Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Capture Sauvignon Blanc



While visiting a close friend, William, and his better half, Kristen, in Healdsburg two weeks ago I learned that Kristen is currently working for an upstart winery called Capture (pronounced "Cap-tour"). The brand itself might be new in town but the winemakers, May-Britt and Denis Malbec, have been around the block once or twice before.

Denis was born at Chateau Latour in Pauillac, France. He took his first baby steps in the cellar, holding onto the wine barrels, and later learned to ride his first bike weaving through the vineyard rows. His father and grandfather served as cellar master and vineyard manager for Chateau Latour. Eventually, Denis followed in his family's footsteps and became the cellar master in 1993. From 1994-1999 he crafted the vintages for this mega powerhouse.

May-Britt started her career as a sommelier in Sweden. Later she started her own restaurant "Le Bateau" on the Royal Star, a luxury yacht built in 1964 for King Federic of Denmark. In 1995 she moved to Bordeaux to oversee public relations for Chateau Latour and soon after that she met Denis Malbec and the two have become a renowned winemaking team.

According to the website, Capture's grapes come from Tin Cross Vineyard which is located 1,600 to 2,450 feet above the Alexander Valley floor, high on Pine Mountain where it straddles the border of Sonoma and Mendocino counties. Situated well above the fog line, Tin Cross Vineyards enjoys warmer nights and cooler days than vineyards on the valley floor, giving the vines a long, consistent growing season for slow, full ripening of the fruit. And while Cabernet Sauvignon and other Bordeaux varietals struggle to establish roots in the rocky soils of the dramatic slopes, this beneficial stress yields smaller clusters of tiny berries with uncommonly concentrated varietal character. 



Capture released two Sauvignon Blancs in 2009:  Calfornia Tradition and Sonoma County Les Pionniers. Wine Spectator gave Les Pionniers 92 points and wrote that it was impressive for its elegance and clarity with fragrant apple blossom, passion fruit, meyer lemon, and green apple flavors. The Tradition label received 91 points for its elegant, restricted style with plenty of ripe fruit flavors and notes of melon and apricot.

Kristen gave me a bottle of the Tradition to enjoy and it was really delicious....pale in color with notes of white peach, bartlett pear,  meyer lemon, and damp slate. The facts: 875 cases were produced. 100% Sauvignon Blanc (3 different clones). Hand-harvested. Steel Barrel Fermentation. 5 Months of aging sur lie with weekly stirring. Beautiful wine. You must try.


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