Celler Cecilio Black Slate Gratallops Priorat 2021
It is a blend of Garnatxa Negra, Carinyena, and Syrah from vines ranging from 20 to 65+ years old. Fermented entirely with indigenous yeasts, it is aged in a combination of concrete and French oak barrels. Notes of black raspberries, violets and a bit of garrigue. This medium to full-bodied red shows a chalky minerality, hint of rose petal, and spice. The tannins are fine resulting in a long gorgeous finish. The wine is irresistible now but will age for years to come.
This has yet to be reviewed by the professional wine critics but always scores in the nineties, which I am sure this will as well.
The Black Slate Priorat wines have done it again! Another masterfully crafted expressive Priorat at a very reasonable price. One of their bottlings was our Wine of the Year last year but sadly it sold out. We reached out to the distributor to taste the current releases, each showed its own personality, but one stood above the others. We unanimously loved it but I was curious what the public thought, so I did a little blind-tasting at our Nueva Espana tasting last Saturday. The winner? The same wine we chose, Celler Cecilio Black Slate Gratallops Priorat 2020! This was the third bottle in the tasting, showing more complexity with the added Syrah in the blend. This is a steal at this price. Tastes like Spain’s version of a Rhone Valley wine.
The Black Slate Gratallops is produced by Celler Cecilio located in Gratallops, in the heart of Priorat, and was the first winery registered in the D.O.Ca. It is a family estate dedicated to making and bottling wine since 1942, established and founded by Cecilio Vicent, father of the current owner and winemaker, August.
August ferments his wines in tank with indigenous yeasts, and the wines are macerated for 20–25 days before aging in tank or neutral, large French oak barrels. The Black Slate Gratallops comes from a blend of older and younger vine fruit originating from August’s vineyards near the village. It showcases both the power typical of Gratallops, as well as the charmingly elegant and rustic touch of Vicent’s winemaking.
Black Slate is the idea of famed wine importer Eric Solomon. He went to several of the top Priorat producers and asked them to make him a wine, a value that over delivers. We have sold other Black Slate labels in the past, I am sure many of you are familiar.