2013 Capiaux "Gap's Crown Vineyard" Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

SKU #1306551 93 points Vinous

 The 2013 Pinot Noir Gap's Crown Vineyard, from a cool site in the Petaluma Gap, presents an intriguing combination of bright red stone fruit, game, smoke licorice. A host of cranberry, blood orange and exotic spice notes flesh out as the wine opens up in the glass. There is more than enough intrigue and nuance to follow for the next handful of years. A closing flourish of floral and savory overtones rounds things out nicely. This is a strong set of Pinot Noirs from Sean Capiaux, who once again proves he is just as talented with Pinot as he is with the Cabernet Sauvignons he makes for Betty O'Shaughnessy and her husband, Paul Wools. Specifically, the 2014s I tasted recently are brilliant, as they capture all of the intensity and energy that makes this vintage so special. Capiaux's Pinots strike an attractive stylistic middle ground. An increasing move towards slightly larger 350-liter barrels seems to give the wines a bit more verve than they had in the past. This year, I found the Sonoma wines a touch above the rest. (AG)  (9/2015)

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2013 Pinot Noir Gap’s Crown, from a windy, cold spot in Petaluma Gap, sees 50% new oak. This wine displays loads of blackcurrant and black cherry fruit as well as hints of strawberry, forest floor and subtle smoke in a lovely, round, juicy, medium to full-bodied style. Drink it over the next 4-5 years. Winemaker Sean Capiaux founded his winery in 1994 and continues to make a beautiful array of wines that sell for realistic prices. Everything is bottled unfiltered after being given indigenous yeast fermentations, malolactic in barrel and aged sur lie. His wines are seductive and extremely well-made. (RP)  (12/2015)

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Price: $44.99
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Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year.
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Sonoma County

- Second in fame only to Napa, this "other" valley offers just about every climate and topography imaginable. From its cool and fog-enshrouded coastal regions on the far west, to the sprawling Alexander Valley on the boarder of Napa and the many little dips and peaks in between, Sonoma has been a vital wine-grape-growing region since the mid 1800s. Important sub-AVAs include Chalk Hill (known for chardonnay and sauvignon blanc), Dry Creek Valley (where zin is king) Knights Valley (largely cabernet land), Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast (both celebrated pinot and chardonnay zones).