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A remarkable winery dating back to the 12th Century, and surrounding the most distinctive "terroir" in Spain, Scala Dei (Latin for "Ladder of God") produces wines of exceptional flavor and depth.
Wines from Scala Dei are among the most critically acclaimed from the region. The first winery in Priorat, Scala Dei was founded in 1163 by Carthusian monks who introduced vine growing in the region.
The region of Priorat is an isolated area situated in the middle of the Sierra del Montsant, a province of Tarragona. The average age of the vineyards at Scala Dei is 30 years, mostly planted on plains and terraces in soils very rich in llicorella or slate. The grape varieties planted at Scala Dei include Garnacha, Carinena, Syrah and, more recently, Cabernet Sauvignon. With outstanding complexity and concentration, the wines from Scala Dei depart from the region's traditional dark, intense, alcoholic wines to show a more approachable, balanced and elegant style of Priorat wine. Scala Dei wines have the structure and intensity expected of Priorat with a surprising balance and elegance that is rare for the region.
94 — Wine & Spirits — December, 2012

The 2006 vintage continues to deliver excellent Priorat wines like this latest release from Scala Dei: It's a symphony of fruit flavors with a youthful vigor remarkable for a six-year-old wine. There's no sign of age in the flavors, other than that time in the bottle has enhanced them, their fresh detail emphasized by an edge of acidity. A blend of cabernet sauvignon, grenache and syrah, it's ready to decant for braised lamb, or cellar for another six years.

94 — Wine & Spirits — February, 2012

It's a symphony of fruit flavors with a youthful vigor remarkable for a six-year-old wine. There's no sign of age in the flavors, other than that time in the bottle has enhanced them, their fresh detail emphasized by and edge of acidity.

93 — Tastings.com — December, 2014

BEST BUY. Ruby color. Aromas of mocha yogurt, toasted chocolate berry pastry, and sweet herbs and spices with a silky, lively, fruity medium body and an engaging, medium-long pomegranate gelato and sour cherry sorbet finish with silky tannins and light oak. A juicy, delicious, resonant, red that will cover a lot of bases. Drink now through 2017.

93 — Wine & Spirits — February, 2014

This wine displays its flavors in layers that race from exotic spice to tart red berries and on to notes of fresh flowers. In the end, the acidity teases out an unusually complex Priorat just beginning to show itself. Give it a decade or more in the cellar to fully evolve.

93 — Wine & Spirits — February, 2011

Generous, ripe aromas mark this blend of garnacha, cabernet and syrah, a confluence of fig, blackberry, raspberry and raw meat scents. Ample and warm in the mouth, it has tremendous depth of flavor accompanied by penetrating acidity, unexpectedly bright given the ripe context.

93 — Wine & Spirits — February, 2015

BEST BUY. This shows little of itself at the moment. It's almost completely closed, offering hints of fresh red fruit and touches of spice. The rest is a mystery locked in the tannins and acidity that form the powerful structure of the wines. Only grilled lamb-or 10 years in the cellar-will open the door on this blend of old-vine garnacha and carinena with cabernet sauvignon and syrah.

93 — Tastings.com — December, 2014

Black color. Interesting aromas and flavors of coconut cream, spiced berries and figs, and earth with a silky, tangy, fruity medium body and a tingling, stimulating, medium-length finish with suggestions of chocolate mint, black raspberry jam, delicate peppery spices, and banana with crunchy tannins. A zesty, lively, zinfandel-like red that will be great with food. Drink now through 2017.

92 — Wine & Spirits Magazine — February, 2015

BEST BUY. It's rare to find garnacha in Priorat with this much charm and sheet drinkability. It's energized with wild strawberry flavor, full of vitality and freshness, rich in texture, generous in acifity. This is the kind of wine you can drink like water, and it's great at quenching your thirst.

92 — Wine Advocate — February, 2014

The 2010 Cartoixa is a blend of 65% Garnacha, 25% Carinena and then equal parts of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah with 70% of the wine coming from slate soils and the remaining 30% from vines grown on argilo-calcareaous slopes. Part of the Garnacha is fermented whole cluster in cement vats and the wine ages in different-sized French oak barrels depending on grape variety. The result is a dark, brooding effort with ripe black fruit, balsamic aromas and clear hints from the slate soils. The palate is full-bodied with round, velvety tannins and great persistence and acidity.

92 — Wine Spectator — June, 2015

Flavors of black cherry and plum are juicy, even crunchy, in this fresh and lively red. Notes of wet stone and mountain herb add interest and complexity, while the focus stays on the fruit, with moderate tannins and lively acidity providing structure

92 — Wine & Spirits — February, 2012

BEST BUY. This garnacha transforms Priorat's licorella soils into red fruit flavors. Firm, dry tannins guard the ripe cherry and raspberry flavor behind them, making this an austere red for rabbit stew.

