Aperture Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
The year 2016 was a good one for grapes in the northern part of Sonoma County. Our cooler vineyard sites had the unique advantage of a long and moderate growing season. With this mellow, even weather, our fruit ripened gently. The result: deep flavors with complex, integrated tannins, and lively characteristics that make this vintage one of our best.
Four hillside Cabernet vineyard sites, all with mineral-rich volcanic soils, are always the first focus of this blend. In 2016, our Merlot harvest was particularly incredible, yielding stunning acidity with full and silky tannins. It was a perfect partner to the vivid fruit profile of our Alexander Valley Cabernet vineyards. This year's blend of the two achieves an uncommon, sophisticated balance.
Blend: 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Barrel Sample, 92-94
Soft and silky with a backbone of lush velvety texture, this is an impressively delicious wine, tasting of blueberry mocha. With firm integrated tannins and restrained oak, it offers quiet power that persists in layers of flavor and complexity
Never mind the six million album covers around the world that feature Andy Katz’s photographs, or his dozen books of gorgeous photos that grace countless coffee tables around the country, or the many awards on his mantel earned from five decades of work around the world. It was all an excuse. An excuse to drink world class wine. To learn what it takes to make world class wine. And to spend time with his young son Jesse. Andy brought Jesse to the the most famous vineyards on earth, from the heart of Burgundy to the hills of Tuscany. He may not have admitted it at the time, but Andy’s gambit worked. Barely a decade later, Jesse is now one of the most exciting — and accomplished — winemakers in the world, recently gracing the cover of Wine Enthusiast as a rising young star who is doing nothing less than “changing the way the world drinks.” The son of a man who, through his photographs, changes the way the world sees wine. It’s a perfect combination. Jesse supplies the grapes, Andy supplies the images. And together they make wines worthy of their travels. Aperture. World class wines. Katz and Katz. A world class pairing.
Nearly a northern extension of Napa Valley, Alexander Valley starts just north of the small, Knights Valley, and is just a few minutes drive from the Napa town of Calistoga. It is Sonoma County’s hottest AVA. But the Russian River, which runs through the valley, creates cooler pockets and its soft, alluvial soil is ideal for grape growing, especially Cabernet Sauvignon. In fact, some believe that Alexander Valley Cabernets truly rival the best from Napa Valley and many of the heavy-hitter producers have largely invested here.
In addition to Cabernet Sauvignon, which makes up over 50% of plantings, Merlot and old vine Zinfandel thrive here. Ample, fleshy Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc dominate white wine production. Some old-vine plantings of Grenache have also been discovered and more recent experiments with Sangiovese and Barbera show great promise.
A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon enjoys success all over the globe, its best examples showing potential to age beautifully for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in Bordeaux's Medoc where it is often blended with Merlot and smaller amounts of some combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. In the Napa Valley, ‘Cab’ is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious, age-worthy and sought-after “cult” wines. Somm Secret—DNA profiling in 1997 revealed that Cabernet Sauvignon was born from a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc in 17th century southwest France.