It is unlikely that Lou Kapcsándy could have foreseen the development of his career in cult Californian wine production when he fled Hungary in 1956 during the revolution. Indeed, there was probably nothing further from his mind. Yet, today it is appropriate to speak of the wines from Kapcsándy Family Winery in the same breath as the likes of Harlan, Screaming Eagle, Bond and a small clutch of other producers in California who have been producing wines to rival the very best and most age-worthy in the world. Simon's offer on a 2013 mixed case, below.
A chemical engineer in Seattle by trade, it was a trip to Bordeaux in 1998 that cemented Lou’s burgeoning interest in wine. Initially, Lou and his wife Roberta drew up a plan to import Bordeaux wines into the USA with dreams of retiring to Napa in their later years while their son, Lou Jr, would run the family business. Whether it was fate or luck that intervened, in January 2000 the Kapcsándy’s stumbled upon a renowned 20-acre plot in Yountville (the former Beringer Estate State Lane vineyard, home of the Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon program) that had been entirely ripped out after Phylloxera destroyed it in 1999. The Kapcsándys invested considerable labour into the land before replanting; by the harvest of 2005, they had completed work on a state-of-the-art winery, and the Kapcsándy Family Winery was well and truly born.
Kapcsándy Family Winery’s short history is littered with some of the biggest names in the Napa wine scene – Helen Turley (Turley, Blankiet and Marcassin wineries) produced the first vintage in 2004; Denis Malbec (previously of Chateau Latour) was winemaker from 2007 until his tragic death in 2016; and today Anthony Arcudi (former protégé of Screaming Eagle and Diamond Creek consultant Heidi Peterson Barrett) runs the show. The four top wines - the Cabernet Sauvignon Grand Vin, Roberta’s Reserve, Rapszodia and the Estate Cuvée - are produced from different, contiguous parcels within the same vineyard. High-density planting give the appearance in the vineyard of First Growth production rather than what is typical in the Napa Valley and a borderline neurotic approach to quality during harvest sees some five ton per acre of fruit left in the vineyard, with around three and a half tons brought in to vinify. The highest level of attention in the vineyard is only matched by an equally fanatical approach in the cellars. The Kapcsándys say their aim is to 'consistently produce wines of First Growth and Grand Cru quality' and simply put, they succeed. The remarks from Robert Parker and Stephen Tanzer below certainly attest to this.
“Once again, Lou Kapcsandy, his son Louis, and their winemaking consultant Denis Malbec, have exploited to great acclaim this wonderful terroir in Yountville, producing an array of world-class wines that merit serious attention from readers.” Robert Parker, October 2015.
“Perfectionist Lou Kapcsandy and his talented winemaker Denis Malbec may be making the most extraordinary wines in California today… The Kapcsandy wines prove that it's possible to make hugely rich, thoroughly ripe Napa Valley wines at manageable levels of alcohol.” Stephen Tanzer, May 2014.
We are very pleased to be able to offer mixed cases of three bottles, direct from this remarkable estate in the outstanding 2013 vintage, containing one bottle each of the Grand Vin, Roberta’s Reserve and the Estate Cuvee, at £995 per case of three bottles in bond. These mixed cases (image included) are unique to Atlas in the UK and will be shipped directly from Kapcsándy Family Winery.
Please see below for Robert Parker’s notes on the three wines.
2013 Mixed Case Kapcsándy Family Winery
£995 per case of three bottle case in bond
2013 Estate Cuvée, Kapcsándy Family Winery
97 Points, Robert Parker
The 2013 Estate Cuvée State Lane Vineyard, 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot, spent 20 months in oak prior to being bottled unfiltered. They made 750 cases of it and it is a fabulous wine that is not far from being another perfect example. A classic, almost Médoc-like blend offers up notes of forest floor, blackcurrants, tobacco leaf, a touch of barrique, a saturated purple color, and, once past the gorgeous aromatics, a wine of phenomenal intensity, spectacular texture, length and overall balance. Look for it to evolve for 30 or more years. Drink 2016-2046.
2013 Roberta’s Reserve, Kapcsándy Family Winery
100 Points, Robert Parker
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. Drink 2016-2046.
2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, ‘Grand Vin’, Kapcsándy Family Winery
100 Points, Robert Parker
Little can be added to the greatness of the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Grand Vin, a blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot. The wine (600 cases) is truly stunning in its dense, crème de cassis and blackberry-scented nose with a hint of barbecue smoke and forest floor. Tasting like a ripe vintage of Château Latour from Pauillac, the wine has amazing richness and a savory, expansive mouthfeel, but tiptoes across the palate like a ballerina. A wine of magnificent richness and intensity, but vibrancy, purity and overall equilibrium, this is a staggeringly great wine and another tribute to the Kapcsándy family’s extraordinary professionalism and meticulous attention to detail in their vineyard. Drink 2020-2050.
To request a wine, please do not hesitate to contact any member of the Atlas team. We can be reached on +44 (0)20 3017 2299, firstname.lastname@example.org or by submitting the form below. Please note that stock may be limited and is always sold on a 'first come, first serve' basis.