Somehow even better than the heralded 2017 vintage, this year’s Estate Cuvee is a classic Bordeaux blend of supreme elegance from the very first sip. Black cherry compote and blueberry pie make for a mouthwatering aromatic introduction, while the palate comes in swinging with solid structure and a fantastic freshness to the muscular fruit swathed in violets and orange blossoms. As Antonio Galloni puts it, “a total knock-out.”
Lou Kapcsándy has seen it all in his 80 years. He was a freedom fighter in the Hungarian revolution of 1956, a refugee from the Soviets, served proudly in the US Army, and had a highly successful career as a chemical engineer before starting his own Bordeaux import company with his son Louis Jr. in 1999. Lou first came to the Napa Valley in the early 1960s, so when in 2000 Yountville’s State Lane Vineyard—the core of so many great Beringer Private Reserve wines—became available, he pounced. He replanted the vineyard to tighter spacing, hired the late Denis Malbec of Château Latour as a consultant, and one of the great wines of the Napa Valley was born.
The 2018 Estate Cuvée is silky and supremely elegant right from the very first taste. Readers will have a hard time keeping their hands off this jewel of a wine. Soaring Cabernet aromatics meld into a core of inky red/purplish berry fruit, with hints of spice, sweet tobacco and cedar. Simply put, the Estate Cuvée is a total knock-out.
Composed of 97% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Merlot, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Cuvée is deep garnet-purple colored. It was aged in 55% new French oak, 18% new Hungarian oak and 27% second fill French oak. It bursts from the glass with rambunctious black cherry compote, blueberry pie and crushed blackcurrant scents, plus hints of menthol, baker’s chocolate and cedar chest. Medium-bodied, the palate has a rock-solid structure of grainy tannins and fantastic freshness supporting the muscular fruit, finishing long with a red-fruited skip in its step. 425 cases were made.