Caparone Merlot 2017 - Paso Robles, California

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Varietal:  Merlot


A rich and full-bodied expression of the Merlot grape.

Grapes are grown near Templeton, CA in a vineyard pocket of cooler days and nights relative to the greater Paso Robles growing area. The climate is extremely dry, which causes vineyard pests, mold and other problems to be virtually nonexistent. The soil is mixed alluvial, with both sedimentary and igneous rock, and has good moisture holding capacity. The vines are widely spaced, and simply trellised, and irrigation is kept to a minimum.

The techniques used are mostly a collection of traditional European winemaking practices; they include hand-racking, long skin contact, submerged cap fermentations, several years of barrel aging, and a year of bottle aging. All of the wines are unfined and unfiltered. Caparone does take advantage of modern technology where appropriate: temperature controlled, closed stainless steel fermenters, for example. While the way they make wines is slow, labor intensive and different from most California producers

"Now well into our third decade as a small artisan winery, we specialize in high quality red wines. We make wines that we like to drink; in our case that means wines with complexity, good balance, and sufficient acidity and tannins to age well and complement a meal. By paying close attention to matching our vines with their microclimate, we produce wines with good fruit and varietal character at a moderate alcohol level. We love classic style wines - wines that can age and improve for decades, that are multi-dimensional, and that are not excessively oaked, and that is what we try to make.

Our winery is truly a father-and-son operation. All Caparone wine is made by my father, Dave Caparone and myself, without any employees. One of the most experienced winemakers in Paso Robles, my father has made wine every year since 1973. In 1979, he founded Caparone Winery to focus on the wines he loved best: full-bodied red wines, made in a classic style, with uncompromising commitment to quality. Over the years, the winery has stayed true to that goal, producing small amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel, Sangiovese, Nebbiolo and Aglianico.

We believe that the best wines are possible when these conditions are met: grapevines are planted with careful regard to microclimate, fruit is harvested at the exact moment of maturity, and wine is made with as little processing as possible. In other words, careful handling of nature is the key to fine winemaking. We do not fine or filter our wines, and take no shortcuts to put them in the bottle sooner, leaving each for two years in small oak barrels. The resulting wines give all that the grape has to offer, wines that will continue to develop in the bottle for many years."

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