Is Anyone Buying/Following Kapcsandy?

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D.Callahan
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Is Anyone Buying/Following Kapcsandy?

#1 Post by D.Callahan » September 23rd, 2019, 10:54 am

I still get offers from Kapcsandy Family Wines but have mostly stopped buying as the prices escalated. The 2016s sound pretty tempting aside from the price, although the Estate Cuvee is still somewhat reasonable considering the overall Napa pricing of Cab blends. Is anyone still buying any of these, and if so, which ones?
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Re: Is Anyone Buying/Following Kapcsandy?

#2 Post by Jeff_M. » September 23rd, 2019, 11:00 am

I bought several years ago but stopped due to the pricing. The Cuvee I've seen can be purchased retail cheaper than from the winery.
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Re: Is Anyone Buying/Following Kapcsandy?

#3 Post by Chris Blum » September 23rd, 2019, 11:05 am

I dropped due to price and their buying requirements.

I popped a 2004 state lane recently and it was quite tasty. There was an elegance but the fruit was still fruit. Sweet spot stylistically.
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Re: Is Anyone Buying/Following Kapcsandy?

#4 Post by roybehr » September 23rd, 2019, 11:31 am

Nope. I am usually pretty forgiving of price increases, but theirs were really extreme.

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Re: Is Anyone Buying/Following Kapcsandy?

#5 Post by Chris Atkins » September 23rd, 2019, 12:04 pm

"Really extreme" as in how much?

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Re: Is Anyone Buying/Following Kapcsandy?

#6 Post by Dan Hammer » September 23rd, 2019, 1:45 pm

I can recall a time here when they were all the rage. I bought the State Lane in 2011. They made you buy other things in order to buy the SL.
Several years ago, I heard him in a video say retarded. After that they were off my list.
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Re: Is Anyone Buying/Following Kapcsandy?

#7 Post by GregT » September 23rd, 2019, 2:04 pm

?
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Re: Is Anyone Buying/Following Kapcsandy?

#8 Post by c fu » September 23rd, 2019, 2:24 pm

Dan Hammer wrote:
September 23rd, 2019, 1:45 pm
I can recall a time here when they were all the rage. I bought the State Lane in 2011. They made you buy other things in order to buy the SL.
Several years ago, I heard him in a video say retarded. After that they were off my list.
Same. My buddy owns a wine store near me and he asked me if I knew about this winery as one of their reps came by to taste through everything.

I remember they were super hot
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Re: Is Anyone Buying/Following Kapcsandy?

#9 Post by Brandon R » September 23rd, 2019, 3:14 pm

I was / am a one-time buyer when I was offered a deal on a 3-pack containing 2 x 2013 Estate Cuvee and 1 x 2013 Roberta's Reserve. I haven't opened one, but the pricing is what keeps me from buying again. I must say that, to me, it's a head-turner when you read wine critics praising the Roberta's Reserve as one of the best Merlots in the New World.
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Re: Is Anyone Buying/Following Kapcsandy?

#10 Post by Robert Pavlovich » September 23rd, 2019, 9:34 pm

Brandon R wrote:
September 23rd, 2019, 3:14 pm
I was / am a one-time buyer when I was offered a deal on a 3-pack containing 2 x 2013 Estate Cuvee and 1 x 2013 Roberta's Reserve. I haven't opened one, but the pricing is what keeps me from buying again. I must say that, to me, it's a head-turner when you read wine critics praising the Roberta's Reserve as one of the best Merlots in the New World.
Have had the 11’ Roberta’s and it wasn’t anything to write home about. I know, not a good Napa Cab vintage but much better for Merlot. Not much structure or freshness to it.

As to the “retarded” comment, he’s an older Hungarian (immigrant I assume) dude so not really surprising. As a group, they’re an ascerbic bunch that don’t adhere to the social norms of the USA.

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Re: Is Anyone Buying/Following Kapcsandy?

#11 Post by NED VALOIS » September 23rd, 2019, 9:44 pm

I've got a 100 bottles in cellar & and my stage in life, and total bottles in cellars , I have skipped the '17's and only bought one case of the '16's.

