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Celler de Capçanes Vall Del Calas 2012

The Experience

Drink When...
Learning from the past
Listen To...
Making History by Linton Kwesi Johnson
Think About...
Past, present and future
Drink With...
Partride and pearl barley soup

The Oddbins Take

Here’s some history: the Celler de Capçanes cooperative was formed by five families in 1933, in the village of Capçanes in northeast Spain, who all decided to join forces to make use out of the Grenache vines that replaced the vineyards wiped out by the ‘Phylloxera’ epidemic.

In over 80 years, the cooperative have honed their winemaking skills, keeping one eye on the future and the other eye on tradition. Now, here’s one product of all that history: a Merlot-based blended red wine, this is perfectly balanced and ripe yet elegant, with complex aromas of ripe dark fruit, wild herbs and berries.

The Vital Statistics

DO Montsant
Best Drunk Now & Over the Next 2 Years
Bottle Size
Regular - 750ml
Residual Sugar
3 g/l
Alcohol Units

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Was £17.50


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The Style

Merlot (60%), Grenache (30%), Tempranillo (10%)
Light Full bodied
Dry Sweet

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  • Celler de Capçanes Vall Del Calas
Celler de Capçanes Vall Del Calas

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Tim Atkin in Woman & Home magazine, October 2015: "The Capcanes co-operative is one of the best in Spain, working out of the picturesque Montsant region to the south of Barcelona. This stylish blend of Merlot, Garnacha and Tempranillo rich, herbal and full of ripe red fruits."

Prior to the Phylloxera outbreak at the turn of the 19th century, Capçanes was very densely planted but, after the devastation caused by this insect, only about a fifth of the original vineyards was replanted, predominantly with Garnacha (Grenache) which was the popular grape variety. Some of those vineyards, approaching 100 years old, still exist and are in production although yields are low.

To compete in the wine market, change was needed and, in 1933, five families from the village collaborated to establish a cooperative that would handle large quantities of grapes economically and efficiently. The foundation of the cooperative led to a change in the commercial prospects for Capçanes; suddenly they could offer large volumes of wine at competitive prices for bulk sales. The cooperative processed the village´s production and the wine was sold off in bulk until 1980 when they started to sell their grapes off prior to fermentation. This state of affairs continued until 1998 when the decision was taken to process all the village´s grapes at the cooperative.

However, the real changes had begun in 1995 when, down the road the Priorat DO started to gain status, people in Montsant DO started to realise the quality of the grapes they were growing. The impetus for the change came about when the Jewish community of Barcelona asked Capçanes if they could produce a Kosher wine. This demanded the installation of new equipment allowing the producers to identify, isolate and vinify under controlled ‘Lo Mebushal’ conditions, small parcels of high quality fruit. The Kosher wine was a success and the Capçanes brand, Flor de Primavera, enjoys a reputation amongst the highest in the world. Capçanes are very much in the new style of Spanish winemaking – with a focus on purity of fruit – but also conserves its identity and roots. Looking for a full-body yet with elegance and sophistication, they carefully age the fruits in oak barrels and use old, low-yielding bush vines of the indigenous varieties; Garnacha, Cariñena and Tempranillo, alongside international varieties such as Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon. These processes are conducted under the strict supervision of the Rabbi of Barcelona, Lo Mebushal Kosher Le Pesa.

Ángel Teixido is one of the most experienced winemakers in the area and is in charge of the vineyard, too. He is even still familiar with traditional Priorat methods like Rancio, Mistela and Vin Blanc, which he learnt under his father. Further on there is Jürgen Wagner, a German who has lived in Spain for 20 years, having studied at Geisenheim and the University of Tarragona. Jürgen brings his international experience to composing and styling the blends. Ángel upholds the roots and unique terroir of Capçanes.

"Vall del Calas is a high altitude, late-harvest, Merlot-based blend. The grapes undergo temperature-controlled fermentation (27-29C, with indigenous yeast) and maceration for 15-25 days. All three varieties were vinified separately and malolactic fermentation started in the tank, finishing in the barrel. The wine underwent light filtration and was aged for 13 months in light and medium-toasted French oak barrels up to three years old. After blending it was aged for six months in the tank before bottling.

Deep red colour, Vall de Calas has complex aromas of ripe dark fruit, wild herbs and berries. It is very spicy, with some vanilla, dark exotic fruit flavour nuances. Intense and concentrated, it is perfectly balanced with nicely vibrant acidity, an elegant Glycerine sweetness and serious ripe tannin structure. It would be a great match for braised veal shank or partridge.

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