Thursday, April 21, 2016

Capture Wines - Denis Malbec Project Will Live On

This post first appeared on the daily wine blog Terroirist.

Capture Wines is a California North Coast project aimed at producing Bordeaux variety wines from high elevation sites in Napa, Sonoma, Lake and Mendocino Counties. It was founded by Denis Malbec (what a last name!), who was born and raise at a little shack you may have heard of, Chateau Latour. His father was Latour’s cellar master, and Denis took over in 1994. But he moved to California, founded Capture, and began seeking Napa and Sonoma sites for high-end Bordeaux varietal wines. Unfortunately, just a few weeks after I tasted these wines, Denis tied in a tragic car accident at the age of 46.

The Jackson Family purchased Capture Wines in 2014, and they seem to be sticking to this relatively narrow focus with their range of wines. Graham Weerts now oversees winemaking for Capture, with the help of Sam Teakle, who has worked in South Australia and France.

The label’s two Sauvignon Blancs are blended from Sonoma County and Lake County fruit. They’re not cheap, but they definitely deliver for the price. I found the Spring Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon to be very impressive and worthy of a long sleep in the cellar.

These wines were received as trade samples and tasted sighted.

2014 Captûre Wines Sauvignon Blanc Tradition – California, Lake County/Sonoma County
SRP: $30
Bright and zesty aromas, an enticing mix of lemon/lime peel, baby’s breath, honeysuckle along with a kick of spicy green herbs and ginger. Rich texture on the palate, nice and creamy but stays bright with crisp acidity. I like the mix of lime, green apple with richer notes of papaya and white peach. Clean, bright, a hint of creaminess bounces off notes of white flowers, white pepper and ginger. Long finish, clean as a whistle. Mostly Lake County fruit with 35% from Sonoma, mostly fermented in stainless steel with a bit of old oak. (90 points)

2014 Captûre Wines Sauvignon Blanc Les Pionniers – California, Lake County/Sonoma County
SRP: $45
Richer, deeper aromatics than the tradition, I get more tangerine and guava here, but it’s still refreshing with lime, honeysuckle and sea spray. Full-bodied, a bit creamier on the palate, a lovely smooth texture but kept in balance with fresh acid. Nectarine, white peach, yellow and green apples, the fruit is pure and complex, and laced with notes of ginger and honeyed green tea. Beautiful stuff here. About even split between Lake County and Sonoma County fruit, and about even split between fermentation in stainless steel and old oak. (91 points)

2012 Captûre Wines Alliance – California, Napa Valley, Spring Mountain District
SRP: $90
Deep purple color. Rich and intoxicating on the nose, with bold black currant, blackberries, the fruit is pure and vibrant and mixed with notes of sage, eucalyptus, cedar and loamy soil. Full-bodied and punchy on the palate with velvety but firm tannins and moderate acid that keeps it moving forward. The black currant, blueberry and blackberry fruit is rich but shows verve. Complex elements of loam, cedar, eucalyptus, sage, mint, dark chocolate shavings. A whole lot going on here. Serious structure for the cellar but it’s vibrant and alive now. Beautiful, opulent stuff. 87% Cabernet Sauvignon with some Merlot and Cab Franc. Aged 18 months in 60% new French oak. (93 points)

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