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TYPE: This grape produces a dark red wine with plenty of tannins. It is one of the six grapes allowed for blending red Bordeaux wines. Malbec is also the flagship variety of Argentina. The grape needs a lot of sun and heat to mature. It adds complexity and intensity to blends.
PRODUCER: Devil Proof Vineyards in Sonoma County is only a few years old, but it’s already earning buzz from reviewers. Winemaker Jesse Katz launched Devil Proof in 2012 and his debut wine, a 2012 Malbec made from Alexander Valley grapes, sold out quickly through a mailing list. Robert M. Parker Jr. gave the wine 94 pts and wrote that “this may be the finest Malbec I have ever tasted from California...” Wine Enthusiast also gave the 2012 94 pts, noting that Katz “pulled out all the stops to craft this small-production Malbec, proving that the right fruit in the right hand can yield crazy-good results.” Katz’s fruit comes from the Farrow Ranch, where 75 acres of vineyards are planted to Malbec for Devil Proof Vineyards. Katz toured some of the world’s leading wine producers as a child and adolescent, traveling with his father Andy Katz, a photographer known for vineyard photography. Jesse earned a degree in enology in California then worked for wine producers in Argentina and California, including a stint at Screaming Eagle, before starting his own venture. Katz in 2013 was lauded by Wine Enthusiast as one of 40 young tastemakers under 40 to watch. The photo on the labels is by Andy Katz and the name comes from a Cuban saying, which is that if you live well and drink well, the devil can’t get you.