Between a Rock and a Hard Place: 8 Wines Grown on Slate Soils

rocky slate soil
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Rocky, slate-driven soils might look like a nightmare for growing anything, however many wine-producing regions across the globe use the unique attributes of these soils to their benefit. These well-draining soils are a boon in high-precipitation areas, assuring that the vines aren’t overridden with water. Additionally, some slate soils in cooler climates are dark in color, which absorbs and disperses heat from the sun and helps to ripen the grapes.

Riesling is well-suited to slate soils, with the most notable examples coming from the Mosel in Germany and Clare Valley in Australia. The llicorella soils in Priorat in northeast Spain are made up of black slate and quartz and yield powerful, structured red wines made from Garnacha, Carignan and Monastrell.

Here are 8 wines that showcase the power of slate soils.

Understanding Slate Soils in Wine

Dr. Loosen 2019 Ürziger Würzgarten Kabinett Riesling (Mosel); $28, Vivino or Total Wine & More. This zingy kabinett is such an irresistible lightning bolt of Riesling…. SEE SCORE AND FULL REVIEW

Karthäuserhof 2020 Bruno Slate Kabinett Feinherb Riesling (Mosel); $22. Notes of gun flint, smoke and chalk lend a spine tingling mineral edge to this zippy, salt-struck Riesling… SEE SCORE AND FULL REVIEW

Mas Martinet 2017 Camí Pesseroles Red (Priorat); $125, Vivino. Deep garnet in color, this wine has aromas of blackberry preserves, clove… SEE SCORE AND FULL REVIEW

Perinet 2017 1194 Red (Priorat); $140, Vivino. Inky garnet in the glass, this wine offers a heady bouquet of blackberry, cassis, bramble… SEE SCORE AND FULL REVIEW

Pikes 2019 Traditionale Dry Riesling (Clare Valley); $28, Wine.com or Vivino. Notes of bright citrus, wax, kerosene, flower blossoms and honey lead into a bone-dry palate… SEE SCORE AND FULL REVIEW

Prost 2019 Dry Riesling (Mosel); $14, Wine.com. Penetrating yellow peach and tangerine notes extend from nose to finish… SEE SCORE AND FULL REVIEW

We Recommend:

Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt 2019 Graach Josephshöfer Spätlese Grosse Lage Riesling (Mosel); $38, Vivino. A delicate veil of green melon and orange blossom perfume introduces… SEE SCORE AND FULL REVIEW

Torres 2017 Mas de la Rosa Vinyes Velles Porrera (Priorat); $400, Vivino. Dark garnet in color, this wine features aromas of raspberry, cherry pie and English toffee…. SEE SCORE AND FULL REVIEW

Published on February 18, 2022
Topics: Buying Guide