Ross Weissman organized a great tasting of Kapcsandy wines last night in White Plains. We didn’t quite get to a complete vertical, but we hit a pretty strong range of the wines:
• 2004-2009 Gran Vin
• 2005-2009 Roberta’s (minus the 2007)
• 2008 Estate Cuvee
• 2009 Endre
• We also had the 2010 Rose and 2009 Vino Del Sol
Lou was incredibly kind and sent the 2009 wines out for the tasting (thanks Lou!).
I have liked the Kapcsandy wines since they were released. I think Roy Piper may have turned me on to them. Given their Bordeaux-like style Ihave been cellaring rather than drinking these, so it was quite fun to taste many of them in one sitting.
Rosshad everyone Audouze the wines for 24 hours. They were poured from bottle, not decanted.
2009 Endre (50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot,7% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Syrah)
Quite young, but very nice. Pretty nose showing rich dark fruit with a spicy note. Pretty tannic, but nice length and intensity. I liked its balance and suspect it will improve with some additional bottle age. A nice start. 92 points
2004 State Lane – basically Grand Vin but not yet called that (60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot)
A really pretty nose that got me quite excited since I haven’t opened one in several years, but the pallet was a bit dry and tannic – without the flesh I remember. I think this one is in a tough place right now, but having consumed quite a few when it was younger, I suspect it will get better with more bottle age. This was purchased on release and the cork was pristine. 91points today; 95 points previously
2008 Estate Cuvee (68% CabernetSauvignon, 22% Merlot plus some Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot)
This was really nice. Great nose of fruit, minerals, and tobacco. Pallet was even better – really lovely fruit, great texture, showing tremendous intensity (but not a fruit bomb in any respect) and length. I liked this a lot (and quite pleased that I have some in my cellar). 95 points
2005 State Lane – basically Grand Vin but not yet called that (80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, and 6%Cabernet Franc)
A step up from the 2004. Very polished andclassic. I always like the 2005 vintage. Quite tasty – the tannin had integrated a bit so it showed with quite a bit of finesse. Probably the most drinkable tonight, although not as impressive as the 2008. 95 points
2006 State Lane – basically Grand Vin but not yet called that (91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, and 1% Cabernet Franc)
Bigger and showing deeper black fruit. Clearly younger and bolder than the 2005. Definitely seems like more tannin and alcohol, but quite nice and clearly has a lot of potential. 94 points
2007 State Lane Grand Vin (92% CabernetSauvignon, 5% Merlot, plus some Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot)
A pretty nose, but pretty closed today. You can see the potential, but the alcohol and tannin are leading and hiding the voluptuous pallet I am told it has displayed in the past. Consensus view was that this is in a closed state right now, but no one doubts the potential. 96 points – largely on potential
2008 State Lane Grand Vin (87% Cabernet Sauvignon, plus some Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot)
Wow! This was really nice. Very pretty – and enticing nose. Much more compelling than any of the other wines. Voluptuous, intense, yummy. Shows complexity and quite refined. Outstanding! 98+ points
2009 State Lane Grand Vin (96% CabernetSauvignon, 3% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc)
Much younger than the 2008, and a bit more aggressive on the pallet. I think the elements are there, but not sure it will be quite as good as the 2008. 95 points
2005 Roberta’s Reserve (91% Merlot and 9% Cabernet Franc)
A very exciting nose – wow! But the pallet didn’t follow. Much more closed right now. Given the nose, I hope this is a closed phase. 95 points
2006 Roberta’s Reserve (94% Merlot and 6% Cabernet Franc)
Pretty nose, but a step down from the 2005. Pallet also a bit tight. 94 points
2008 Roberta’s Reserve (96% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc)
Bold, exciting nose – a bit like the 2005, but even more fruit and intensity. The pallet is very unctuous and full bodied. Quite seductive and impressive – although not sure it’s actually my style. A bit sweet with the level of glycerin and alcohol. I can see why the Roberta’s are total crowd pleasing wines. I cannot imagine opening this for a wide range of wine folks and not getting a big reaction. 97points
2009 Roberta’s Reserve (96% Merlot and 4% Cabernet Franc)
I found this less exciting than the 2008 on both the nose and pallet, but quite nice. 92 points
In general, I was not too surprised that I gravitated to the Cabernet based wines over the Roberta’s. I get why they are in demand – and find them quite impressive – but they call to me less.
The Grand Vin is a really nice wine – bringing together the richness of Napa and the balance and finesse of Bordeaux. Even more than many Napa wines, my sense is that the older wines can close down for a period. We may not have decanted optimally for them to show their best. I am quite confident that these wines have the stuffing to age and improve. The aromatics make me think that these wines will improve with time (not only survive).
I was really impressed with all the 2008 wines. Wow! I was stunned to find that I don’t seem to have bought the 2008Grand Vin (although I do own the Estate Cuvee). Not sure how that happened -- but I am bummed.
Lou has done a brilliant job in a short period. As we tasted through the vertical, you could feel the quality increase each year. I was very excited to have the opportunity to taste these wines and look forward to revisiting these wines (except the 2008 Grand Vin) from my cellar in the years to come.