Friday, November 14, 2014

Holiday Wines 2014: Joshua Klapper

A series on wines for the holidays.

A sommelier who became a winemaker, Joshua Klapper, is one of those vintners you will see a lot if you attend wine tasting events in Southern Californa.  He pours his La Fenêtre and À Coté wines with the fervor of a revivalist.  Most of the time, he is preaching to the choir.  That does not cause him to call off the sermon, though.  His name has become widely known since he joined the Santa Barbara County wine scene almost a decade ago.

Klapper's focus at La Fenêtre is making food-friendly wines.  He respects the Old World techniques and embraces the terroir of California's Central Coast. His wines are source fruit from some of the most famous vineyards around and he lets those grapes do most of the talking.

Klapper made a splash with his Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and has now turned his talents to the Riesling grape as well.  He suggests a red and a white - always looking for balance - to make your holiday meal even more memorable.
2013 Dr Klapper Riesling, Santa Barbara County $22.50

"Nothing says holidays like Riesling. It is the best wine for thanksgiving as the acidity and touch of residual sugar make it pair well with everything on the table from turkey and stuffing, to mashed potatoes, to candied yams and cranberry sauce. Literally the perfect holiday wine."

"Pale straw color, with a hint of ‘spritz’ from the cold fermentation, the nose is bright with notes of lychee, white flowers, white pepper, and orange blossom. On the palate the entry has a hint of sweetness with vibrant acidity. The palate includes green apple Jolly Rancher, honey suckle, dried stone fruits (apricot and peach), and a touch of viscosity. The acidity makes the extremely long finish hint of fresh lemon, lime, and orange zest. Drink now-2016 (or cellar for a very long time cause old Riesling ROCKS!)"

2011 La Fenetre Pinot Noir, Presqu'ile Vineyard   $45

"Ditto for Pinot Noir, literally perfect with holiday fare.  Turkey, ham, fall root vegetables and mushrooms all pair extremely well with this wine.

"Planted in the late 1990’s (when the vineyard was called Addamo) the section our fruit comes from is one of the most perfectly manicured blocks of Pinot Noir I have ever seen. All clone 777, this part of Santa Maria, called the Solomon Hills, has been long recognized as a perfect terroir for dense, powerful, yet distinctly elegant fruit, which is the hallmark of the region.  Again for 2011 we did part of the fermentation whole cluster, which is a big component of this wine.

"Deep red, this wine has quite a bit of power.  The nose hints of cherry cola, cinnamon, and baking spices and the whole cluster adds a spicy, earthy element not unlike the smell of soil and red flowers after a warm spring rain.  I know it sounds crazy, but hey… this is what I do!  The palate is full, with a good amount of grip and fine tannin to balance the lushness of the Dijon Clone 777.  The long finish evokes cloves, a touch of vanilla bean, and almonds.  Drink 2014-2025+."


Joshua Klapper
La Fenêtre Wines
2705 Aviation Way #100
Santa Maria, CA 93455
Phone: 310-977-5615 • Fax: 888-834-1686

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