93 points - best buy
One of the best buys from Spain we've discovered. Limited.
93 Points Wine Spectator:"This generous red features a round, soft texture that carries ripe black fruit flavors, laced with licorice, toast and loamy earth notes. Offers well-integrated tannins and gentle acidity. Pretty floral and cinnamon details emergeon the finish. Drink now through 2028."
94 points Jeb Dunnuck: "Part of the Black Slate label that focused on the different villages of Priorat, the Black Slate La Vilella Alta is a blend of 39% Cariñena, 23% Garnacha, 23% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Syrah and Merlot that spent 14 months in 30% new French oak, with a good portion of the blend brought up all in concrete. Incredible notes of blackcurrants, wood smoke, iris flowers, chocolate, and obvious minerality all emerge from this full-bodied, beautifully pure, elegant red that knocks it out of the park on the value front. You just don’t find this level of quality at this price point anywhere in the wine world today...readers should not miss this sensational wine.."
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.