Our Selection for Wine of the Week January 18, 2010
A SMOKY SYRAH La Fenêtre
2007 Alisos Vineyard Syrah California
La Fenêtre is the vision of Joshua Klapper, a restaurant manager with a passion for the vine. While managing one of Los Angeles' most highly acclaimed restaurants, Sona, Klapper spent the better part of three harvests traveling to California's Central Coast, learning his craft under the tutelage of famed winemakers Jim Clendenen and Bob Lindquist. In order to keep the focus on quality, Klapper's winery only produces 400-500 cases annually, including a Chardonnay, two Pinot Noirs and a Syrah. The nose on the 2007 Syrah is filled with ripe fruits including black cherry, plum and cranberry as well as licorice and black pepper. On the palate, bright acidity balances the wine's super-ripe fruit flavors. One of the wine's most impressive characteristics is its length, which lingers with licorice, coffee and the heat of pepper as well as a sweaty, salty bacon-like smokiness. It is a surprisingly complex wine for the price. Pair it with anything bacon from a cassoulet to a Cobb or even a bacon chocolate bar to bring out the smoky character. The Syrah's bright acidity will also hold up to hearty meat dishes like roasted lamb shank or a steak coated with peppercorns.