93 Insider Points
The 2014 Kapara Chardonnay is a complex, layered and generally well crafted wine that represents the world of round and supple domestic Chardonnay very well. Expect peach, golden apple, melon notes and lemon citrus, with vanilla, cedar, coconut and biscuits showing from the time in barrel. A tasty bottle to enjoy now through 2022. - DZ Fedb 2017
$0 SHIPPING Selection (4+/btls)
A double Gold winner in the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, this spectacular wine is further proof (as if we required any) of Sangiacomo Vineyard’s ranking as the New World’s premier site for Burgundian varietals. Here-today-gone-tomorrow Kapara Cellars opened in 2012 and closed up shop a few vintages later. In that short stretch founders, Ken Giberson and Kevin Sugaski nonetheless made an impression—and this medal winner is perhaps the finest release among Kapara’s minuscule 500-case production.
Lucking into a deal with the owners of Sangiacomo Vineyards gave winemakers Giberson and Sugaski a rare opportunity to vinify some of the state’s most sought-after juice. What they did with it, in the case of this gorgeous 2014 Chardonnay, is sheer magic. Three generations of sustainable farmers stand behind this awesome site, a place where ideal soil conditions and climate combine, making for heavenly Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. This ’14 Chard is the embodiment of Sangiacomo style with crisp pear and apple notes bolstered by a bright acid structure and a creamy, unctuous finish. Whether enjoyed with food or as a before-dinner sipper, this single-vineyard Carneros Chardonnay is everything our Panel loves in the varietal.
Reasons why we love it:
- Kapara was established by friends Ken Giberson and Kevin Sugaski, two guys “with day jobs” who decided to make a bit of wine on the side. Their 2009 El Dorado County Zin won a Double Gold Medal (99 points) at the California State Fair, which was reason enough for Giberson and Sugaski to officially establish Kapara Cellars in 2012.
- The brand new 2014 vintage is a promising one in Sonoma County thanks to a growing season of continued warmth and little rain. The Wall Street Journal writes: “Someday, when California’s persistent drought is finally over, wine lovers may lift a glass to its memory, toasting the extraordinary 2014 vintage it made possible.”
- Kapara’s aim initially was on the unsung terroir of the Sierra Foothills, however, the project soon expanded into limited releases of wines sourced from prime vineyards in Napa and Sonoma counties as their relationships with growers developed over time.
This Chardonnay is made from grapes grown at the Sangiacomo Vineyard in the Carneros region of the southern Sonoma Valley. This wine is rich and concentrated with aromas of tropical fruit, pear, apricot, and lemon meringue surrounded by a bouquet of toasty oak, vanilla, caramel, and hazelnut. Luscious mouthfeel and bright flavors of honey, pear, apple, and citrus make this a perfect wine with food, especially seafood or poultry.
From the Winery:
Two guys with day jobs are the founders of tiny, 500-case producer Kapara Cellars. “We started winning medals from the get-go, but of course, we had a few disasters, too," says cofounder Ken Giberson. In 2011, their 2009 El Dorado County Zinfandel Port won a Double Gold Medal (99 Points) at the California State Fair, and that impelled them to officially inaugurate Kapara Cellars in 2012.
A great choice with foods from rich pasta dishes and cheeses to light seafood dishes.