Sileo, Montsant Sileo 2019
90% Grenache and 10% Carignan
Montsant, Catalonia, Spain
From the importer-
Sileo is a Latin word meaning to be still, to be quiet, or to rest (it is the source of the English word ‘silence’). It is an important word for the Carthusians, a hermetic order of monks founded in 1084 devoted to silence and contemplation (the order’s motherhouse, the Grand Chartreuse in Alpine France, where the liquor Chartreuse is produced in perpetual silence, is perhaps the best-known contemporary expression of the order). The Monasterio Escaladei was the first Carthusian monastery in the Iberian Peninsula, established near Cornudella by Alfons the Chaste, king of Aragon, in 1194. Donations from successive monarchs provided the monks with much of the surrounding land, which they largely dedicated to viticulture. Their dedication to mapping, planting, and cultivating vineyards laid the groundwork for two important modern appellations (Montsant and Priorat), and although the Priorat de Scala Dei was dissolved in 1835, its cellars continue to be used for the aging of wines. In a very real sense, the winegrowers and winemakers of Priorat and Montsant owe much of their livelihood to these silent fathers who discovered and refined the viticultural potential of this place.
The grapes for Sileo come from a number of organically-farmed vineyards around Cornudella de Montsant planted on calcareous clay soils. The grapes are harvested by hand and ferment and age in a mix of used French oak barrels and stainless steel tanks.