Deep ruby color; raspberry, plum, cherry, blueberry on the nose; plum, raspberry, cherry, spice, tobacco leaf, chip of chocolate on the palate.
Dry; reserved, grainy tannins with bright acidity. Blend of 52% malbec, 48% merlot (thus the tame tannins). Medium-plus body with sensuous texture. Aged 18 months sur lie (on the lees—lees are dead yeast cells and other sediment) to successfully amp up richness. Skillfully aged in 60-gallon French oak barrels; oak is appropriate, and certainly not obnoxious. Bottled unfined, unfiltered, un-acidified; 14.4% ABV.
The winery name comes from owner Andy Katz’s day job as a world famous photographer with dozens of award-winning books in his portfolio. While pursuing his click career, Andy infused his love of wine in his son, Jesse. Today, Jesse is a celebrated winemaker. Jesse appeared on the cover of Wine Enthusiast as a “rising star” who the editors praised as “changing the way the world drinks.”
Aperture website: “Jesse’s diverse experience spanning 15 harvests at wineries, along with his desire to travel, fed his aspiration to learn from the best in the industry, including Pétrus in Bordeaux, as well as time on the winemaking teams at Screaming Eagle Winery and Robert Foley Winery in Napa Valley, and Viña Cobos and Bodega Noemia in Argentina.
“In 2010, Jesse was the youngest-hired head winemaker in the US at Lancaster Estate where, during his five-year tenure, he orchestrated the building of the new Roth winery, production facility, and tasting room on Chalk Hill Road, grew the Roth line over 800%, and received 90+ scores on every wine scored by Robert Parker, Jr., and garnered Lancaster Estate’s inclusion on the list of Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines.”
So, another celebrity does wine, but this one did it with his son. Jesse supplies the grapes and the wine. Andy produces the images. It that cool or what? Sip this effort and celebrate this father-son partnership.
Aperture Cellars Alexander Valley Red Blend 2017 is nicely rounded, smooth, easy drinker. Admirable complexity, including intriguing flavor shifts on mid-palate and dusty finish. Sexy texture adds to its appeal. Pair with various meats, particularly leaner cuts; blue cheese, cheddar, gorgonzola; grilled or roasted chicken; lamb; pork loin and roast pork. $55-57