Mas Alta "Black Slate Vilelle Alta"
Mas Alta is currently 35 ha in size with additional acreage contracted from local growers. At the core of the estate, as with most properties in the Priorat, are old-vine Garnacha and Carinyena that are up to 100 years old in age. They have also planted some new vineyards of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Garnatxa Negra and Carinyena as well as an increasing amount of indigenous white varieties, Garnatxa Blanca, Pedro Ximénez and Macabeu. Over the last decade there has been a transition to organic farming and the introduction of many biodynamic practices. As they have adapted to the terroir in the region they have also begun to implement some changes to the winemaking at the property. Since its inception, Mas Alta has championed a lavish and expressive style of wine, but there has been a slow evolution in the cellar. More whole clusters are used in the fermentations, indigenous yeasts are employed and a preference for aging in concrete, foudre and well-seasoned, and larger barrels is prized over new wood and small barriques.
Eric Solomon, Bixente Oçafrain and Philippe Cambie collaborate in the creation of Black Slate La Vilella Alta by selecting Garnacha and Carinyena grown on both licorella and clay limestone soils. A blend of old and young-vine fruit and with a small additions of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, La Vilella Alta is a dense and intensively flavored wine that is fermented in tank and aged in French oak barrels of which 30% are new.