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Re: Is Anyone Buying/Following Kapcsandy?

#12 Post by Brent S » September 23rd, 2019, 10:26 pm

I just bought one lot contains 11 at the heritage auction. 4 were grand vin 2006, 2008 and 2009) and the rest were assorted 2005-2009 estate cuvée. Paid an average of $100/ bottle and 36% are grand vin.
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Re: Is Anyone Buying/Following Kapcsandy?

#13 Post by Brent S » September 23rd, 2019, 10:35 pm

Here’s what I got. More then I need so happy to share some if you send me a message:
Kapcsandy
2008 Grand Vin, State Lane Vineyard Bottle (1)
2009 Grand Vin, State Lane Vineyard Bottle (2)
2006 State Lane Vineyard Bottle (1)
2005 Estate Cuvee, State Lane Vineyard Bottle (1)
2006 Estate Cuvee, State Lane Vineyard Bottle (1)
2007 Estate Cuvee, State Lane Vineyard Bottle (1)
2008 Estate Cuvee, State Lane Vineyard Bottle (2)
2009 Estate Cuvee, State Lane Vineyard Bottle (2)
Last edited by Brent S on September 24th, 2019, 8:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is Anyone Buying/Following Kapcsandy?

#14 Post by Robert M yers » September 24th, 2019, 6:28 am

Talk about a winery that has ridden the roller coaster. They navigated past the first vintage fiasco, became well known for decent Napa value and awesome visits. Raised prices through the roof and now you don’t hear a peep. Maybe we just aren’t the target market anymore?

That seems like a hell of a deal Brent [cheers.gif]

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Re: Is Anyone Buying/Following Kapcsandy?

#15 Post by R. Frankel » September 24th, 2019, 9:15 am

I bought for a number of years and have a case or two in the cellar. Like others pricing has kept me away. I actually opened a 2012 Estate Cuvée last night and it was a very pretty wine. Beautiful cab nose, lots of flavor and density on the long palate, definitely a head turner. On the Cal Cab spectrum I’d put it in the middle. Definitely not old school but absolutely balanced and charming.

There are a number of Napa producers who have clearly raised prices past the market like Kapcsandy. I’m not saying they don’t or can’t sell out - these are small wineries with devoted followings. But they can often be found at auction far below release pricing.
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Re: Is Anyone Buying/Following Kapcsandy?

#16 Post by larry schaffer » September 24th, 2019, 9:28 am

So interesting to read the comments. I remember back in the day hearing glowing accounts of tasting with Lou - pricey but worth it according to most accounts.

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Re: Is Anyone Buying/Following Kapcsandy?

#17 Post by Brandon R » September 24th, 2019, 9:47 am

"Back in the day..." is one thing, but paying $325 and $400 per bottle for the top wines is another. I mean, they're charging $130 per bottle for declassified juice. It ain't Screagle Second Flight, but that's going to price out a lot of people, even those who once made those "glowing" reviews.
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Re: Is Anyone Buying/Following Kapcsandy?

#18 Post by larry schaffer » September 24th, 2019, 9:50 am

Brandon,

True . . . just an interesting observation and it amazes me how a winery that seemingly is still producing 'wanted' stuff has seen their shining star fade . . .

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Re: Is Anyog/Following Kapcsandy?

#19 Post by Rob Weaver » September 24th, 2019, 10:31 am

2016 was my last vintage. Cellartracker tells me that I have 5 cases or so. I first tasted here back around 2007/8 and it was a great experience. I tasted with Lou's son and he kept going to their personal cellar and bringing out bottles from all over the world. They didn't have much of their own wine to taste at that time. As I recall they may have had a 2005 and 2006 that had been made by Helen Turley. The wines really blossomed under Denis Malbec.

By many accounts Lou Sr. was wonderful and generous to taste with. I never found that to be the case and stopped visiting the winery, but continued to buy until recently. They offer significant discounts to their golden circle (or some such designation) members. This made the wine somewhat affordable until a year or so ago. At one point, all it took to be in the club was the purchase of 12 bottles in a year. Now its like you have to spend $5000, which sadly is closing in on the aforementioned 12.

