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Capafons Ossó Cellars
by
Kathy Sullivan

Capafons Ossó CellarsSummary: Capafons Ossó Cellars offers a friendly experience and wine tasting for wine travelers.  Wine enthusiasts who wish to visit the winery and vineyards should contact the winery in advance.

Capafons Ossó Cellars is located on the border of the Priorat and Montsant wine regions. Capafons Ossó Cellars has vineyards and a winery in each region.

Masia Esplanes Cellar wines
are crafted with grapes from Montsant DO and Mas de Mases Winery wines are made with grapes from Priorat DOQ. The wineries and vineyards are owned by Francesc Capafons and his wife Montserrat Ossó. We toured the vineyards in the Priorat region and tasted wines at the winery in the Montsant region.

We met Francesc Capafons oenologist and geologist. Francesc had us join him on an extensive visit of his vineyards in Priorat. Later we tasted several of Capafons Ossó Cellars wines produced by both wineries.

Capafons Ossó CellarsFrancesc believes it important preserve the soil. He said, “Preserve the structure of the earth when planting vines.” The grapevine roots can penetrate the rock without any help. Some of the roots in the vineyard go 20 meters deep.

In the year 1400, the family had a nine-hectare farm. Friends owned the property adjacent to the farm. In the 1980s Francesc began buying the neighboring farms. Today he owns 60 hectares including 14 hectares of vineyards. The property has 15 sources of water. In Montsant he has 11 hectares of vineyards.

Vineyards

The vineyards in Priorat DOQ are located in a hilly area with a rough terrain. Buildings and others signs of commercialism are not to be seen. The ground looks harsh and one wonders how the grapevines can grow so successfully. Francesc is quick to point out how the grapevine roots can penetrate the rock. Enjoy bucolic views of the surrounding area and distant cloud painted skyline. Invasive wild herbs are controlled by hand.

Francesc is enthusiastic about the land and the vineyards. A walk through the scattered hillside vineyards conveys his intense enthusiasm for the land as he stops to point out the geology of the stones, rocks and wild herbs. Francesc stopped at the top of a high hill. According to Ania Andrews, our interpreter, few visitors reach this point. The summit offers an idyllic view not spoiled by modern times.

Capafons Osso Cellers

The vineyards with 14 hectares (about 35 acres) have Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Garnacha, Cariñena Syrah, downy Garnacha (hairy Garnacha, Garnacha Peluda), Garnacha Blanca and Viognier.

Vineyards in DO Montsant are comprised of 11 hectares (27 acres) of grapes. The soil is sandy with clay and gravel. Varietal grapes in these vineyards include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Garnacha, Barnacha Blanca, Syrah, and Cariñena.

Capafons-Osso CellersThe Wines

One of Francesc’s sons, Francesc Xavier Capafons Ossó is the winemaker. Another son is a professional artist who created one of the delightful wine labels. Capafons Ossó Priorat DOQ winery produces wines as natural as possible including using indigenous yeast. If necessary, sulfates are added prior to bottling. Wines are not fined or filtered.

Enillac Blance 2010 Priorat DOQ was a blend of Viognier and Garnacha Blanc. The gold color wine offered notes of peach, mineral and floral. The full-bodied wine with 14.5% alcohol was crisp. The wine retails for 25€. Roigenc 2013 Montsant DO was a Rosé of Syrah. This 15% alcohol wine was a light red color with a pink hue. The wine offered red berry fruit and some herbal notes. The wine was crisp with a light body. This wine sells for 10€. His son created the artwork for the label.

Vessants 2008 Montsant DO was a blend of Garnacha, Cariñena, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot. This wine was also 15% alcohol. The wine was an opaque, dark ruby color. It had notes of a dark fruit salad including black raspberries and black cherries. This very fruity wine was full-bodied with medium tannins. The wine retails for 8€. Masia Esplanes 2005 Montsant DO was a blend of Garnacha, Cariñena, Syrah, and Merlot. The 14.5% alcohol wine was a dark ruby with herbal and dark fruit notes. The wine had medium/bold tannins and was full-bodied. The retail price is 18€.

Capafons-Osso CellersDuring our tasting, we asked Francesc which wine was his favorite. He immediately hugged all the wines and said, "They are like children. I like all of them."

Sirsell 2008 Priorat DOQ was a blend of Garnacha, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cariñena and Syrah. The wine with 15% alcohol was an opaque, dark ruby. The wine offered mineral, herbal and dark fruit notes. The full-bodied wine had bold tannins. This wine retails for 16€. Siresell is Catalan for the tendrils of the vine. Masos d’en Cubells 2004 Priorat DOQ was a blend of Garnacha, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Cariñena and Merlot. The wine with 15% alcohol was an opaque dark ruby. The wine offered notes that included herbal hints, cassis and blackberry. The wine had bold tannins and was full-bodied. The retail price is 29€. Mas de Masos 2003 Priorate DOQ was a ruby wine produced with downy Garnacha, Cariñena, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. The wine had notes of blackberry, blueberry, mineral and herbs. The wine was full-bodied with very bold tannins. The retail price is 40€. Older versions from 1991 to 2002 costs 100€.

The Capafons Ossó Cellars wines are sold internationally in France, Japan and Switzerland.

When you have the opportunity to meet Francesc you will discover a friendly, enthusiastic and vibrant owner, winemaker and geologist.

Capafons Ossó Cellars
Apartat de Correus 32
43730 Falset, Catalunya, Spain

Article written October 2014


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