fine Wine Source Wine Club

May 2017
Celler de Capcanes: Capçanes (pronounced Cap-sar-ness) is in DO Montsant, which surrounds the more famous DOQ Priorat. The village is in the south-eastern corner of the Comarca Priorat. Capçanes is (and isn’t) a co-op winery. Capçanes is both the name of a small Montsant village, south-east of the region’s main town, Falset, and also the name of its wine co-op. 190 hectares (pre-phylloxera there were 1,000 ha under vine) are controlled by 75 growers and represents about 10% of the DO’s total production. About half is organic, with more vineyards converted to such each year. Yields are as little as 12 hl/ha on the centenary Garnacha vines. But this is no mere co-op winery, at least not as they are commonly conceived! Historically, Montsant in general and Capçanes in particular, were known for producing bulk wine; however, by the 1990s, it was reduced to being a mere grower of fruit which was sold off in bulk to producers elsewhere. Worried that their future was not secure, the growers banded together to create their own brand. Run since 1997 by a visionary German, Jürgen Wagner, Capçanes makes estate-style wine from within a co-op system. Ironically, in this deeply Catholic region, the first Capçanes wine was a kosher wine, Peraj Ha´abib, or Flor de Primavera. The first of these was produced for the Rabbi of Barcelona in 1995, and achieved big scores from Parker and Jose Peñin (behind only Pingus and L’Ermita as the top wine of the year). The success, including the price, of this wine helped get the growers across the line and committed to a quality-driven path. Nowadays, Capçanes produces a significant range of estate-style wines.
About: This wine is a custom cuvee made by Montsant’s trend-setting co-operative for American importer Eric Solomon. It’s a bit like a Côtes du Rhône, but with more color, dark fruit and body. And it displays some of the region’s patented terroir, meaning it has that graphite-schist quality along with peppery notes.
Varietals: 85% Grenache & 15% Syrah
Alcohol: 14%
Tasting Notes: Medium ruby with violet shades; very nice glycerin mouth feeling and texture; wild red and black berry flavors, cherry, spices and herbs; well integrated elegant smooth vanilla oaky toasty notes; ripe mouthful and complex on the palate: loads of sweet vibrant fruit; medium to full-bodied with soft and velvet tannins and nicely refreshing finish.
Food Pairings: Roasted lamb chops, goat, beef, duck, game (partridge, quail, rabbit); stews, casseroles, grilled vegetable, cheeses, sirloin, and oxtail.
Jim Lutfy’s Thoughts: Big & concentrated with big cedar and tobacco flavor and a long deep finish; best served with anything from the BBQ!

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