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)
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)
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