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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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« Two Special Dinners in Early 2006 | Main | The Holidays are Here. Let’s Celebrate! »
Monday
Nov142005

Special Malt Whisky Offering: 1966 Lochside, Jim McEwan’s Celtic Heartlands  $499.

On Thursday, September 1, 2005, I was lucky enough to be in Warehouse #2 at the Bruichladdich Distillery with Jim McEwan. We were evaluating whisky as part of my Bruichladdich Whisky Academy experience. When we got to the 1966 Lochside, the world seemed to stop and the only thing that existed was the beauty of this malt. The Lochside has been aging in a refilled Bourbon cask. What struck me first was the amazing color. The deep rich amber and gold of mature Sauternes. Right out of the cask it was so vibrant and alive, all strawberry jam and cranberries. It was one of the best malts I have ever had in my life to date! Lochside Distillery is no longer in existence, which makes this malt even more rare. It was located in city of Montrose, north of Dundee. Do not miss out on this extraordinary single malt. Buy two, one for now and one to put away for the future. You will not be disappointed! If you buy just one single malt this holiday season, make it the 1966 Lochside! —Susan Purnell

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