Their wines are excellent for what they are, restrained, high quality Napa fruit, made in a Bordeaux-ish style. I would love to have bunch more, they never disappoint, but they also never wow me. And at current pricing, I need to be wow-ed.

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Re: Is Anyone Buying/Following Kapcsandy?

#20 Post by Jason T » September 24th, 2019, 3:22 pm

Pure speculation but with so many people on here saying they used to purchase, and few/none saying they still do.... how much inventory are they sitting on at that price? I suppose it’s possible but I refuse to believe but a handful of these California wineries are selling through at this price.
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Re: Is Anyone Buying/Following Kapcsandy?

#21 Post by Robert M yers » September 24th, 2019, 6:47 pm

Jason T wrote:
September 24th, 2019, 3:22 pm
Pure speculation but with so many people on here saying they used to purchase, and few/none saying they still do.... how much inventory are they sitting on at that price? I suppose it’s possible but I refuse to believe but a handful of these California wineries are selling through at this price.
These guys aren’t farmers, sell some wine or perhaps not, they probably don’t care. Your merely buying into their vanity retirement project.

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Re: Is Anyone Buying/Following Kapcsandy?

#22 Post by Jeff D a v i e s » September 24th, 2019, 7:03 pm

I have about 50 bottles, mix of all the wines 2011 to 2016. Haven't tried too many.

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Re: Is Anyone Buying/Following Kapcsandy?

#23 Post by SarahE » September 24th, 2019, 8:05 pm

Brandon R wrote:
September 24th, 2019, 9:47 am
"Back in the day..." is one thing, but paying $325 and $400 per bottle for the top wines is another. I mean, they're charging $130 per bottle for declassified juice. It ain't Screagle Second Flight, but that's going to price out a lot of people, even those who once made those "glowing" reviews.
No one seems to complain about paying the same for The Mascot. Which is what used to be the bulk wine that was sold off from all the Harlan properties for about $15 a bottle.
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Re: Is Anyone Buying/Following Kapcsandy?

#24 Post by Jeremy C » September 24th, 2019, 8:29 pm

Well, for my tastes I've found their wines to be some of the most well-crafted examples from Napa.
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Re: Is Anyone Buying/Following Kapcsandy?

#25 Post by jbray23 » September 24th, 2019, 9:44 pm

Robert M yers wrote:
September 24th, 2019, 6:47 pm
Jason T wrote:
September 24th, 2019, 3:22 pm
Pure speculation but with so many people on here saying they used to purchase, and few/none saying they still do.... how much inventory are they sitting on at that price? I suppose it’s possible but I refuse to believe but a handful of these California wineries are selling through at this price.
These guys aren’t farmers, sell some wine or perhaps not, they probably don’t care. Your merely buying into their vanity retirement project.
I’m not a buyer and have no real association with the family but was a customer of their Bordeaux business back in the day.

Lou owned one of the largest construction companies in Seattle but loved Bordeaux and started an import business, he was very passionate and knowledgeable in all things Bordeaux, he had a great palate and worked very hard to grow the company, he sold his construction company and spent all his energy in wine..

To say it was a vanity project is not very informed, yes he had money and loved wine but he knew more about the subject than the majority of people that have entered the business from the outside...

BTW... he grew his construction company from the ground up, he was a self made man, he had the same spirit about wine. He made his kids work as hard as he did, he was a larger than life guy, really he was like 6’2” and 280, but was a smart and successful business man that worked his ass off to fulfill his dream...

Now the wines......
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Re: Is Anyone Buying/Following Kapcsandy?

#26 Post by NED VALOIS » September 24th, 2019, 10:05 pm

I've only spoken to him on the phone and found him very open & pleasant.

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Re: Is Anyone Buying/Following Kapcsandy?

