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Sipping with Jesse Katz, Aperture Cellars /Devil Proof Vineyards

Jesse Katz had a childhood we dream about- traveling with his photographer- father, Andy Katz, around the world. The senior Katz has photographed beautiful vineyards for a dozen coffee table books, as well as album covers for high-profile musicians like the Doobie Brothers and Dan Fogelberg.

Inspired growing up around great wines, Katz traded a degree in business for one in oenology. He is now winemaker and co-owner with his father at Aperture Cellars in Sonoma’s Alexander Valley. The in-demand wines are Bordeaux-style blends that evoke timeless elegance. Katz produces a critically acclaimed 100 percent Malbec wine at Devil Proof Vineyards, drawing upon his time working with the varietal in Argentina. Its been referred to as a “cult wine.”

Jesse Katz

Katz’s winemaking pedigree is impressive and includes hands-on experience working at Petrus in Bordeaux, Bodega Noemia and Paul Hobbs’ Viña Cobos in Argentina, and Screaming Eagle, Robert Foley Winery and Lancaster Estate where he orchestrated the building of the new Roth winery, production facility and tasting room. Under his watch, the Roth lined underwent 800 percent growth. Not bad!

Still in his 30s, Katz has 17 harvests under his belt and a few notable accolades, including Wine Enthusiast 40 Under 40, Forbes Magazine 30 under 30 and Wine Spectator Rising Star.  His pals Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel asked him to create a special wine for their wedding. Imagine what the future will bring.

Both of the two wines we tasted feature Andy Katz’s photography on the label. It’s art on the inside and out of the bottle.

Aperture Cellars Red Blend  2016 (62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 11% Malbec and 7% Cabernet Franc) aged 20 months in 50% new oak. An elegant, balanced wine with complex and deep flavors. These days the term “red blend” can refer to some pretty jammy-style red wines. Not here. This wine is solid sophistication and not liquid candy, but it is a real treat at $50.

Aperture Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 (93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot grown in volcanic soils) ages 20 months in 50% new French oak. This wine’s softer tannins and rich fruit deliver ballet slippers rather than a tar heel kick on the palate.  $70

We did not have the chance to taste the wine from Devil Proof Vineyard.  It’s limited release and high demand means it you may want to consider joining their wine club and getting on the mailing list.

www.aperture-cellars.com  www.devilproofvineyards.com

 

 

“Our friend Jesse Katz is one of our favorite winemakers. His new projects prove yet again that he makes the most delicious cult wines in the industry. His wine has been a part of our cellar and enjoyed on countless occasions.”
— Jessica Biel & Justin Timberlake

Recently we met with Jesse Katz when he was in New York to record a podcast for The Connected Table SIPS. Listen below by clicking the image or at this link

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Prayers for Our Friends in Napa and Sonoma

We’re heartsick over the devastating fires that are still burning in Napa and Sonoma counties and southern California. So many industry friends have been impacted, and we’re still learning which wineries have been destroyed.  I was just in Calistoga a few weeks ago celebrating at The Harvest Table with the local vintners. Despite the surprise heat wave, everyone was in a happy mood. And now this. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone. If you want to send help for evacuees, Public Relations Pro Kimberly Charles has set up a GoFundMe Page. Here are the link and message from Kimberly:

Napa and Sonoma counties in Northern California are undergoing an unprecedented series of fires, over 60 recorded in the last 48 hours.   One of California’s oldest wineries perished last night and several others have been completely lost. The wine community is one of the most giving, generous groups who give to charity constantly, now it’s our turn to help.   We have worked with wineries in California closely for over 30 years and right now have identified a group of shelters in who are accepting evacuees.   They need hard goods, not money -cots, sleeping bags, non perishable foods, hygienic items, kids’ pyjamas.   We are raising money to buy these items and drive them up this week to the distribution center at Mentor Me at the Cavanagh Rec Center which is sheltering 500 evacuees currently. They are networked with 10 other shelters to distribute goods.  We plan on raising funds, buying goods and delivering them right away this week.  Link: https://www.gofundme.com/fire-relief-napa-sonoma-counties

And, if your emotions are as raw as ours from all the bad news, we encourage you to read Lettie Teague‘s October 5th Wall Street Journal article: “How Wine Sustains Us Through Tragedy and Helps Us Reclaim Joy.” Read here: link. 

 

Melanie and David in Napa Valley March 2017. We stand with you.