91 — Wine Enthusiast — June, 2015

This is ripe and a bit oaky and creamy up front, with schisty berry scents. It's controlled on the palate, with cherry, currant, plum, coconut and marzipan flavors. An oaky, rooty finish comes with a deep berry aftertaste. Drink this Garnacha-led wine through 2021.

91 — Wine Enthusiast — June, 2010

Deep purple in color, with roasted, rubbery aromas of wild blackberry. Thick, lush and rich in the mouth, with mellow tannins (for a Priorat wine) and big, broad flavors of plum, blackberry and herbs. Smooth on the finish, with black tea notes and leftover oak. Has a lot going for it; drink now through 2012.

91 — Vinous — January, 2016

Brilliant ruby-red. Focused, vibrant red berry and floral scents are complicated by suggestions of woodsmoke and white pepper. The rich yet animated palate boasts gently sweet raspberry and cherry flavors that deepen and spread out in the glass. This wine shows excellent finishing power and lift, with smooth tannins that are nicely tucked into the juicy red fruit.

91 — Wine Enthusiast — May, 2014

Minerally and focused on the nose, this smells of stony red fruits, oak and spice. In the mouth, Prior is firm, ripe and schisty. Flavors of minerally black fruits finish direct, long and pure, with character. Drink this handsome wine now through 2019.

91 — International Wine Cellar — September, 2013

Saturated ruby. Dark berries, cherry and pipe tobacco on the pungent nose; smells like there's more cabernet in here. Chewy, tightly focused cassis and bitter cherry flavors are lifted by tangy acidity and pick up a smoky nuance with air. Closes with solid tannic grip and excellent mineral-driven persistence, leaving a gently sweet cherry note behind.

90 — Vinous — January, 2016

(made entirely in stainless steel tanks): The highly perfumed nose shows very good clarity, with red berry and floral pastille aromas and a hint of white pepper. Silky, seamless and gently sweet, the palate is imbued with tangy acidity that gives spine to generous fresh raspberry and cherry compote flavors. Emphatically fruity and persistent, the finish conveys just a hint of dusty tannins. This extroverted, fruit-driven and extremely easy-to-drink bottling is a far cry from the structured, age-demanding wines that most wine lovers associate with Priorat.

90 — International Wine Cellar — September, 2011

Glass-staining violet. Musky, mineral-accented aromas of cherry, raspberry, dried rose and licorice, with a hint of vanillin oak. Penetrating on the palate, showing good intensity and cut to its cherry and redcurrant flavors. This grew sweeter and suppler as it opened in the glass.

90 — Wine Enthusiast — May, 2012

This perennially consistent Priorato deals graphite, coconut, leather, forest and oaky, chocolaty berry aro­mas in front of a round, mouthfilling palate. Tastes pri­marily of plum, cherry and currant, with a snappy finish defined by red fruit flavors and length.

90 — International Wine Cellar — September, 2010

Bright violet. Pungent aromas of blackberry, cherry-cola and mocha, with a sexy spice note. Dark berry preserve flavors stain the palate, with the spicy oak element repeating. The wood recedes on the finish, which features sweet dark fruit and a hint of candied licorice. This is handling its oak more deftly than the 2004 version right now.

90 — Wine Spectator — April, 2010

This austere red has muscular tannins that tamp down dark flavors of fig, cola, mushroom and licorice. It has good density, and a polished texture, and should bloom once the tannins relax. Best after 2010.

90 — Wine Enthusiast — June, 2008

A very ripe specimen that some Priorat buffs might label overripe. The nose has syrupy berry aromas while the palate is creamy, sweet and full of blackberry and brown sugar flavors. Teetering on sticky, this is a wine for the modern palate. Those who expect fierce tannins, asphalt and other rough and touch characteristics may be disappointed. Drink now through 2010.

90 — Wine Enthusiast — June, 2008

Very sound and secure. Prior exhibits the slightest aromatic notes of raisin and prune, but mostly it zeroes in on dense but fresh black fruit, schist and black olives. It's full-bodied but neither mean nor tannic. And the finish, which has some heat, is defined by licorice and cola. Balanced and ready to rink. Best now into 2010.

88 — International Wine Cellar — September, 2014

Bright red. Peppery red berry and floral aromas show good clarity and a hint of allspice. Lively and sharply focused on the palate, offering tangy redcurrant and strawberry flavors with a hint of orange pith. Finishes with good nervy cut and silky, late-arriving tannins.

THE WINEMAKER
Scaladei Winemaker Ricardrofes 340X217
Ricard Rofes began his oenology studies at the Jaume Ciurana Winemaking School in (Read More)
THE WINERY
Scaladei Vineyards 340X217
This remarkable winery dates back to the 12th century and is surrounded by some (Read More)