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It's always a great day when a favorite wine returns in a new vintage and it's just as good or even better than the previous release. After the fabulous 2016 Potente from Celler Capçanes, I had high hopes for the newly arrived 2018 vintage. I'm delighted to report that I wasn't disappointed -- the new arrival is close to a carbon-copy of the last vintage. It has the same smooth and silky elegance that we all loved with just a tad more brightness and freshness.
Montsant and Priorat are neighbors and a classic example of how one neighbor gets all the love and attention of the winepress, while the other gets politely ignored. For the last few years, the Priorat DOC has been the darling of hipster soms and wine publications. The attention is well-deserved; the region produces excellent wine from a punishing landscape and climate.
Think of the Priorat as Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Montsant as Gigondas, Vacqueras, Cairanne, Rasteau, and all the other villages that surround Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Wines in the surrounding communities often use the same grape varietals, share similar soil structures, and even share weather conditions.
The one thing they don’t share is the price.
The village of Capçanes and the winery bearing its name are located 100 miles southwest of Barcelona, 20 miles inland from the Mediterranean Sea. There is a long and proud history of wine growing here that dates back to the middle ages. Cellars Capçanes was created in 1933 by a small group of local vignerons and now includes hundreds of families throughout the region.
Capçanes sources the fruit for Potente from high altitude vineyards on south and southwest facing mountain slopes. The low amounts of annual rainfall, extreme climate swings, and the barren, rocky soil make it difficult for the grapes to survive –and that’s what makes great wine!
In the glass, you'll find a superb union of power and finesse. Aromas of roasted dark berry and cherry compote, wild raspberry, and forest berries burst out of the glass along with a subtle of smoke and campfire. Just like the wines of the Priorat, the gorgeous lift of this Montsant on the palate is the perfect foil to the pure, velvety fruit. The long finish is a melange of dark berry fruit with hints of balsamic, chocolate, and a touch of pepper spice.
If you're a fan of Priorat, you'll fall in love with this "Junior Priorat" blend of Garnacha, Cariñena (Samsó), Syrah, and Merlot.
Best of all, this wine drinks like a Priorat, at the price of a Montsant!