Day 2 - October Napa Trip (Kapcsandy, Greer, MacDonald, Piper)


Our 2nd day started with an extensive tasting at Kapcsandy. I struggle to find any more superlatives that I can use to describe a tasting at Kapcsandy. It is truly one of the most amazing wine experiences one can have. I’ve written many times about these tastings so I’ll try to keep these comments a bit more brief. Lou is quite pleased with his 2015 harvest. They had to be very selective in their vineyard management techniques, like others have stated, but feel their production was only down 20-30%, versus some other reports of up to 50% in other vineyards.

2014 Furmint-Muscat Blanc - Nice little white wine, apricots/apples and flowers, with good weight and acidity.

2012 Grand Vin Rose - I liked this, and I usually only like Tempier rose. It’s not Tempier, but still is quite appealing. It’s aged in oak and I think this brings out some weight and complexity that really draw interest to the wine, other than being a typical rose summertime patio-pounder. 90pts

2010 Endre - I like this wine, and have had it a bunch, but this bottle was not quite as good as the one I had a month earlier back home (93 pts then). Today, not quite as complex or complete. 91+ pts

2011 Estate Cuvee - really nice bottle last month and this one was similar. Perfumed nose dark cherries, tobacco, mint, cedar. good balance on the palate with nice finish. very precise and elegant. 94 points.

2011 Roberta’s Reserve - another wine that proves Kapcsandy knew what they were doing in 2011. Elegant and finessed fruit. Nice tannin grip throughout. Great wine. 95+ points

2012 Estate Cuvee - Big step up over the 2011. Bigger fruit, black cherry, licorice, minerals. Great mouthfeel and length. Super expressive. Loved it. 96 points.

2012 Rapszodia - This one was ridiculously good. For whatever reason, I’ve not been as big a fan of this bottling, even for their 2010 which garnered high critical acclaim. This is 90% Cab Franc, 10% Merlot. So fragrant and enticing, layered mouthfeel that just continues to build to a long finish. Really liked this. 97 pts.

2012 Grand Vin - 100 pts by Parker. This is flat out gorgeous! Intoxcating nose of black/blue fruits, licorice, hint of fennel, and cedar. Mouthfeel and finish are amazing. Goes on and on forever. 99 pts.

2012 Roberta’s Reserve - OMG good. Seductive, deep nose. Amazing mouthfeel, almost voluptuous. This is a wine to behold. Perfect sweet, gripping tannis. Long. 98 pts

2013 Estate Cuvee - Man this is good. Not too much of a step down from the last two wines. Great nose of dark cherry/sweet tobacco/spice and long layered mouthfeel. Superb. 96 pts.

2013 Rhapszodia - even more impressive than the 2012. 65% cab franc, 35% Merlot. My notes say “huge, long tannins” and “balance”. Elegant and pure. Really loved this. 97+points.

2013 Grand Vin - I cannot imagine a wine to be better than this. Just so pure elegant, expressive, and long. Seductive black fruit on the nose, with fennel, licorice, tobacco, leather. Silky, ethereal mouthfeel. Showstopper. 100pts.

2013 Roberta’s Reserve - Deep pure nose of cocoa, cherries, spice, and a hint of orange peel (?). Just beautiful. Long and expressive feel. Fantastic. 99 points.

By now I’m grinning from ear to ear because this has been such an amazing tasting and we always love hearing Lou’s stories. This is the first time meeting Lou so they have been peppering him with questions. They are loving this, too. Then Lou says, lets try some 14’s. What? I thought we were done. Even bigger grin, now. This is going to be fun. Unfortunately my notes get a bit sparse here.

2014 Estate Cuvee - Very nice. A step back from the 13, but still great. 95 pts.

2014 Rapszodia - 65% cab franc, 35% merlot (same as 13). Lovely fruit and balance. Nice grip. 96 points.

2014 Grand Vin - So layered, so long, so beautiful, even as a barrel sample. Can’t beat mouthfeel. 98+ pts.

2014 Roberta’s Reserve - seductive nose and gorgeous mouthfeel. Drop-dead awesome. 98+ pts.

I know the 2013 Vintage is almost second to none in reputation already, but the samples of 14 here are showing very well. I don’t think there will be too much of a drop-off here, at least here at Kapcsandy.


Next up we headed to meet up with Rob Greer. We met on the property and despite the 95 degree heat, we had a great visit. The others in our group had not met Rob previously so they heard about how he ended up with this fantastic property and then we got a chance to taste the current release.

The 2012 Greer Cabernet is a wonderful wine. This is the second time I’ve had it, but first our of bottle. Typical of Greer, the nose has a huge seductive perfume of black/blueberry and spice, with a little rock/graphite. Palate is perfectly balanced, with a nice silky feel with an elegant persistence. Great acidic backbone gives a nice energy to the finish. Truly impressive, especially after the Kapcsandy wines as a prelude. 97points.


Last stop of the day was MacDonald. It is always such a treat to meet up with Graeme and Alex. Such wonderful guys. Some in our group had not been to the property before so we went on a tour and Graeme and Alex explained the history. They are quite pleased with their 2015 fruit. Even though they had to drop a lot of fruit in the vineyard, they still expect production to be up for 2015, so that should be good news to those who are on the wait list currently. We then headed into the cabin to taste the wine. I’ve had the 2012 (current release) earlier in the year at is KILLER. It is much more immediately approachable with a short decant than the previous two vintages. Thankfully, we were able to try the 2013 on this trip. This was recently bottled back in June, IIRC.

The bottle had been decanting for 7-8 hours. The nose on this is intense and amazing, so deep, and super dark. Reminds me more of the 2010 than their 11 or 12. Intense blackberry/plum, violets, gravel and a hint of iodine and spice. Really super dark. Palate is dense and deep with an intense energy that underlies the dense fruit. Tannins are huge, but polite and really lend a sense of just how deep this wine is, brimming with this potential energy. but stacked for the long haul. Seamless on the neverending finish. A true WOW-wine. This is one built for the ages. Tremendous! 98 pts. I imagine a longer decant will let this shine even more. Apparently this is only the 3rd bottle of the 2013 they have opened so they are “learning” how much of a decant time is needed. I’d put this more in the 24 hour range that was given for the 2010.
Roy Piper Cellars

That evening we met up with Roy Piper at dinner. Roy brought his 2013 Cabernet for us to taste and I believe this was a barrel sample. Roy is extremely pleased with his 2013, 2014, and 2015, vintages. It’s always a great time tasting with Roy as he is full of information and just a great guy. I’ve had all of his released wines and feel that this one may be his best yet. I haven’t had the 2012 recently, so can’t say for sure because that was fantastic, but the 2013 will rival, if not best it. Booming nose of blackberry/plum and spice, hint of fennel. Smells dense and deep. Huge mouthfeel with big gripping tannins, but all in nice balance. You can tell this is a baby. Really great wine. 96 pts. So glad to have tried this.

Day 3 coming soon.

Thanks for the great notes Justin. I am a big fan of these wines!

Was great seeing you again, Justin.