Jean Leon | Wine

Javier Mariscal Illustrates the 2011 Vintage of Vinya La Scala Cabernet Sauvignon Gran Reserva

The new vintage of our most iconic wine is now out on the market. Vinya La Scala Gran Reserva 100% Cabernet Sauvignon now has a new 2011 vintage and a new label designed by Javier Mariscal. Each new vintage of this wine is a tribute to art both by the wine itself as well as by the label, which features the work of a famous artist. On this occasion,

Mariscal created the work “Atardecer en Brooklyn” (“Sunset in Brooklyn”) to adorn the label. To the artist, this painting is not a painting as such, but rather more of “a graphic design piece.” As he points out, “I was inspired by New York, by a fall or winter sunset with a warm light and the Brooklyn Bridge, a view that anyone can easily recognize.” He also emphasizes the importance of the label on any wine: “The idea is that it forms part of the tasting experience of a wine.

Mariscal – famous for works including Cobi, the mascot from the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games – expresses himself using a personal language that is complex in its intention and simple in its expression. The artist uses linear esthetics and a warm color palette that evoke the past, with the bridge that Jean Leon must have crossed many times when he was living in New York. “You could make two movies out of Jean Leon’s life. This is a label with a lot of history behind it.

The artist admits he is a big fan of Jean Leon wines. “They normally don’t last too long at home. I like them because they’re real wines, with lots of body. I like to crack open a bottle of wine when I draw, read, or study. It’s an inspiring moment.”

If you’d like to see more from the conversation between Mireia Torres, director of Jean Leon, and Javier Mariscal, take a look at this video summary of their meeting, where art and wine were the stars.

An icon wine

Jean Leon Vinya La Scala 2011 is a limited, numbered edition with 9,352 bottles and is “Vi de Finca” (Single Vineyard) certified, the highest distinction awarded by the Government of Catalonia. The Cabernet Sauvignon grapes used to produce it come from an 8-hectare plot with vines planted in 1963 – the oldest on the property. After maceration and malolactic fermentation, the wine is aged in French oak barrels for 27 months, and then in the bottle for at least three years.

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Vinya La Scala is only made in years with exceptional harvest, such as 2011, which was considered a rainy year overall with normal temperatures, but with a very rainy, cold start to the growing season (3°C below average) and a very dry, warm ripening period. This favored the absence of health problems in the vineyard and influenced the quality of the harvest, which was qualified by the DO as “Very Good.”

In terms of tasting notes, the wine is intense cherry red in color and on the nose has an excellent balance of aromas between hints of ripe red fruit, jam, and touches of spice from the long barrel aging. It has a powerful attack, with body from the tannins and a long finish thanks to a consistent balance from the acids, ending on an elegant, silky note.

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What does it go well with? It’s the ideal pairing for nice red meat dishes, especially ones accompanied by sauces based on spices such as green peppercorn.

A wine with history

This is an exceptional wine. It was the first wine in Spain to be produced using mostly Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. The first vintage was in 1969, launched in 1971 exclusively for the La Scala restaurant, and the 1975 vintage was chosen for Ronald Reagan’s inauguration as president of the United States in 1981. Each new vintage that is placed on the market is illustrated with a work of art, featuring great artists including Josep Maria Guinovart for the 1996 vintage; Waltraud Maczassek in 2001; Josep María Subirachs in 2003; Josep Martí Bofarull in 2007; Modest Cuixart in 2009; and now Javier Mariscal. These artists have played a part in making each bottle a unique piece, reinforcing and paying tribute in each vintage to the strong link that’s always existed between Jean Leon and the art world.