Smith: Double honors for local winemaker

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Life is usually good for Jesse Katz, but lately the 29-year-old Alexander Valley winemaker feels like he's won back-to-back lotteries.

His work at Lancaster Estate and Roth Estate wineries brought Katz a spot on Forbes magazine's 2014 "30 under 30" list of the brightest young American stars of food and wine.

The same day he learned of the honor, he read Robert Parker's gaga review of the first Malbec he's made under his own label, Devil Proof Vineyards.

Parker's review in Wine Advocate awarded Katz's 2012 Devil Proof Alexander Valley Hillside Malbec 94 points and gushed, "This may be the finest Malbec I have ever tasted from California ... (the fruit) could easily rival the best from high elevation vineyards in Argentina."

Imagine what this winemaker may do once he ripens and matures to age 30.

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