I’ve received a couple of queries from readers about a new high-end 2003 Napa Valley Cabernet, from a well-regarded vineyard and a superstar winemaking team.
But so far, I’m not impressed by the wine and not too sure you should be either.
The wine is called Kapcsandy, and it comes from the former State Lane Vineyard in Yountville, made famous over the years by Beringer Vineyards.
For years, Beringer used the Cabernet for various bottlings, including its Private Reserve. Occasionally Beringer bottled a single-vineyard wine from the property, and it has been a tremendous wine.
The Kapcsandys bought the vineyard and hired the renowned consultants Helen Turley and John Wetlaufer to replant it and make the wine. The 2003, which sells for $90 a bottle, is a Bordeaux blend with Cabernet (60 percent) and Merlot (40 percent) aged in new Taransaud oak.
But in two blind tastings, the wine has not shown well, dominated as it was in both sittings by a strong preponderance of oak and precious little fruit.
A couple of readers liked the ’03, but also noted the wood stood out, so I am apparently not alone in that impression.
In fairness to Turley, she and Wetlaufer departed amicably while the '03 was in barrel, and I doubt they would have signed off on this wine as a first commcercial release.
What really concerns me though is Kapcsandy's overreliance on the names of celebrated winemakers to promote its debut. The winery also boasts it has hired a winemaker who worked at Château Latour, one of the five Bordeaux first growths.
Add it all up--State Lane, Turley-Wetlaufer, a man from Bordeaux--and bingo, you have a first-growth from California.
I have little doubt that great wine can be made from this property, and maybe 2004 will provide the answer.
But the 2003 isn't convincing.
John Wilen — Texas — September 14, 2006 7:54pm ET
Gregory Beall — Grand Marais, MN — September 14, 2006 9:16pm ET
Jeffrey Nowak — scottsdale, arizona — September 14, 2006 9:23pm ET
Shane Runyon — Florida — September 14, 2006 9:28pm ET
Bryan So — CA — September 14, 2006 11:03pm ET
David Nerland — Scottsdale — September 15, 2006 11:45am ET
James Laube — Napa, CA — September 15, 2006 1:50pm ET
Rob Mcmillan — St Helena, CA — September 15, 2006 5:21pm ET
Gene Keenan — san francisco — September 16, 2006 9:55pm ET
Apj Powers — Dallas, TX — September 17, 2006 3:46am ET
Charles M. Mathis — Germantown, — September 17, 2006 5:49pm ET
Herb Fisher — November 15, 2006 5:06pm ET
Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions