2011 Roberta's Reserve State Lane Vineyard Kapcsandy Family Winery

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Average critic rating : 91.0 points



The finest two wines of this vintage include the 2011 Roberta’s Reserve, which is more reserved and austere than usual. Nevertheless, it still reveals an attractive sweet chocolate and black currant-scented nose with hints of espresso, spicy oak and fruit, and a medium-bodied, supple mouthfeel. In 2011, 500 cases were produced. ||It is hard to believe the Kapcsandy family, of Hungarian descent, purchased this property previously known as State Lane Vineyard in Yountville (15.5 acres alongside the Yountville cross roads) in May, 2000. They have been on a winning track ever since the first releases. The harvest dates at Kapcsandy will give readers a specific indication of how cool 2009, 2010 and 2011 were. That began to change with 2012 and continues with an earlier, riper harvest in 2013 as well. In 2009, Kapcsandy harvested their small vineyard in Yountville between the beginning of October and October 29. In 2010, the harvest for the most serious wines began on October 19 and ended November 4. In 2011 it was even more significant, with the harvest starting in early October, but not finishing for some cuvees until October 27. In 2012, the harvest began in September, which is more normal, but unfurled over a full month, finishing October 25. Kapcsandy’s 2010s, like many of the Bordeaux varietals in Napa Valley, are exceptionally successful. This was my first look at these 2010s (almost all of them from bottle) and it has turned out to be a sensational vintage of deep, rich, full-bodied wines that are very expressive and focused with plenty of aging potential. It is a less glamourous and exuberant vintage compared to 2007 or 2002, but may evolve along the wines of the great 2001s which were more closed, firm and restrained. Nevertheless, it’s a vintage to jump on as most of the wines are just hitting the market in 2013 and early 2014. A more mixed vintage, the quality in 2011 is much more irregular than one normally sees in Napa Valley. Kapcsandy’s wines turned out well, although overall the ratings are the lowest I have given their wines since they started producing estate wines. Lou Kapcsandy and his son Louis said they did a Draconian selection process that began in the vineyard with radical leaf pulling and a selection of only the ripest bunches because the vintage was so challenging. Kapcsandy’s 2012s appear to be the finest wines they have made since the 2007s. Readers should keep an eye out for Kapcsandy’s two Rose cuvees, which are made from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.||Tel. (707) 948-3100 Wine Advocate.October, 2013

A family-owned winery based in Yountville at the southern end of Napa Valley, Kapcsandy is a name synonymous with quality and rarity, producing some of the best yet most difficult to source wines in California. Described by Robert Parker as “Nothing short of remarkable”, Kapcsandy produces between 2,500 and 4,000 cases of wine each year from their 15.5 acres of world class vineyards.

Originally the old Beringer State Line Vineyard, the Kapcsandy estate was purchased by the family in 2000 after phylloxera destroyed much of the original vineyard and it had to be stripped out and replanted. Today, it is renowned as one of the finest wine growing regions in Napa, planted with very tight spacing and a north/south exposure for an ideal growing season.

Chiefly concerned with Bordeaux varietals, Kapcsandy’s Estate Cuvee is composed of equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot (blended with minimal Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.) The Roberta’s Reserve, meanwhile, is a Pomerol-style blend containing approximately 90% Merlot, whilst the Cabernet Sauvignon Grand Vin State Lane Vineyard is a Medoc-style offering usually containing 85% or more Cabernet Sauvignon. Some deviation from the Bordeaux line can nonetheless be found across the range, including an aged white labelled Furmint, after the Hungarian grape that hails from the same country at the Kapcsandy family.

A Napa superstar, much of the minimal output is sold direct to those lucky enough to be on the mailing list and this leaves precious little available for the global market. Drawing praise from critics across the board, they are nonetheless wines to seek out wherever possible.

“World class wines… They seem to combine the best of French savoir faire with the extraordinary ripe, pure fruit grown in well-tended Napa Valley vineyards” – Parker

“In all of my travels throughout the world I have met few producers who can match Lou Kapcsandy’s passion and total dedication to excellence” – Galloni

“Perfectionist Lou Kapcsandy and his talented winemaker Denis Malbec may be making the most extraordinary wines in California today” - Tanzer

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