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So why is the 2012 Ladera Cabernet—made from almost entirely from Howell Mountain fruit, from an incredible vintage—sitting pretty at $34.99? I honestly can't tell you. Maybe it's because no one knows how good the Ladera holdings in Howell Mountain are. Or maybe it's the pride that winemaker Jade Barrett takes in making a serious wine for a reasonable price. Or maybe it's because Ladera is an overlooked gem in a sea of Napa alternatives. For whatever the reason, I'm not going to complain. We tasted the 2012 vintage at our staff training yesterday and I was just floored by the quality of this wine. Dark, fleshy fruit cloaked in fine tannins, bits of earth, and in total balance, with enough gusto to go the long haul in your cellar. It's a whole lotta wine for $34.99, and it's made primarily from Howell Mountain grapes, harvested during a great vintage. 

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Thursday
Oct132005

A Brief Note from Clyde Beffa Jr

Yes, Virginia I am still hanging around K&L, though I don’t get to write much in the newsletter. So many writers, so much great wine and not much space in our 24-page Wine News. Perhaps we will enlarge the newsletter in 2006 (and we’re looking at doing just that). Lots of new things in store for K&L and our great customers in 2006. For starters, a store in the Los Angeles area, an updated website with lots of new goodies (I can’t explain them because I am high tech challenged. I’m still getting used to the fax machine), and some great new sales associates. Also more wine locker space is on the drawing board as is an enlarged RWC tasting room and store remodel! And what about all the great wines that will become available in 2006? We’re looking at a possibly stunning Bordeaux vintage (2005) as well as great buys from all over the world. And what am I recommending these days, winewise? Two fabulous sauvignon blancs from Bordeaux are high on the list. 2003 Chateau Reynon ($10.99) and 2002 Clos Floridene ($17.99) are brilliant wines from Denis Dubourdieu. And both are must trys. Old wine winners include the stunning 1986 Château Cos d’ Estournel ($139.99) and the recent value-packed 1.5L formats from Château Pichon-Lalande (1992 $89.99 and 1993 $134.99-right from the château). Dessert wines are a must for the holidays. 2002 Château Climens ($54.99) and Rieussec ($39.99) are almost as good as their 100-point older brothers. In addition, the 1955 Rivesaltes ($59.99) is a spectacular wine value. Have a great holiday season! —Clyde Beffa Jr

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