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Capçanes is the name of a village and its cooperative, both located in the Priorat region, inside the province of Tarragona. They belong to D.O. Montsant.
Its history dates back to 1933, when five families of the village that made wines in their farmhouses decided to create a common winery in the form of a cooperative. This meant a change of the commercial perspectives. Therefore, until the early nineties the winery was dedicated to develop large amounts of wine, in bulk, at competitive prices.
Little by little, new technology was incorporated, until in 1991, under the direction of the oenologist Angel Teixidó, the first wines aged in barrels were made.
However, the great change and final boost of the winery came in 1995, following its encounter with the Jewish community of Barcelona. This community asked the cooperative to make a kosher wine using the mebushal method. In order to identify, isolate and vinify small batches of grapes selected under strict control of the rabbi, they needed new facilities.
The first kosher wine was Flor de Primavera, recognised as one of the best wines of Spain in its category, and one of the great kosher wines of the world.
This is how Celler de Capçanes came to be the pioneer in the production of kosher in Spain.
This was also the trigger for the creation process of a full range of non-kosher bottled wines. With the vintage of 1996 appeared a new style of wine. Ever since Celler de Capçanes did not cease to make huge investments in technology and in the entire winery, which has been completely restructured and modernised with the new barrel warehouse, finished at the end of 2001, coinciding with the creation of D.O. Montsant. It was at this time when Celler de Capçanes was admitted under this new denomination.
All these changes have been possible thanks to the dynamic nature and, above all, thanks to the common sense of the 80 cooperative members, who guaranteed the bank loan with their houses and farms, in proportion to the amount of grapes produced by each one of them.
Currently, at Celler de Capçanes the talent of Anna Rovira, the first winemaker of the winery, whose responsibility extends to the control of the vineyards, joins German national Jürgen Wagner, responsible for the export, who contributes to the definition and composition of wines with his experience. Right now, the winery's annual production amounts to 800,000 bottles and 200,000 litres of local sales of bulk/bag in box wine.
The total amount of the grapes used in the production of the wines comes from the 250 hectares of vineyards, which range between 30 and 95 years of age, that belong to the different members of the cooperative. Therefore, Celler de Capçanes also has a wide range of different types and varieties of soils, allowing them to produce different wines that reflect the singularity of each terroir.
Limestone soils that offer fresh and subtle wines. These soils are formed by fragmented rock that creates paths for the root to search for water. If it rains, the water circulates quickly. If it does not, there is no water retention. That's why the roots are deep (8 to 12 metres), searching for the more compact ground.
The slate soils give a lot of minerality to the wines, because the rock, at deep levels, gathers the heat from the geological activity of the earth and suffers the pressure by the ground it has above it. The stone heats up and becomes laminated, keeping it in permanent contact with the roots.
Clay, which causes the vineyards to suffer, resulting in wild wines. These are lands in lake areas that have been gathering sediments by the presence of water. The reddish colour comes from the oxidation in very compact soils, without oxygen, where plants suffer and search for paths where the water filters through.
And finally, "Panal" soils (quaternary alluvial silty clay) that offer wines that are easy to drink and understand. On these soils, the wind erodes the land from dry coastal areas, beaches, deserts, arid areas, where the sand allows the roots to be deep and find calcium.
But aside from this meticulous study of soils, it is worth talking about the production of Kosher wine, a wine consumed by the Jewish community in celebrations such as the Jewish Passover or the Sabbath. The elaboration of Kosher wines is subject to strong restrictions marked by the Hebrew Law.
The minimum age of the vines intended for the production of Kosher wine must be at least 4 years. All the winemaking, except the harvest, must be carried out by Jewish. The fermentation tanks and all the material necessary for the vinification must be used exclusively for Kosher wine. Someone who has not been authorised by the Torah cannot have physical contact, not even visual, with the wine. Not even the oenologist of the winery. During the production process, the rabbi becomes the hands and eyes of the oenologist.
Even during wine ageing, the winery has a barrel that is not suitable for Kosher wine but with the same content as the other Kosher barrels. This allows the team of oenologists to have certain control and when something has to be done to the wine, they call the Rabbi , who is told what to do and how to do it.
In addition, the bottles must be new, 1% of the profits of the wine go to charity, and on the seventh harvest year the vines must rest so they can regenerate. All the machinery must also be thoroughly cleaned and completely purified.
The Kosher wine from Celler de Capçanes is exported to different countries, including Israel. As a curious fact, in 2007, at an auction held at the National Jewish Heritage Museum in Manhattan, someone paid $1,000 for a bottle of this wine, which is considered the best Kosher wine in the world produced outside Israel.
Wines from the winery Celler de Capçanes
Currently, the wines from Celler de Capçanes make up a wide range, from the most linear and young wines with the label Mas Donís, which include a white wine made with White Grenache and
Maccabeu, a rosé made with Grenache, Syrah, Tempranillo and Carignan, and a red made with Grenache, Carignan or Samsó, Syrah, Merlot, Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as a blanc de noirs, the Mas Picota, made with 100% Red Grenache. In its line of wines with a slight stay in the barrel, we must highlight Mas Donís Barrica made with Grenache and Syrah, Mas Collet made with Grenache, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, and Lasendal made with Grenache, Syrah and Merlot. It also produces a line of organics, with three wines, the Vall del Calàs, made with Merlot, Grenache and Tempranillo, with an ageing of 12 months in new and second-use French oak barrels; Mas Picosa, made with Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, where part of the wine rests 4 months in the barrel; and the Mas Tortó, made with Grenache, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Carignan, and aged for 12 months in new and 1-year-old barrels made from French oak from Allier and Nevers.
