California’s Central Coast is home to a surprising ensemble of world class vineyards. Often overshadowed by their neighbors to the north in Napa and Sonoma, this fertile stretch of real estate situated along the majestic Pacific is actually a perfectly primed climate for grape-growing. Winemaker Joshua Klapper recognized the allure of this region, choosing the rolling hills of Santa Maria as home for La Fenêtre Wines, which he started in 2005.
Klapper spent time as Wine Director at Sona–one of Southern California’s premiere eateries. It was there that he amassed a penchant for the finely-fermented grapes of the Central Coast. Enamored by the Pinots, Syrahs and Chardonnays, for which the area is known, it wasn’t long before Klapper transitioned from serving them, to producing them.
Fast forward to today and the acclaimed vintner is running a hugely successful operation, highlighted most recently by their 2012 Summer Release, featuring some truly exquisite juices from around the Santa Maria Valley. The 2010 Pinot Noir illustrates the robust flavors native to the region: floral, herbaceous and earthy. Everything that you would expect from a cold vintage.
Their À Côté series is released each spring after undergoing an 18 month elevage. Reasonably priced at around $22 per bottle, the 2010 Red Blend is a combination of 85% Syrah and 15% Grenache, grown in the Santa Barbara Highlands. It’s bouquet offers a subtle spice, which works nicely with the sour cherry notes that it drops on the tongue. It only gets better in the bottle.
The meticulously crafted juices of Joshua Klapper and co. are available at wine stores throughout the west. You can also order them online from their website. But if you happen to be in Southern California this fall, the afternoon of October 6th is a great day to sample a whole flight of several La Fenêtre varietals. Wood & Vine (6280 Hollywood Blvd.) in Los Angeles will offer a tasting of a half dozen wines, including the 2010 Red Blend and Pinot Noir.