Update on Domaine Capion at the spring SITT – Specialist Importers Trade Tasting
I spent a cheerful few minutes tasting and chatting at the recent SITT tasting with Howard Laughton who represents Chateau Capion in the UK. This is an estate outside Aniane which has had a somewhat chequered history. I first went there in the late 1980s, when Aimé Guibert at Mas de Daumas Gassac was trying to give his young neighbour, Philippe Salasc a helping hand. Things did not work out and the property was sold to a Swiss family, the Bührers, who were actually based in South Africa, and then in 2016 it changed hands again and now belongs to Oleg Chirkunov, who is very much based in Europe. And the range of wines has evolved considerably. Tasting conditions were not ideal, so some of my notes are probably a bit minimal.
2021 Les Fantaisies de Capion Blanc, Pays d’Oc - £14.95
A blend of vaguely equal parts of Chardonnay, Vermentino, Sauvignon and Petit Manseng. No one variety dominates the blend. They have also planted some Albarino, as well as some Marsanne, which is not yet in production. Lightly floral nose. Fresh acidity. Nicely textured. Elegant with dry fruit and a fresh bitter finish.
2020 Le Chemin des Garennes Blanc - £19.95
A blend of 53% Vermentino, 37% Roussanne, 5% Viognier and 5% Clairette. Nine months in 500 litre barrels. Quite rounded and textured. The oak is integrated, with fruit on the palate and a dry finish.
2019 IGP St Guilhem-le-Désert Blanc - £20.95
Pure Chardonnay with nine months barrel-ageing. Quite a firm dry nose, balanced by a lightly buttery palate. Quite elegant for a Languedoc Chardonnay, or is that damning with faint praise?
2021 Les Fantaisies de Capion, Pays d’Oc, rosé - £14.95
Free run juice of Syrah, Grenache and Cinsaut. Light colour. Lightly rounded ripe fruit, with notes of raspberry.
2021 Zefir rosé - £19.95
75% Grenache with 25% Syrah. Pale colour. Quite a firm dry nose, with a more substantial palate, with weight and mouthfeel and a dry finish.
2021 Les Fantaisies de Capion rouge - £14.95
A pure Syrah. Medium colour. Quite a fresh nose, with fresh spice and some pepper and cassis on the palate. A fresh peppery finish. I liked this a lot.
2018 Le Chemin des Garennes, Terrasses du Larzac - £19.95
A blend of Syrah, Grenache Noir, Cinsaut and Mourvedre. Aged in oak and amphora. The amphora have arrived since my last visit to Capion in 2018. Good colour. Some black olive and tapenade notes on the nose. Black fruit on the palate, with some oak. Youthful with potential.
2018 IGP St Guilhem le Desert - £25.50
A pure Cabernet Sauvignon, which is what the estate produced in the 1980s. Deep colour. Rich cassis on both nose and palate. Quite solid and rounded with youthful tannins. Some ageing potential.
2016 Château Capion, Terrasses du Larzac - £32.95
A blend of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre, aged in oak. Deep colour. Quite a solid dense nose. Oak and cassis. Still very youthful and intense, with a rounded finish.