Jean Leon Vinya La Scala Gran Reserva, Penedes

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Jean Leon Vinya La Scala Gran Reserva is a single vineyard, red wine from Penedes which is only produced in the very best vintages. It lays claim to being the first red wine from Spain to be made mainly from Cabernet Sauvigon and was selected as the official wine for Ronald Reagan’s inauguration at the White House in 1981. It is named La Scala after Leon’s famous Hollywood restaurant.

Jean Leon was born in Santander, moved with his family to Barcelona, and eventually manage to stow away on a ship bound from Le Havre in France to New York. After driving a cab and working as a busboy and waiter he eventually ended up in Hollywood working at the Villa Capri, a tinseltown restaurant owned by Frank Sinatra and Joe DiMaggio. Soon he was rubbing shoulders with the good, the bad, politicians and movie stars and on April 1st 1956 he opened La Scala, a very famous Hollywood restaurant, which he co-owned with James Dean. Jean Leon became very interested in wine, indeed La Scala had an underground cellar with some 25,000 bottles in, and soon ended up in his home country of Spain looking to make a signature Jean Leon wine. He bought vineyards in 1962 and completed building a winery in 1963. Leon was a true pioneer in the Spanish wine industry, he immediately grubbed up all the local vines and replanted with single vineyards of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Chardonnay – in fact, he is credited with being the first to release a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon and 100% Chardonnay in Spain. The Torres family took control of Jean Leon wines in 1994 but the estate continues to be run as a separate entity from rest of their wines and remains true to Leon’s vision. Today the estate consists of some 63 hectares of vineyards in Penedes at an elevation of 600m. 

The La Scala vineyard was planted in 1963 and comprises some 8 hectares of Cabernet Sauvignon vines planted on rocky, calcareous clay soils. The 100% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes for the Jean Leon Vinya La Scala Gran Reserva are hand harvested and undergo a period of maceration with skin contact for 20 days. The wine then undergoes a temperature controlled alcoholic fermentation for 18 days in stainless steel vats. The wine then undergoes malolactic fermentation followed by a maturation period of 24 months in French oak and a minimum of 3 years in bottle prior to release. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.

This wine is suitable for vegans and vegetarians.

Tasting Notes

Jean Leon Vinya La Scala Gran Reserva has a cherry red colour with a brownish rim due to the extended ageing. The nose is intense and complex with red fruit compote, oak and vanilla-y notes of toast and spices. The wine has a medium to full-bodied entry onto the palate with good tannic concentration which gives a firm structure. Thanks to smooth tannins, it unfolds across the palate. Long and
persistent on the finish. 

Food Pairing

An excellent  match with fine red meat accompanied by sauces which include spices like green peppercorn.


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