the advice of Michel Tardieu and Philippe Cambie, and as the result of the work done by a passionate team every day." - Importer
"After slow maturation under the blazing sun, harvest time arrives. One word is on everyone's lips: RESPECT. Respect for the work of Nature, the work of generations of men and women who have toiled down the years to obtain this fruit. Quality is always uppermost in our minds at every stage of the grape's processing. In fact, the equipment at Bodegas Mas Alta is designed to preserve the grape's intrinsic qualities as much as possible. Storage in cold rooms, a double sorting table, the concrete tanks are filled by grafity, temperature control, etc., - technology is used with respect for the fruit."
"Vinification is gentle, with no extremes, the aim being to reveal the typical Priorat characteristics. Then we come to the aging stage, which varies between 14 and 18 months. During this time the wine will be honed and refined, affirming its identity, in small French oak barrels." - Winery
"Choice of vineyard is crucial for the production of highly expressive wines that combine character and elegance. We have planted some 35 hectares of vines since 1999 on land classified as being part of the DOQ PRIORAT, carefully selecting the plots in so doing. In fact most of our vineyard is planted at altitude, on slate. Depending on the plot's characteristics, we either plant varieties traditional to this region - Carignan and Grenache - or varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz. These young vines, whose potential quality is already very promising, represent the future of Bodegas Mas Alta."
"We also purchase grapes from local winegrowers, often from the village, to make our wines. These winegrowers are the custodians of Priorat's traditional heritage. In fact the essence of our vintages - old vines - comes from these winegrowers. Vines aged 50 years and more naturally produce fewer grapes, the first step towards quality wine... Their deep, well-established roots thus enable them to achieve full maturity, consistency, less dependence on climatic conditions. It is without question the ultimate, pure expression of the terroir." - Winery
94 - Jeb Dunnuck - The Rhone Report
|Varietal(s)||Grenache / Garnacha, Carignan / Carinena, Cabernet Sauvignon|
|Taste||black currant, blackberry, dust, leather, cherry, strawberry, raspberry, licorice, anise, currant, bell pepper, olive, asparagus, spice, ginger, oak and vanilla|
|Nose||vanilla, toast, smoke, tobacco, dark fruit, red fruit, violet, rose petal, oak, mushroom, currant, blackberry, cherry, cedar and cigar box|