When Sine Qua Non owner-winemaker Manfred Krankl came to Napa recently to shop for bottles for his wines, we dined at Bottega, Michael Chiarello’s restaurant in Yountville. Although Sine Qua Non is located in Ojai, Calif., near Santa Barbara, Krankl is a big fan of Napa Valley and a frequent visitor. “I would live here in a second,” he said as the sommelier uncorked the first of two local wines we ordered.
We started with the Robert Mondavi Fumé Blanc Napa Valley To Kalon Vineyard I Block Reserve 2006, which cost about $80 on the list. This white comes from Sauvignon Blanc vines that are among the oldest in California, some dating back 40 years. This vibrant wine had a smoky (hence fumé), fig and citrusy edge, the smoke at least in part from new French oak. I liked the bit of age on this deeply concentrated white, and it should last another 10 years with ease. 92 points, non-blind.
Next we drank the Kapcsándy Family Estate Cuvée State Lane Vineyard Napa Valley 2006 ($160 on the list), a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Smooth drinking already, with ripe, refined, elegant currant, smoky oak and light cedar and tobacco scents. The Kapcsándy impressed us with its youthful vitality, remarkable for its grace and finesse and ending with a long, lingering finish. It tasted as good as when I originally reviewed it, still 92 points, non-blind.
WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Kapcsandy Family Estate Cuvée State Lane Vineyard Napa Valley 2006 (92, $145).
Plus, get scores and tasting notes for other vintages of the Robert Mondavi Fumé Blanc Napa Valley To Kalon Vineyard Reserve.