#27 Post by Robert M yers » September 25th, 2019, 5:28 am

jbray23 wrote:
September 24th, 2019, 9:44 pm
Robert M yers wrote:
September 24th, 2019, 6:47 pm
Jason T wrote:
September 24th, 2019, 3:22 pm
Pure speculation but with so many people on here saying they used to purchase, and few/none saying they still do.... how much inventory are they sitting on at that price? I suppose it’s possible but I refuse to believe but a handful of these California wineries are selling through at this price.
These guys aren’t farmers, sell some wine or perhaps not, they probably don’t care. Your merely buying into their vanity retirement project.
I’m not a buyer and have no real association with the family but was a customer of their Bordeaux business back in the day.

Lou owned one of the largest construction companies in Seattle but loved Bordeaux and started an import business, he was very passionate and knowledgeable in all things Bordeaux, he had a great palate and worked very hard to grow the company, he sold his construction company and spent all his energy in wine..

To say it was a vanity project is not very informed, yes he had money and loved wine but he knew more about the subject than the majority of people that have entered the business from the outside...

BTW... he grew his construction company from the ground up, he was a self made man, he had the same spirit about wine. He made his kids work as hard as he did, he was a larger than life guy, really he was like 6’2” and 280, but was a smart and successful business man that worked his ass off to fulfill his dream...

Now the wines......
There is Nothing that says good people who had successes in life can’t retire in Napa and run a winery in retirement. Our contention is probably with the word vanity. I’m not sure what to call it though when prices start somewhat fair then escalate beyond normalcy for unknown reasons. Do they pay the workers obscenely well or is it just keeping up with the Jones? It’s a common Napa story and I don’t mean to pick on this particular winery, I don’t support any of them anymore where the costs make no sense besides the answer to the question “Because I can”

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Re: Is Anyone Buying/Following Kapcsandy?

#28 Post by Jeremy C » September 25th, 2019, 6:47 am

I believe that their pricing model was an attempt to mimic Bordeaux, and thus have prices go up or down based on scores, demand, etc. Though it does seem that it's more of a one way street.
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Re: Is Anyone Buying/Following Kapcsandy?

#29 Post by Brent S » September 25th, 2019, 8:13 am

What exactly are the new release prices?
Estate cuvée?
Grand vin?
Roberta’s?
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Re: Is Anyone Buying/Following Kapcsandy?

#30 Post by Brandon R » September 25th, 2019, 9:18 am

Brent S wrote:
September 25th, 2019, 8:13 am
What exactly are the new release prices?
Estate cuvée? $130
Grand vin? $400
Roberta’s? $325
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Re: Is Anyone Buying/Following Kapcsandy?

#31 Post by Rob Weaver » September 25th, 2019, 10:14 am

For reference, the golden circle prices are:

Estate Cuvee 115
Grand Vin $300
Roberta's $285

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Re: Is Anyone Buying/Following Kapcsandy?

#32 Post by Brandon R » September 25th, 2019, 11:37 am

I will give Kapcsandy credit, however, in that they don't require minimum purchases or three-packs for each wine.
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Re: Is Anyone Buying/Following Kapcsandy?

#33 Post by KenL. » September 25th, 2019, 11:52 am

Brandon R wrote:
September 25th, 2019, 11:37 am
I will give Kapcsandy credit, however, in that they don't require minimum purchases or three-packs for each wine.
Also free shipping, I just get two bottles of the estate cuvée each year.
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Re: Is Anyone Buying/Following Kapcsandy?

#34 Post by H Wallace Jr » September 25th, 2019, 5:12 pm

No mention of the tragic loss of their winemaker in '16? I can only imagine something like that would shift perspective in the business.
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Re: Is Anyone Buying/Following Kapcsandy?

#35 Post by Steve Crawford » September 25th, 2019, 6:01 pm

H Wallace Jr wrote:
September 25th, 2019, 5:12 pm
No mention of the tragic loss of their winemaker in '16? I can only imagine something like that would shift perspective in the business.
what do you mean by shift perspective?

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Re: Is Anyone Buying/Following Kapcsandy?

#36 Post by H Wallace Jr » September 26th, 2019, 5:39 am

Steve Crawford wrote:
September 25th, 2019, 6:01 pm
H Wallace Jr wrote:
September 25th, 2019, 5:12 pm
No mention of the tragic loss of their winemaker in '16? I can only imagine something like that would shift perspective in the business.
what do you mean by shift perspective?
Refocus and prioritize on what is most important to them. That is a huge loss personally and professionally.

