Aperture Cellars, Alexander Valley, Red Wine, 2011
A wildly vocal blend, Bordeaux varietals, Cab/Malbec, and one that commands the sipper to be lost, twirled and whirled in the body of the wine and its speech; darkness of berries and vibrant and confident presence, impact and influence on senses. And, you taste more than structure, you’re greeted by a communicative being from the bottle; the words and story of the vintage and winemaker, Alexander Valley’s relentless promulgation of Bordeaux varietals. There’s no halt to this wine’s momentum and palate placement. Like his father’s photos, you’re caught, not anytime soon release but held in one place to appreciate and be lost in the visual, the scene created and captured, measured and treasured. Of course I’m partial loving Cabernet and Bordeaux blends, and being one of those fervent followers of Katz, and his father’s work, but I’m instructed to appreciate Cabernet and Cab-honed blends differently with this bottle and most notably since it’s from ’11, the vintage that so many of these wine “experts” and “critics” want to dismiss so knee-jerkingly. This wine is a taste of place, the alchemical invitation to experience stylistic translation of Cabernet meeting Malbec in bottle, in the perfect accompaniment, actuating its own autonomous atmosphere. This wine reminds me of my relationship with wine, frankly, what I’m after and what I’ve been after in wine; Literary qualities, a story, the sipped-written; Wines that have their own character development and past, future, that are part of my present. And I found another, finally, from an old friend, now infused to my wined picture and life more clearly– another sip, and I hear its voice. Again, again…
Devil Proof Vineyards, Alexander Valley, Malbec, 2012
A Malbec, on its own, defiant in its delicious dichotomy of a disposition. Loud and assertive but still very much elegant and poetic, not at all overreaching or stretching into a stance it shouldn’t. A harmony of red coupled with its principles as a Bordeaux. And you’re thinking to yourself, “And this is 100% Malbec?” And yes, there’s no support from another varietal, and no odd adjustments or anything strange in the writing of its story. And like other wines from Katz, we see that understanding, and that winemaker influence and innovation sans trumping the identity of the varietal itself. So then… we sip again, and experience what wine should be, or wine of this elevation; Art. A story, a new story and new adventure for Jesse, when I asked him how he knew it was time to begin his new mission and venture he simply responded with “It was the right time.” and it was the right time in my oeno-apologue to meet this bottle, having me feel immune and impervious to all ill elements, and how could I be harmed with such didactic wine in my glass, and the woman smiling back at me, holding her cigar herself aware that nothing and intrude on her proverbial quietude? Cinnamon singing from rich raspberry and antagonizing cherry and other wild berry suggestion, lively spice song and tannic accents supply memorable structure, and more story, more memory, and what critics say about Mr. Katz’s passion project matters but doesn’t. There’s mastery, visible, tasted, cellared or poured, it’s there at your table and you live, feel, and see it. All. And you’re proof that nothing negative can puncture you’re moment. So you smile with her.