Sonoma County region
"I am simply an Australian boy living in wonderful California, making French wines for people who care."
If this winery’s name doesn’t really grab you, chances are one taste of Captûre’s 2015 ‘Harmonie’ or 2013 'Alliance' Red Wine will do the trick. Founded in 2008 by a French couple, Denis Malbec and May Britt, Captûre Wines started slowly with a production of around 1,500 cases. The winery grew steadily and in 2013 was acquired by Jackson Family Wines as part of their portfolio.
Enter Winemaker Sam Teakle, an ebullient Australian with a great deal of practical experience in his home country, Europe (he credits Marc Hugel of Hugel & Fils, the fine Alsatian wine house for his insight into the wine business) and also in California with Jackson Family-owned La Crema Wines of Sonoma County. Teakle was given the job of establishing Captûre Wines and providing it a presence and place within Jackson Family Wines.
“The fact that our company already owned a number of wineries throughout California and around the world made it a bit difficult,” admitted Teakle. “We did a great deal of research and finally decided on a philosophy that concentrates on the fruit from our Pine Mountain Estate. The estate is located high atop Pine Mountain at an altitude of 2,900 feet where the vines must strain to produce great fruit. The site is around 90 acres and part of the Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak AVA that was granted in 2011.”
“The yields there are small, 1 to 2 tons an acre, but the fruit is remarkable in both color and concentration. I get my pick of the fruit (Captûre Wines only uses 10 percent of the estate’s fruit for its wines) and the grapes are absolutely magnificent. I want to produce elegant and balanced wines with a lively style and exceptional red fruit character.”
Teakle’s results thus far have been outstanding (high scores and honors) for the smallish winery. Captûre Wines will produce around 1,250 cases of red and 250 cases of Sauvignon Blanc this year and intends to follow this level of production for the foreseeable future.
“I am in a fortuitous position,” Teakle continued. “I tend to pick my fruit a bit earlier than some other winemakers and I feel that gives me something of an edge when developing the style and character of the wine. The resultant wines combine grace and stamina that are a bit unusual in hearty red wines. If I am to make a mark within our company and in the mind of the consumer, the wines must have something uncommon and forceful for them to stand out. I believe we are achieving this with our current releases.”
Teakle’s plan calls for Captûre Wines to negate its sourcing of both Napa Valley and Sonoma County fruit and concentrate on its Estate vineyards. While this represents a break from a successful past pairing, Sam Teakle relishes the opportunity to produce truly exceptional wines from the Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak AVA.
“I am in love with this parched mountaintop. It is dry and fine volcanic patches abound that offer little or no traction for anything other than desert bush and the hardiest of grapevines. I call these conditions brutal, but the fact is the fruit produced is certainly of the highest caliber. It is mostly planted in Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, along with the United States’ highest elevation Sauvignon Blanc.” Nothing much has changed with the label from its original form. A rendition of Pine Mountain graces the label, and if you look closely, two people can be seen kissing at the peak of the mountain.
“Whenever a company changes hands, everyone wants to change the label at first. We liked the look and Captûre Wines already had a following, so it seemed quite sensible to keep the label and simply move forward,” added Teakle. “We believe it is a wonderful package and stands out nicely on the shelf.”
The 2015 Captûre ‘Harmonie’ and 2013 'Alliance' Red Wines blend three of Sam Teakle’s favorite varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. The winemaker is particularly fond of these releases that he feels combines the best qualities of each varietal. “It is quite lively and contains some subtle nuances that play with the taste buds,” he offered. “It will be a great addition to any top cellar.”
Sam Teakle is a remarkable and talented follow, doing what he loves most - making great red wines to his liking. He puts everything in perspective with the following: “I am simply an Australian boy living in wonderful California, making French wines for people who care.”
It is our pleasure to introduce Captûre Wines to our Platinum Wine Club members. Enjoy!
Dear Platinum Wine Club Members,
It is my pleasure to share the 2015 vintage of Captûre Harmonie with you.
While I’m Australian-born, I’ve been lucky enough to work harvests across the globe - Greece, Alsace, McLaren Vale, and finally high in the Mayacamas Mountains in Sonoma County. Each place I’ve been has imparted wisdom, but the Mayacamas Mountains, where our 'Harmonie' is sourced from, has been my greatest teacher. This rugged, volcanic range produces wines unlike any other. The sparse population of high elevation vines that exist on these untamed edges, which we target at Captûre, truly struggle to get through each season. Intense sun, high winds, and thin topsoil all attempt to compromise growth, but we undertake this risk because of the reward.
The 2015 Harmonie, from the outskirts of Alexander Valley, was aged for 21 months in French oak in order to tame that rustic mountain fruit. It is the purest, most elegant, and well balanced Bordeaux-style blend we could craft. It has loads of Margaux-like perfume, notes of raspberry and sandalwood on the palate, and soft tannins creating an almost endless finish. This vintage of Harmonie is truly one of my capstones, please enjoy.