I was surprised that what was probably one of the most major, I assume painful, and relatively recent events in the winery's history was not mentioned in the thread.
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Re: Is Anyone Buying/Following Kapcsandy?

#37 Post by Brandon R » September 26th, 2019, 8:19 am

Losing Denis Malbec was most certainly a significant event for Kapcsandy...no doubt about it. I'm not sure though, Hardy, what bearing that would have on our collective decisions to purchase...or not. Perhaps some incentive to not buy due to knowing how talented Malbec was and the [relative] unknown winemaking team today?
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Re: Is Anyone Buying/Following Kapcsandy?

#38 Post by Steve Crawford » September 26th, 2019, 12:06 pm

H Wallace Jr wrote:
September 26th, 2019, 5:39 am
Steve Crawford wrote:
September 25th, 2019, 6:01 pm
H Wallace Jr wrote:
September 25th, 2019, 5:12 pm
No mention of the tragic loss of their winemaker in '16? I can only imagine something like that would shift perspective in the business.
what do you mean by shift perspective?
Refocus and prioritize on what is most important to them.

i have zero clue what this means. are you referring to marketing?

denis made the wine. i doubt he was part of the branding of the wine.

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Re: Is Anyone Buying/Following Kapcsandy?

#39 Post by larry schaffer » September 26th, 2019, 12:14 pm

Hardy,

I hear you - and I'm sure Denis was a major part of the entire effort. But there definitely seems to be things that have happened beyond that tragic loss that have created a sense of 'apathy' about the wines - and pricing is certainly one of them. It's certainly a bummer - and as I stated above, I'm surprised based on the glowing posts I used to read about tasting with Lou and his team . . .

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Re: Is Anyone Buying/Following Kapcsandy?

#40 Post by Chris Blum » September 29th, 2019, 11:58 am

Maybe it’s apathy but not in the way you might be using the word. For me I never felt anything for the winery beyond a transactional relationship. They knew what the wines were worth and they maximized revenue based on that. Congratulations to them for creating maximum value. But the flip side of that coin is that I don’t care about them really at all. I know it’s a business first and foremost, but some businesses are interested in forging long term relationships.

Again, I always applauded Kapcsandy’s Freedom to price and allocate how they want, but it does set you on a particular track with customers.
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Re: Is Anyone Buying/Following Kapcsandy?

#41 Post by vincentz » September 29th, 2019, 3:15 pm

Please don’t blow me up (folks seem to do so here), is Graeme MacDonald participating in the enterprise now? Thanks for confirming or clarifying/correcting.
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Re: Is Anyone Buying/Following Kapcsandy?

#42 Post by F.Daner » September 29th, 2019, 4:29 pm

Hi Vincent he is not. He did take on that role at Blankiet where Denis also made the wines. According to the Kapcsandy website Tony Arcudi is the consulting winemaker. Denis left behind some very big shoes to fill. He made some of my all time favorite wines and was quite the gentleman. He gave us a bottle of his 2006 Notre Vin Howell Mountain Cabernet when he came to a dinner we hosted. It will be a special night when we open that bottle.

I was a regular buyer for many years. I haven't kept up with many of the great wineries I used to purchase from for years for different reasons . Pricing was one of them but I also needed to balance out my cellar. I also wasn't drinking nearly the amount of Napa Cab I used to( I say this as I finish up a 2014 Turnbull Oakville Reserve). Great wines and great folks. I just can't justify the price points for many of these wines anymore when I have plenty in the cellar to drink.



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vincentz wrote:
September 29th, 2019, 3:15 pm
Please don’t blow me up (folks seem to do so here), is Graeme MacDonald participating in the enterprise now? Thanks for confirming or clarifying/correcting.
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Re: Is Anyone Buying/Following Kapcsandy?

#43 Post by vincentz » September 30th, 2019, 5:57 pm

Thanks Fred for clarifying. Appreciated.
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