by Michael Douglas Bosc
The Celler at Capcanes
Nestled in a valley in the hills that is home to the Guiamets reservoir, is the village of Capcanes in the DO Monsant. The Celler is most famous for its Kosher wine. Although the wine it produces here for export and local consumption is equally well known albeit that in the UK it is sold under another name in M&S and Oddbins. If you look for the origin Monsant DO you will probably hit the mark.
The Celler dates back to the 19th century but during the early 20th century the vineyards were devastated by the disease phylloxera. Later in 1933, 5 families got together to form a co-operativea. Here they made their wines and sold it under the name of Capcanes wine. Modernisation took place in the Celler in the mid 1990′s, with the whole village taking a share in the co-operativa making a total of 80 members. Of these, 15 have a 75% share and make the decisions, which have turned this into an internationally known Celler. Although this was a large leap for many, their belief in their wine has paid off.
Spacious, with underground storage for the oak casks in large cool cavernous rooms, lit by pale green lights. There these giants sleep, whilst turning their contents into some of the most delicious wines of the region. Here they are tended and cared for until the wines they hold have reached maturity and are bottled.
As you enter the Celler you come into a wide room, where the various wines are on sale and display. Along one wall are bottles, with two large vats opposite from which you can buy red or white wine. Then there are the oak casks which contain vermouth, wine both red and white, Garancha Dolce, which can be bought in 2ltr bottles.
They have and use, the concrete vats both underground and free standing. Again there is the green lighting in this area, this is where the wines for the commercial and local market are produced.
But it is the Kosher wine that they have become famous for, making it in the traditional way. Every seventh year after the first harvest, the fields must lay undisturbed, and nothing can be planted in between the rows of grapes. All the ingredients yeast etc., used in the production of the wine have to be Kosher. From the beginning of the harvest only Kosher tools can be used. The equipment, must be cleaned with hot water several times in some cases, to ensure that nothing remains in either the vats or on equipment. Once the harvest has begun only Jewish males are allowed to come into contact with
the wine. It accounts for 2% of the total wine produced here. The vats and crushers used in the making of this wine, once cleaned are sealed until the next harvest.
Likewise the vaults where the wine is stored in casks and bottled. The Glass doors are locked and the metal grill gates are sealed. Behind them you can see the long corridors with the arched storage rooms for the casks and bottles.
You can buy bottles of the Kosher wine just like the other wines. I would like to say that although expensive it is well worth the money. The grapes grown here are Garnacha, Carinena, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Tempranillo, and Syrah with the white wines being Garnacha Blanco and Macabeu. These produce around 1.1 million kg of grapes from roughly 250 hectares of vineyards.
Mas Collet Blanco
Has a lovely herby nose which is fresh and slightly lemony, with some oak. I am not too sure it is for me, but I would buy it.
Reminds me of boiled sweets with a slight hint of blackberries. This is a very soft drink, just right for a sunny afternoon.
A slight hint of liquorice and fruit with a shade of oak wood at the end. very pleasant.
This is a typical Garnacha, sweet with a hint of something savoury and a ghost of spice that you just can not place. I like this wine.
Costers del Gravet
This wine is made from three grapes Cabernet Sauvignon, Garnache and Carignan. It is aged in new oak, giving a liqueur-like quality, with again the liquorice bouquet. Nice drink with your meal.
Flor de Primavera - Kosher wine
This wine is full bodied, with a rich spicy bouquet. A wine which is both delicious and intense. Well worth the money, and another one I like.
This wine is made from the Garnacha grape off the old vines. It is a deep red full bodied wine, almost on the port side. This is a wine I find rather rich, but my wife is very fond of, drunk like a port it is superb. An alternative for the Christmas table.
Both my wife and brother-in-law like this wine. It is bought from the Celler’s shop from the cask. Again it is like a smooth port, good body warm taste with a deep colour. My brother-in-law says that when he buys a wine that is a bit on the tart side, he decant’s it and adds some of the Garnacha. He says it improves the wine no end, he also guards the Garnacha, he’s most impressed.
By Michael Douglas Bosc