For all its reputation as a rising star on the Spanish scene over the past decade or two, the landscape of Ribera del Duero is suffused in centuries of wine heritage, from gnarled Tinto Fino (Tempranillo) vines of venerable age to the labyrinthine wine cellars that wind beneath the streets of the town of Aranda de Duero.
Pago de los Capellanes has a recently expanded vineyard and a stunning modern winery, but the name itself shares its long history, dating back to the 14th century, when the God-fearing populace of nearby Pedrosa de Duero donated parcels of land to the local chaplains in recognition of their religious administrations.
The Church lost the land centuries ago, but the name lingers on in the five-strong line-up of wines crafted by oenologist Paco Casas. It's proof that great wines can have a straightforward philosophy: a Joven, Crianza and Reserva, plus two single parcel wines, all 100% Tinto Fino.
Beneath this apparent simplicity, however, lies a ceaseless quest for improvement, exemplified by an experimental approach to maturation, with Casas trying out as many as 22 different types of French oak, seasoned for anything from two to five years and using varying levels of toasting.
The winery has been expanded, but here too there is respect for the past: from the outset, the architecture has been deliberately designed to showcase the remarkable 800-year-old walnut trees at the buildings' centre.
125ha of vineyards nestled around 8 ancient walnut trees making up 35 different plots with a maximum yield of 5000kg/ha, each vinified seperately in the state of the art winery designed by Jesus Manzanares. These are wines of class and elegance that will only get better with time.
The Reserva is selected from the oldest parcels (80 years) in the Pedrosa de Duero vineyards. Chalky-clay and gravel soils.
Production Selected harvest in 15 kilo crates. Cold pre-fermentation for 6 days. Controlled alcoholic (primary) fermentation with the addition of selected native yeast from our best vineyards for 20 days with daily pumping over. Malolactic fermentation is done very slowly, without adding bacteria, at a cellar temperature of 20ÂºC for 28 days. The wine is then rested in 300 litre fine grain French oak casks for 14 months, then it is bottled without filtering or clarifying.
Ruby red colour with intense garnet tones. Elegant complexity in the nose with tones of ripe fruit, cherry, redcurrant and smoky hints with a background of liquorice. Very well balanced in the mouth due to the maturity of the tannins.
Ty with fillet Steak, beef stroganoff or a venison and juniper stew.