La Fenetre 2006 Cargasacchi Pinot Noir

Type: Dry red
Made With: Pinot Noir grapes
Plays Well With: Salmon, pork or grilled beef.

This is a wine that is all about balance – no mean trick when it comes to the notoriously finicky pinot noir grape.

Winemaker and founder Joshua Klapper started with some amazing fruit – from farmer and winemaker Peter Cargasacchi’s vineyards in the ever-so-hot Santa Rita Hills.  Cargasacchi has his own Point Concepcion label (which we have had the good fortune to taste), but does sell a fair amount of his crop to several local vintners – including La Fenetre.  In fact, one of our dream tastings would be side-by-side comparisons of wines from Cargasacchi’s many clients next to his own decidedly yummy version.

Klapper’s wine had some berries and a slight whiff of rose petals.  Taste-wise, the acidity was bright, but not harsh and the texture in the mouth was silky.  But the best part was the balance.  We may not be talking angels on the head of a pin, here, but there was just enough fruit, just enough acid and just enough tannin to make this wine perfect for sipping with a really good dinner.  Maybe some salmon in paper pouch with plenty of garlic, lemon and herbs.  Or perfectly grilled pork chops.

Vergari 2005 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Type: Dry red

Made with: Cabernet sauvignon

Plays well with: Meat, meat and more meat

 

Please don’t think we’ve sold out the OBG mission of highlighting lesser known varieties. We also promise to highlight smaller producers who we believe deserve attention. So, that means a Napa cabernet is bound to turn up in these posts once in a while, especially since with Vergari Wines, there is no winery to find or visit. And, thanks again to winemaker David Vergari for finding us.

The Vergari 2005 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon shows the same attention to detail that Mr. Vergari brings to his pinot noir, including the same deep ruby color from good fruit. The nose is a combination of cherries, berries and rose petals. Michael found himself taking several deep sniffs to get all these aromas because they were almost as good as the flavor.

 

The first taste showed good acidity and a lush mouthfeel, with a lingering finish that displayed well-balanced tannins that didn’t dry out the mouth. The concentration of fruit and the light use of oak as a spice makes this a decent cocktail wine, if you’re so inclined to drink it by itself.

We’re not so inclined.  The wine was so nice and rich we think it would be wasted by itself. Pair it with prime rib, steaks or stews. The alcohol, at a slightly high but acceptable 14.5 percent, will not interfere with the enjoyment of your meal.