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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

Something Special, Domestically Speaking

Wow, November already. Time sure flies when you’re selling wine. I thought about writing on holiday wines. No, it’s been done. So, here are a new wines that I thought were worth a look. 2001 Corison Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($54.99) Cathy has created a gem this vintage. Her wines are always balanced and perfect for drinking or aging. Red fruit and chocolate with hints of mineral and spice make this one of my favorite wines of 2001. A popular wine with the Francophiles who work in San Francisco. I just had the 1996 in London, and it was almost perfect. 2001 Corison “Corazon” Anderson Valley Gewürztraminer ($19.99) Produced since 1999, this is rarely seen in stores. Alsatian in style, this wine shows touches of pear and grapefruit and a little smokiness. Fermented to complete dryness. It doesn’t get any better than this. 2001 Paradise Ridge “Elevation” Cabernet Sauvignon ($21.99) A fantastic price on this Rockpile Vineyard Cabernet. 89% cabernet with a little merlot and petit verdot, this wine jumps right out at you with dark fruit and oak. A bright finish with long, lush tannins. 2003 Cristom “Mt. Jefferson Cuvee” Willamette Valley Pinot Noir ($25.99) Always a great drinking pinot, the 2003 definitely has a little more forward fruit. The wine shows hints of licorice, tea and earth with light tannin and acidity. Perfect for the holidays. See you in the City… —Mike Jordan

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