This is possibly the best purchase we made this year! When we were offered the Mas Alta Black Slate La Vilella Alta 2013 from Priorat, Spain earlier this year, I had to make a quick decision! With a Wine Advocate rating of 95 Points, I knew that our supplier would sell out fast. Provence is a small restaurant and we do not have much storage space, but I decided to buy two cases immediately. It was a wise decision. This wine is exceptional and at $69 is simply an incredible bargain. For those who are not familiar with wine ratings, Wine Advocate 90-95 describes an "outstanding wine of exceptional complexity and character. In short, these are terrific wines". At 95 points, we are just one point short of the "extraordinary" category. On restaurants wine lists, wine with a 95 points rating usually from $300 to $600+.
We only have 8 bottles left!
I love this wine! Even if you completely ignore the rating, the Wine Advocate description is more than mouth-watering: ""This is a joint venture between famed Rhône négociant Michel Tardieu, his oenologist Philippe Cambie and importer Eric Solomon. From the area of Priorat known as the Vilella Alta, these are high-density vineyards planted more than 1,000 feet above sea level. The vines average between 15 to 60 years old. The final blend of the 2013 Black Slate is 60% Grenache, 35% Carignan and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, all aged for one year in French oak (60% new and 40% one-year-old). The color is inky/bluish/purple. The wine offers up notes of blueberry and blackberry liqueur mixed with wet rocks, spring flowers and graphite, followed by a full-bodied, dense, multidimensional wine with fabulous intensity, loads of burgeoning complexity and a precise and lush feel to the palate. Tannins are present, but silky and well-integrated. This is a seamless, beautifully made wine that sells for a song, considering the quality and complexity it possesses. Drink over the next 5-8 years."
You might wonder why a French native would be so enthusiastic about a Spanish wine. Baptist and I carefully select all the wines that are listed on our wine list. Even though more than 70% of our wines are from France, which makes sense for a French restaurant, I will not hesitate to recommend a US, Spanish, or Italian wine. This bottle reminds me of some of the very best France has to offer, such as a Chateauneuf du Pape. It is complex, rich, and bold and has extraordinary flavors. It will be a great pairing to all our meat dishes.
Now is the time to come to Provence and get a bottle or two of this treasure before it is sold out!
Pierre Wertheimer, Provence of Carrboro's sommelier