Now we have to mention the most significant wines of the winery, like their single-vineyard wine Costers del Gravet, made with 60% Samsó, 25% Grenache and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged for 12 months in new and 1-year-old French oak barrels. This wine has an intense cherry colour, with complex aromas of red fruits, toasted aromas of the barrel and soft tannins, with good acidity and long in the mouth.
Capçanes Còmic #1 is one of their latest additions. It is made 100% with Merlot from vines that are between 17 and 23 years old. They are planted on calcareous soils at an altitude of 300 metres, with a stay in wooden vats on its lees for 5 months. It offers complex aromas of red fruits, and a well-integrated, slight roasted note from the wood. Soft and mature tannins. Good acidity and lingering in the mouth.
Cabrida is a wine that surprised everyone from its first harvest. It is made with Grenache from old vines that are over 50 years old, planted at an altitude of 500 metres on clay and granite soils, in terraces. It is aged for 12 months in new French oak barrels. It is a complex wine, with aromas of ripe fruit, cocoa, balsamic herbs and mint. With an elegant character, body, very balanced and with excellent acidity.
Cabrida Calissa is the elder brother of the Cabrida, as it is also made with old Grenache, in this case ranging between 77 and 100 years. It receives an ageing of 12 months in 300-litre French oak barrels with a light-medium toasting. It is a fine, subtle and elegant wine, with a wide range of red fruits and floral hints. In the mouth it has a lively and zesty acidity, with an interesting mineral background. Fresh and pleasant tannins with an elegant finish.
Pinor Noir de Capçanes is a Pinot Noir varietal from a single plot planted in 2002, at an altitude of 500 metres, on soils comprised of calcium carbonates with a large amount of clays. It goes through malolactic fermentation in 300-litre French oak barrels and continues to age for 12 months. It is a subtle wine, fresh and zesty, with fruity, forest hints, and herbaceous aromas. It has a fragile and delicate structure, introverted and timid; very fine and accentuated in all respects; its aromas seduce by their clarity and freshness, and in the mouth it is zesty, lively, daring, polite.
2 Pájaros is a varietal of Samsó (Carignan) from old vines that are over 50 years old, planted on soils comprised of licorella, limestone and clay, with an ageing of 12 months in new 300-litre French wood with a medium roast. On the nose, its vegetative character prevails, alongside the aromas of liquorice, spices and notes of roasting. In the mouth it has a sweet and smooth attack, which contrasts with its great volume, fleshiness and unctuousness.
Vim Blanc is made with White Grenache, with a first ageing on its lees for 3 months and then, 3 years of ageing in new French oak. It offers fruity aromas, baked apple, tropical fruit, and lactic notes. It is powerful in the mouth, with a sweet entrance. Then, a persistent acidity, with a salty finish.
One of their latest innovations is their collection "Nits de Garnachas". Four Grenache single-variety wines, all aged for 4 months in 300-litre French oak barrels, but from four different soils. Nit de les garnatxes "Argila" is a truly complex wine, with more wild notes, of undergrowth, and a rustic and persistent tannin, that stays in the mouth. It is the wildest wine of the four. Nit de les garnatxes "Calissa" is a complex wine, with more subtle and floral aromas, very fresh in the mouth, and very persistent. Nit de les garnatxes "Llicorella" is a truly differentiated wine, with mineral, balsamic aromas, more powerful, with more body and volume. It is the most mineral Grenache. And last but not least, Nit de les garnatxe "Panal" , with an intense cherry colour, is a wine with aromas of ripe fruit, elegant and fine in the mouth. A wine that is easy to drink and to understand.
They also produce a traditional sweet wine, Pansal del Calàs, made with 70% Grenache and 30% Samsó, both from old vineyards, with an ageing of 15 months in new French and 1-year-old barrels. It is a very expressive wine, with a very intense cherry colour, aromas of fruit compote, soft shades of wood and a lot of perfume of figs and raisins. It keeps all the freshness of the fruit and it is not sickly.
To the very end we are leaving the Kosher wines, which currently comprise for variants. Peraj Petita Rosat, made with 60% Grenache, 15% Tempranillo, 15% Merlot and 10% Syrah. It has an intense pink colour, bright and very aromatic, with red fruits. In the mouth it has an interesting acidity that refreshes and gives a discreet sweetness that invites you to have another glass. Sweet. Long and persistent. Peraj Petita, made with 55% Grenache, 20% Tempranillo, 20% Merlot and 5% Syrah. 15% of the wine has aged in barrels for 10 months. Aromas of blueberries and cherries, and a lot of red fruit in the mouth. Concentrated, well balanced, with a certain minerality, pleasant tannins and an unusual freshness. Peraj Ha'abib is made with 35% Grenache, 35% Samsó and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon. It is aged for 12 months in new and 1-year-old French Kosher barrels. It is a complex wine, with aromas of ripe fruit, hints of minerality and toastings from the barrel, delicately integrated. It has a firm elegant character, with body, very balanced and of excellent acidity.
La Flor del Flor de Primavera is a Grenache varietal from old vines that are aged between 83 and 100 years, planted at 500 metres, and aged for 12 months in new French barrels. It is a fresh wine, elegant, delicate, with a personality full of harmony and an excellent acidity.
La Flor del Flor Old Vines Samsó is a varietal of Carignan from 4 small plots of old vines aged between 85 and 105 years. It is aged for 14 months in new and one-year-old French barrels made from oak from Allier and Nevers, with light and medium toasting. It offers brilliant aromas of cherry, plums, blackcurrants, with roasted flavours and coffee, and seductive black berries. Complex, sophisticated, elegant with ripe, fresh and mineral tannins, very long and with good ageing potential.
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