2011 Chateau des Capitans -Georges Duboeuf, Julienas

Chateau-des-Capitans-Julienas-BeaujolaisRight up front, I have to say I’m a big fan of the 2011 Beaujolais. As pure as the 2010s are, the 2011 are that much more, and I can’t put enough of a price on purity. Some will find the 2011s too light, but they simply aren’t letting the wine flow to them.  Julienas is one of the more delicate of the Beaujolais villages. The Duboeuf Julienas flower label was remarkably beautiful, so floral with sublime lavender notes. The ’11 vintage as a whole is all about uber-pure cherry fruit, and long, but caressing, acidity. This single estate, Chateau des Capitans is quite a bit deeper, and richer, but still the Chateau des Capitans has on two previous occasions been wonderfully aromatic.

This is the second bottle (the one I had decided to review)  of Chateau des Capitans isn’t showing as aromatically as the previous bottle. It is not obviously off.  Still, the nose is significantly more dead, and a subtle wooden-ness suggests that it may be very-slightly corked. Even off, the Capitans display  its dark cherry fruit, and nicely robust structure excellent balance, rounded but elegant mid-palate I’d give this a mid to high eighties score. But the 2011 Capitans from a good bottle is better than that though, and this bottle is missing its very exciting aromatic dimension.  No score.

Chateau des Capitans is one of four estates in Julienas alone that the the firm Georges Duboeuf owns or controls. Des Capitans is “at the heart” of the  hamlet of Capitans, and its single hectare  of vineyard surrounds the 19th century Chateau. With a south-southeast exposure, the vineyard gets good ripeness.


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Diary of a Winebuyer

About Me: Thirty years ago, I graduated with a degree in political science from the College of Letters and Science at the University of California at Berkeley. Having grown up at the height of the Cold War, I still have vivid remembrances of being instructed to hide under our elementary school desk, covering our heads. The young, white, female teacher, training us without explanation, to face away from the windows. I suppose it is not all that surprising that I had a particular interest in the realpolitik of international relations. My fascination grew with the discovery that certain conditions almost uniformly exist where all revolutions ferment. Did this mean that the revolutions which had occurred in the first half century were revolutions which had been usurped by Marxists who were in the right place at the right time? Probably. A favorite professor was A. J. Gregor. This was a man who, while rakishly wearing a Gestapo-styled black leather motorcycle jacket, exuded expertise on fascism (which he looked the part) and Marxism. Improbably, he did it with a significant swagger. Then in my last semester, I had the blind luck to take a class on Asian Marxist revolution, and the professor, who just happened to be visiting that year while he worked on some unnamed project, was Chalmers Johnson. In retrospect, I should have known his name, as he was a luminary in the political science community but at that time, I did not. It was a remarkable opportunity to experience the ivory tower, but I seem to remember being anxious to get on with life. After college, I drifted through a few of jobs that were of interest to me. One of my former high school teachers said to me. "If I were in your shoes, I'd get a job as a flight attendant." So in order to be young while I could still afford to, I accepted a job serving chicken or beef at Pan American. With that airline losing money faster than it could sell its routes, I got a job doing cellar work at David Bruce Winery. This was the beginning of my wine career. All during this period, I wrote a still unpublished novel about homegrown terrorists the U.C. Berkeley campus, attempting to use some of what I learned in school, weaving in the Vietnamese political and military strategies of Dau Tranh as professor Johnson had lectured years before. Since the early 1990's, I have been involved in the wine industry, selling fine wine in both the retail and wholesale arenas. I have approached learning about wine, by always challenging myself to question how I know what I think I know? And in an effort to try to find answers I've turned, with varying degrees of success to wine books. Overall, I've not been happy with the quality of most wine writing, finding the authors either to lack any deep knowledge, or unable to move much past what I consider to be superficial information. I recognize that wine writers have to monetize their work, but I believe this has dramatically held back our knowledge and understanding of wine. I have set out to add to our industry's base of knowledge where I can. My first series, 'The Terroir of Burgundy' (which I should probably re-edit and complete some kind of conclusion, but I got involved in this project), can be viewed here. I currently work as a sales and marketing manager for a Burgundy and Bordeaux importer based in Atherton, California.

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