2021 Celler Cecilio Black Slate Gratallops Priorat
Apr 2023 Selection
Gratallops’ steep slopes of slate produce high-quality wines with a distinct minerality, character and depth such as this with its aromas of blackberry, plum, and black cherry, hints of spice and vanilla, and full-bodied, well-structured flavors of black fruit, tobacco, and dark chocolate.
Celler Cecilio is located in the village of Gratallops in the heart of Priorat, a wine producing region in Catalan. 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. The region is known for producing high-quality wines with a distinct minerality.
Celler Cecilio was established in 1942 by Cecilio Vicent, father of August who is the current owner and winemaker. Celler Cecilio organically farms four vineyard sites in Gratallops and one in El Lloar. The vineyards are planted on steep slopes of slate, which gives their wines a lot of character and depth.
August ferments his wines in tanks with indigenous yeasts and the wines are macerated for 20–25 days before aging in the tank or in 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 of Gratallops. It showcases both the power, typical of Gratallops, as well as the charmingly elegant and rustic touch of Vicent’s winemaking. All vintages of the Black Slate Gratallops consistently score in the 90s with most wine critics.
The 2021 Black Slate Gratallops is a blend of Garnatxa (a Grenache variant), Carinyena (Carignan), Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. The hand-harvested grapes are fermented with natural yeast in concrete undergoing a 30-day maceration. The wine is aged for 12 months, half in concrete tanks and half in French oak barrels.
On the nose, the 2021 Black Slate Gratallops Priorat offers aromas of blackberry, plum, and black cherry, with hints of spice and vanilla. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied and well-structured, with flavors of black fruit, tobacco, and dark chocolate. The tannins are firm and well-integrated, giving the wine a long and complex finish.
This wine pairs well with grilled meats, stews, and hearty pasta dishes, as it is complex and full-bodied enough to stand up to strong flavors. It is also a great wine to enjoy on its own.