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The wines of Capçanes, Montsant, Spain

Co-operative Llaberia, Capçanes, 43776 Tarragona
E-mail: capsanes@retemail.es

This must be one of Spain (and the world’s?) leading co-operative wineries, making commercially astute and sometimes quite exciting wines from 120-odd producers sharing some 250 hectares of largely old vine vineyards. The winery is located in Tarragona, and the Montsant DO wine region where these wines come from is a close neighbour to the famous Priorat region.

The co-operative was started in 1933, but it was only in the mid-1990s that quality rocketed. The catalyst was the demand by the Jewish community in Barcelona for a high-quality Kosher wine. The result was the superb Flor de Primavera, and the investment this stimulated raised the quality across the range.

These aren’t by any means Spain’s greatest wines, but they offer a lot of character, are made in an appealing modern style, and all represent good value for money.

Capçanes Mas Collet Blanco 2002
Lovely herby aromatic nose which is lemony and fresh. Rounded and crisp on the palate with some oak influence. Very good+ 89/100 (retail £6.99)

Capçanes Rosat 2002
Sweet boiled sweets nose with some brambly fruit. Soft and slightly sweet fruit on the palate. This is an easy drinker. Very good 82/100 (£4.99 Oddbins, Booths)

Capçanes Mas Collet 2001
Very ripe, sweet liquoricey fruit here: modern and pure. The palate is rich, sweetly fruited and quite savoury with some wood. A lovely modern, fruit-driven wine. Very good+ 88/100 (£6.49 – this goes under a different label at M&S and Oddbins and is priced at £6.99)

Capçanes Lasendal Garnacha 2001
Sweet forward nose is almost opulent. The palate is savoury and spicy with good fruit, some tannin and a savoury finish. Nice concentration. Very good+ 87/100

Capçanes Costers del Gravet 2000
A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache and Carignan aged 50% in new oak. Lush, intense, liquoricey fruit on the nose with a liqueur-like quality. Concentrated, intense palate with vivid, spicy fruit, a savoury finish and some spicy oak. A bold style. Very good+ 89/100

Capçanes Flor de Primavera 2001 (Kosher wine)
Dense, rich spicy nose wine which is vivid and intense. Lovely fruit quality. Spicy and quite rich in a modern style. Very good+ 88/100

Capçanes Cabrida 2000
Made from 80–90 year old Garnacha (Grenache). Juicy, vivid, intense nose with rich, spicy almost porty fruit. Elegant, dense, rich and spicy palate with smooth tannins. Concentrated, youthful and primary at the moment. Very good/excellent 91/100

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