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Aperture Cellars Red Blend Alexander Valley 2021  - First Bottle


95+ Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate -
The 2021 Bordeaux Red Blend is the first iteration to include a significant amount of fruit from Farrow Ranch, Aperture's latest vineyard acquisition. It's a blend of 44% Merlot, 27% Malbec, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot and 9% Cabernet Franc and was matured for 18 months in 50% new French oak. It has slowly unfurling scents of red and black currants, chocolate-covered cherries, integrated new oak spices, tobacco and tapenade. The palate is particularly elegant, balancing concentrated, nuanced flavors with a frame of velvety tannins and vibrant acidity that calls you back to the glass. 5,270 cases produced.
95 James Suckling -
Black currant, black mushroom, baking spices, lavender and dried flowers. Lead pencil. Full-bodied with pretty framing and tension from the French oak and a blend of 44% merlot, 27% malbec, 10% cabernet sauvignon, 10% petit verdot, and 9% cabernet franc. Drink or hold.

Technical Details

  • Blend44% Merlot, 27% Malbec, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot, 9% Cabernet Franc
  • WinemakerJesse Katz
  • CountryUS
  • RegionCalifornia
  • Sub-RegionNorth Coast
  • AppellationAnderson Valley
  • VineyardMix of eastern hillsides that are south and southwest facing with a benchland block
  • Oak55% new French oak
  • Aging/Cooperage18 Months
  • Alcohol14.4%
  • Production5270 cases

Aperture Cellars Red Blend Alexander Valley 2021

Bordeaux Blends  |  US
WA95+, JS95

SPECIAL: Ground shipping included on 3+ bottles!
14% off retail!

Art is the physical expression of emotion, memory, and surroundings – and that’s exactly what prodigious winemaker Jesse Katz aims to emit with his expressive wines under his renowned Aperture Cellars label. Based in Sonoma’s Anderson Valley, the winery dials in on California’s cooler-climate appellations to develop Jesse’s prized Bordeaux varieties – including this sensuous, ripely fruited, glass-smooth double 95-point Bordeaux red blend.

Jesse has been a star on a meteoric rise in the wine world in recent years – winning accolades from several large national publications and cutting his teeth at the likes of Screaming Eagle, Château Pétrus, Viña Cobos, and other winemaking behemoths – but he’d say his journey began as a child while traveling with his father, Andy Katz. The famous photographer’s work has graced world-class galleries, coffee table books, and album covers, and he brought Jesse along for many of his worldwide expeditions. Throughout their adventures, the pair were invited to sit at tables with some of the most revered names in the wine industry – even sharing a glass with Olivier Leflaive and his family...experiences that shaped Jesse’s deep-seated passion for making impeccable wines and sharing them with the world. In that full-circle kind of way, Andy now supplies professional photos for Jesse’s wines and branding purposes online and in-person – a serendipitous showing of the father-and-son artists’ work, in two very different but meaningful mediums.

“Like my father’s ability to tell amazing stories through his photography, my greatest joy is bringing together the intricacies of space, place, and time – in essence, the terroir – that make an exceptional bottle of wine.” – Jesse Katz

The brilliant and powerful 2021 Bordeaux Red Blend is a split between 44% merlot, 27% malbec, 10% cabernet sauvignon, 10% petit verdot, and 9% cabernet franc, with a significant amount of the fruit coming from Aperture’s latest vineyard acquisition, Farrow Ranch. Jesse, along with associate winemaker Hillary Sjolund, utilized an automated pump-over system – which they first began integrating into their processes in 2019 to accurately adjust the maceration for red wines. Performing pump-overs the first three to five days before the wine is fermenting helps bring out even stronger aromatics and a more intense depth of flavor, without adding alcohol. The automated system has provided additional artistic freedom for extraction, as the team can switch up the schedule of pump-overs by tasting every day and deciding whether or not to do extended maceration. “Winemaking is a science, but the art is in how you use the science,” Hillary said.

After maturing for 18 months on 50% new French oak barrels, the result of this red blend is impossibly delightful, long-lasting, concentrated, and lavish. An immediate depth and richness drift from the glass, bringing with it a fervent mash-up of black currants, dried tobacco leaves, and scores of baking spices. Bursting blackberries and both red and black currants come alive in the mouth, alongside balanced notes of black olive tapenade, chocolate-drenched Bing cherries, lavender, dried flowers, and a bit of shavings from a pencil. A lovely and quiet tinge of vanilla from the oak wraps it all up like a warm bear hug, ending with a finish as velvety as your favorite fancy hotel robe, with a small fritz of acid to keep you reaching for more. Given the world-class fruit and pedigreed winemaking found in this singular bottle – it’s hard to believe you can get it for under $100, let alone under $60! Make this yours today, and have a bit of art to sip your way through.

PAIRING IDEAS: Grilling season is upon us – and if I could deter from the standard steak and Bordeaux recommendation, may I suggest instead a grilled pizza? Turn the heat up and grease up your grates good before carefully applying your stretched thin and round dough. Add your toppings quickly (you won’t go wrong with tomato sauce, prosciutto, sliced mushroom, and hunks of fresh mozzarella), and close her up for 8 to 10 minutes. Bon appe-freaking-tit.

About the Producer

Jesse Katz has made a name for himself in the California wine industry. He has been included in Forbes 30 under 30 list, Wine Enthusiast 40 under 40 Tastemaker, and a "rising star" by Wine Spectator. He has participated in 18 harvests from some of the worlds best producers – Petrus, Screaming Eagle, Vina Cobos, Bodega Nemia, and many more. Like his famous father, Andy Katz, who tells stories through his photography, Jesse's expression is in wine. Aperture is his brand and has generated industry buzz and many high scores. Jesse stops at nothing less than perfection and nothing matters more than wine itself.