Kapcsandy Grand Vin State Lane Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
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Wine AdvocateAnother perfect wine (identical to the 2007) is the 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Grand Vin State Lane Vineyard. Composed of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot (430 cases produced), this is an exquisite wine of great precision and profound concentration and complexity. It possesses an inky/purple color in addition to an ethereal nose of cassis, chocolate, burning embers, espresso and forest floor. Sweet tannins, a multidimensional mouthfeel, full-bodied power and good structure as well as freshness make for a prodigious example of wine that will benefit from 4-5 years of cellaring, but will keep for 25-30 years. This is an awesome effort, particularly after what the Kapcsandy family achieved in 2007. As I have written many times over the last several years, the Kapcsandy estate, which is essentially the old Beringer State Lane Vineyard in Yountville resurrected under the perfectionist philosophy of Lou Kapcsandy, his son, Louis, and wife, Bobbi, is about as good a news story as one can find in Napa Valley. The vineyard, planted with very tight spacing and a north/south exposition by Helen Turley and John Wetlaufer, is impressive in its own right. Yet what the Kapcsandys have done with the fruit from that vineyard with assistance from their consultant, the Pauillac-born Denis Malbec, is nothing short of remarkable. Moreover, they have done it in less than a decade, which proves that fortunes can be made quickly, provided there are three ingredients – incredibly hard work, lots of talent, and a super terroir. These can indeed propel an estate to the stratosphere in less than a decade. The basic second wine of lots culled out from their three top cuvees is called Endre. This is a very good effort as the two most recent vintages suggest. There are three cuvees made from Kapcsandy’s State Lane Vineyard. The Estate Cuvee is generally composed of equal proportions of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot blended with tiny amounts of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The Roberta’s Reserve, which is named after Lou Kapcsandy’s wife, Bobbi, is their Pomerol-styled Merlot-based wine that usually contains at least 90% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc. The Cabernet Sauvignon Grand Vin State Lane Vineyard is a northern Medoc-styled offering usually containing 85% or more Cabernet Sauvignon blended with tiny portions of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. This estate has duplicated their extraordinary success with the 2007s with very great 2008s. The 2009s from the Kapcsandy’s 15.5-acre State Lane Vineyard are the result of a slightly cooler, larger yielding year. For readers on the mailing list and visitors to the winery, there are several other wines produced. The estate makes a very delicious, dry, deep colored rose from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, and the 2009 Rose is another noteworthy example. It possesses much more flavor and body than most roses. Kapcsandy also produces a port-styled wine called Vino del Sol. Slightly lower in alcohol than most ports (17.6-18.1%), to date they have made a 2007, 2008 and 2009. They’re good efforts, but hardly at the exhilarating level of quality of their dry estate wines made from Bordeaux varietals.
Wine SpectatorComplex and well-structured, with sour cherry, wild berry, cedar, lead pencil and tobacco, Bordeaux-like in its structure, balance and mix of flavors, with a nice aftertaste. Needs time. Best from 2013 through 2023. 430 cases made.
Wine EnthusiastDense, dry and ripe, this is a Cabernet to lay down. It's really tough and gritty in tannins, but solid in wild blackberry, cherry and herb flavors. A powerful young Cabernet that needs 6-8 years to come around.