“Sean Capiaux, who founded his winery in Sonoma in 1994, also graces these pages as the brilliant winemaker for Betty O’Shaughnessy’s wines from Howell Mountain and Mt. Veeder. All of his Pinot Noirs are unfiltered, fermented with indigenous yeast with malo in barrel, aged sur lie, and rarely handled until they go into bottle. His regime of new oak varies according to the vineyard he’s working with, but it can be as low as 30% or as high as 65%.”
Robert Parker on Capiaux Pinot Noir, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, Dec 2016
Since Sean Capiaux (also of O’Shaughnessy) founded Capiaux Cellars in 1994, he has been dedicated to the nuance and expression of the “Holy Grail” grape: Pinot Noir. Capiaux Cellars is dedicated to producing single-vineyard bottlings of Pinot Noir. Chimera, named for the creature of Greek mythology, or to describe anything that brings together disparate parts with dazzling results, stands out. This is Sean’s opportunity to combine fruit from seven vineyards along the Russian River Valley, Sonoma Coast, and Santa Lucia Highlands. The result is a beautiful, nuanced wine.
Sean’s style is a blend of classic and contemporary. He pairs cutting-edge fermentation equipment with traditional Burgundian technique that emphasizes natural, hands-on winemaking. Fruit is hand-sorted as soon as it arrives at the winery. Following a cool soak, all wines are fermented by indigenous yeast and see minimal new oak (rarely more than 33%). The wine ages in barrel for ten to 15 months before bottling, unfined and unfiltered to preserve aroma and flavour.
“I was deeply impressed with Sean Capiaux’s 2017s. The wines show just how compelling the vintage is for Pinot Noir. As always, Capiaux’s Pinots are texturally rich, but also highly nuanced and distinctive. Moreover, there is a sense of immediacy and allure to these wines that I find compelling. The 2017 Pinot Noir Chimera is gorgeous. Dark, deeply spiced and pliant, the 2017 possesses terrific balance and plenty of appeal. In this vintage, the Chimera is a bit more generous than it usually is, but that is not at all a bad thing for a wine that is meant to be enjoyed upon release.”
91 points, Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, May 2019
“This offers a well-structured core of dark fruit and olive flavours, interwoven with savoury accents. Slate and spice details show on the firm finish. Drink now through 2023. 1,140 cases made.”
91 points, Wine Spectator, Sept 2019