Thursday, January 22, 2009

The 2004 Caparone Aglianico is Terrific

Calling Dr. Debs and her fans! For $14 to $18 the 2004 Caparone Aglianico from Paso Robles is a hell of a wine, muscular and pretty like a gymnast. The aromas are exciting and intense: leather and violets for days, a beautiful Northern Rhône-like perfume. The wine shows excellent balance on the palate, with muscular and masculine tannins, robust and true acidity, good minerality, and exactly ripe black fruit — some fleshy plum, some sweet berry. There's even some cool mint here, which makes me suspect that cabernet sauvignon plays a bit part. Overall, this Caparone Aglianico shows complete presence from the front of the palate to the back. And it went well with the lamb kefta I brought home from Sultan's.

Did I mention that this clocks in at a mere 13.2%? Yep, even in Paso Robles a winemaker can produce powerful, complete wines at relatively low alcohol levels, if s/he is intelligent, wise, and blessed with good terroir and harvest conditions.

Now, this wine ain't profound. It ain't even complex. It also lost just a bit of steam by night two, so I'm not sure that you should keep this around longer than 3 to 5 years. But this wine does have a lot of unconfected character, and for that I have a smile on my face.


odessabraun said...

I agree that it's a great wine from a great and under-recognized winery (fortunately for us who know it!) But I disagree that it has no complexity - it's really amazing, as have been others years. We've been going to the Caparone winery since about 1976 and are always delighted.

Anonymous said...

My new go to wine the 2005 is great to. I blind tasted this for my wine group and everyone was impressed with the quality. Next time I'm going to do the Nebbiolo. I like that one to.

Ballard said...

My fiance and I just returned from Paso, where the highlight of the valley was Caparone's "tasting room".

The only thing that came even close on that trip was the Fritz winery, in Sonoma.