February 3, 2014 |
Winemaker to Watch: Jesse Katz
Congratulations to Jesse Katz, our former head winemaker at Lancaster Estate. He has recently been recognized by Forbes “30 Under 30” as one of the brightest stars in the Food & Drink category. “Katz was the youngest hired head winemaker in the U.S. when he started at Lancaster Estate. In the past four years, he received 90+ scores on every Lancaster wine scored by Robert Parker,” Forbes Magazine reported on January 6, 2014. “Celebs love him, too: Katz created a 2009 blend of Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ‘Blue Ocean Floor’ for Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake’s wedding.”
Jesse was also recognized by Wine Enthusiast Magazine “40 Under 40: America’s Tastemakers” on April 30, 2013 as one of the rising legends who is changing the way the world drinks. Jesse came to Lancaster from Napa cult brand Screaming Eagle.
In addition to Forbes and Wine Enthusiast, Wine & Spirits and The Drinks Business acknowledged Jesse’s talent too, deeming him as one of the wine innovators and a winemaker to watch on their lists respectively.
When asked to give his thoughts on the latest 2013 vintage from Lancaster, Jesse was excited to discuss the progression of the wines thus far. “At this stage during the winemaking process, many wines have just finished native malolactic fermentation and will soon have their first post-malolactic rack. After the wines are transferred back to barrel, they will undergo a full evaluation. However, the team has already noted some exciting qualities from this vintage. Despite its young age, these wines are already showing soft, mature tannins that are balanced by powerful fruit and beautiful structure that will allow this wine to age gracefully.”
We are very excited to try the wines from the 2013 vintage, but more so, we are very proud of Jesse. His gift in winemaking is something special that can be tasted in his distinctive wines, which reveals the unique character of the Lancaster Estate. Jesse Katz continues to astound us with his work as he continues to reinvent the realm of winemaking.