Scala Dei - Scala dei Prior 2016

Updated: Dec 2, 2019

Scala Dei

Scala dei Prior 2016

Priorat, Spain

Walking in the cellar of Waitrose Canary Wharf looking for a wine to swirl in the evening, my attention was captured by this bottle with a minimalistic label…. and on sale! I am happy of the choice! This nectar comes from the inland region of Priorat in North-east Spain, closed to Barcelona. It is a blend of 65% Garnacha Tinta (Spanish name for Granache), 15% Carinyena (Carignan), 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10%... producer has forgotten to give details or the math doesn’t work. The vineyards are located between 400 and 600 meters high. The type of soil is called licorella. After the fermentation, the divine juice ages in 100% French oak barrels for one year. After that, it sleeps a bit in the bottle before the release. Salud!


In the glass the wine has an impenetrable ruby colour. It is clear with no traces of deposits, but be careful with the last glass. There is a bit of sediment.


20 minutes after the uncorking, the wine aromas are quite austere. I suggest using a decanter to accelerate the opening of the flavours. After several swirling, the black fruits come out, with a hint of violet, pepper and kirsch. To be honest, the nose is not thrilling. There are secondaries as cedar, toast and a bit of cloves.


In the mouth, the wine is dry with a high level of acidity and medium plus tannins. The alcohol is high (i.e. 14.5%). It burns a bit, but it is a pleasant sensation. Both flavour intensity and finish are medium plus. On the palate, the black fruits are more concentrated. There is a succulent black cherry, blackcurrant, plum but also a sour cherry. The secondary aromas become more complex, with the addition of dark chocolate. On the palate, the third aromas, due to the aging, become clearer. There are notes of tobacco, prune and fig.


The wine is well balanced and its tannins are so silky on the palate. The only drawback is that the nectar needs time to show off all its aromas. Overall, it is a nice companion for our dinner, probably at £20 is a bit overpriced, given its lack of complexity, but it is definitively well made. Not sure, I’ll buy it again as I would prefer to try something else. But if somebody brought this bottle at my of my sumptuous Sunday lunch, I would not cry.

Final vote: 89

Price: £19.99 on


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