- Producer: Kapcsandy Family Winery
- Winemaker: Denis Malbec
- Region (AVA): Napa (Yountvillle)
- Blend: 100% Merlot
- Vintage production: 400 cases
- Winery location: Yountville
- Owners: Lou Kapcsandy
- First Vintage: 2005
- Drinking window: 2020-2050
About the Estate:
It's little surprise that, with ex-Château Latour winemaker Denis Malbec in the winery, Kacsándy Family Winery rose into the upper-echelon of the World's greatest wineries.
While Napa may not be an obvious selection for Bordeaux drinkers, the fact remains that if you enjoy Le Pin and Petrus, or perhaps Masseto, the Roberta's Reserve Merlot is a must have, arguably pipping both for quality; the Grand Vin Cabernet Sauvignon was likened to a "warm vintage of Château Latour" by Parker, so fans of the 2009/10 or 2003 Latour should secure an allocation.
The Kapcsandy story is a classic American story on how to succeed in the land of opportunity with hard work and determination.
After fleeing his homeland in the days after the brutal crushing by the Soviet Army of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution (for more details, see Lou’s biography), Lou Sr. came to America and eventually settled in the San Francisco Bay Area. He married Roberta Henson in 1964, eventually settled in Seattle, Washington at the end of 1973, with their son, Louis Jr.
As Lou began his working career in the chemical engineering and manufacturing fields, his fondness for the best wines produced in the world grew. Through colleagues working in the wine business, he began sourcing the finest wines of France. Almost simultaneously, he began socializing and advising an up-and-coming group of Washington entrepreneurs who would become early icons of the Washington State wine industry.
In 1998, on a visit to Bordeaux, France, Lou and Bobbie experienced a seminal moment that ironically set them on the path of being vineyard owners themselves. With great anticipation, Lou and Bobbie arrived at the centuries-old estate Leoville Las Cases (St. Julien), on a beutiful summer day, on invite for a private luncheon hosted by the estates’ patriarch, Michel Delon. Over the course of the next five hours they were astounded by Mr. Delon’s warmth and generosity, as was Mr. Delon fascinated by Lou’s encyclopedic knowledge of not just the wines and history of Leoville Las Cases and Bordeaux, but of Burgundy, Champagne and the American estates and their terriors Lou was convinced could rival their hallowed French counterparts.
After returning from France, Lou and Bobbie began discussing their dreams for his post retirement from the General Contracting business planned for 2003. They were planning to put together a wine based business that could be done in partnership with their son Louis, Jr., and wanted to retire in Napa Valley, CA.
During the early days of touring for-sale properties, Louis Jr., visited his parents to tour potential sites. The true genesis of Kapcsandy Family Winery (and vineyard), began taking shape through marathon discussions centering on the father and son’s burgeoning idea of partnering in a venture together. An initial opportunity through contacts made on the 1998 visit to Bordeaux culminated in Lou and Louis travelling to Bordeaux in March, 2000, for en primeur events. After several days tasting the 1999 vintage, a decision was made to launch a modest import company (Grand Cru Imports LLC) to import Bordeaux wines into the USA. Thereafter, Louis Jr., remained in Bordeaux for the following nine months to stabilize the venture and develop the necessary network for the business.
In January 2000 to the whole family's utter surprise they came upon a famous 20 acre parcel with it's vineyard ripped out after Phylloxera destroyed it in 1999. In May, 2000 they closed escrow on the former Beringer Estate State Lane vineyard that was the home for many years of the Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon program.
The Kapcsandy’s embarked upon a complete replant of their vineyard site to 15 specific blocks, primarily Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. However, for one full year before setting in rootstocks, the entire field was seeded to a safflower-mix, and then tilled into the dirt in order to encourage an invigoration of nutrients and also installed a major drainage field before the re-planting.
Within three days of harvest 2005, a state of the art winery was completed on the property, to allow for maximum precision throughout the winemaking process.
Kapcsándy Family Winery State Lane Vineyard Roberta's Reserve Merlot 2013
“At 100% Merlot, the 2013 Merlot Roberta’s Reserve is off the charts and could easily eclipse a great vintage of Pétrus in a blind tasting. Fabulous notes of sweet cocoa and chocolate intermixed with black cherry and blackberry soar from the glass of this full-bodied wine that has a deep, rich, profound core of fruit and density. It is a great example of possibly the finest vintage Napa has ever produced for Bordeaux varieties. This wine has greatness all over it, with a minute-plus finish, yet is accessible enough to be drinkable now or cellared for another 30+ years."
100 points, Robert Parker (The Wine Advocate, Oct. 2016)
“A magnificent, towering wine, the 2013 Roberta's Reserve is deep, powerful and massively tannic. Far from an easygoing Merlot, the 2013 Roberta's Reserve is going to require considerable cellaring to fully blossom. Floral, savory and mineral notes are pushed forward, until a rush of blue and black fruits opens up on the mid palate and through to the finish. Lavender, sage, menthol, licorice and inky fruit add the final shades of nuance in an explosive Merlot to put away in the darkest corner of the cellar."
100 points, Antonio Galloni (Vinous, Oct. 2015)