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Scala Dei Garnatxa

The Experience

Drink When...
Lassoing a baddy
Listen To...
The Indiana Jones Theme Tune
Think About...
Living history
Drink With...
Rich game pie

The Oddbins Take

Scala Dei is less of a wine and more of a mystical treasure out of Indiana Jones. Scala Dei (‘Ladder to God’) was the Priorat monastery where, in the 12th century, the newly established order of Carthusian Monks first planted vines. After eight centuries of lying fallow, Priorat was revived by some winemaking visionaries in the 1990s who recognised the potential of the steep terraces and licorella soil, which lends Priorat wines their famously mineral undertones. The low yielding vines of this small (60ha) site produce a limited number of boutique wines with exceptional complexity and fruit expression, which marries beautifully with the classic mineral streak.

The Vital Statistics

Country
Spain
Region
Priorat
Classification
DOC
Vintage
2013
Drink
Can Be Drunk Now - Will Evolve Over the Next 5 Years
Closure
Cork
Bottle Size
Regular - 750ml
14.5%
Alcohol Units
10.9

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The Style

Grape
Grenache/Garnacha, Cabernet Sauvignon
Oak
Body
Light Full bodied
Sweetness
Dry Sweet

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  • Scala Dei Garnatxa 2013 Spanish Wine
Scala Dei Garnatxa 2013 Spanish Wine

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Along with Rioja and Ribera del Duero, Priorat is one of the most important Spanish wine regions. Situated near Tarragona in Catalonia, it is blessed with steep terraces at 100-700 metres and soils of llicorella with layers of slate and quartz, which are responsible for the highly desirable mineral character for which Priorat wines are famed. The first vines were planted in the 12th century by the Carthusian Monastery of Scala Dei, making Scala Dei winery the oldest winery in Priorat. The vines fell into disrepair until 1989, when René Barbier led a group of winemakers who restored the vines to their former glory and secured Priorat DOC (DOQ) status, which it shares only with Rioja.

Scala Dei has just 60 hectares under vine, offering limited production of boutique wines with exceptional complexity and fruit expression. The vineyards at Scala Dei are the highest in Priorat, at over 700 metres and have an average age of 35 years. The grapes are harvested twice by hand to ensure all fruit is harvested at optimum ripeness. In the winery, meticulous attention is paid to vinification, with miniature tanks used to separately treat each parcel. The wine is then aged for one to two years in either new or older barrels to produce differing levels of toasty aromas. The wines have received a multitude of international awards in recent years. Scala Dei uses environmentally friendly winegrowing practices.

Commercial yeasts are not used during the fermentation. The wine remains for between six and eight months in steel tanks and is fermented at a regulated temperature (24-26C) to preserve all the fresh fruity aromas until bottling.

The wine is red cherry in appearance, with bluish hues that denote its youth. It has fresh aromas of ripe red berries with underlying mineral hints from the ‘licorella’ terroir. Flavours of redcurrant and blueberry abound on the palate, where the mineral undertones continue. It makes a winning match for many foods, such as grilled meats, venison, cured cheeses, Iberian cured ham and meats.