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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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Tuesday
Jan242006

San Francisco Focus

This month, I want to tell you about Buehler Vineyards. I’ve written about them before and continue to enjoy the quality of wine being produced from the winery. Located 6 miles east of St. Helena above Conn Valley, the Buehler estate is 300 total acres with 65 under vine. The Buehler Family, along with wine maker David Cronin, continues to produce high quality, balanced wines at reasonable prices. Tours at the beautiful estate are by appointment only. Call (707) 963-2155. The following wines are now available at K&L: 2002 Buehler Napa Valley Estate Cabernet Sauvignon ($29.99) The grapes are a combination of hillside fruit with grapes from the valley floor. The wine sees 18 months in oak, 20 % new, which adds just a taste of vanilla. A very rich and full bodied wine with great balance. It is approachable now, but I would recommend 2-3 years of aging. 2003 Buehler Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($21.99) This wine is ready to pop and pour. Full of bright black fruit and soft tannins, this wine sees 18 months of oak as well. 2003 Buehler Chardonnay ($9.99) A crisp, balanced wine with a nice creamy mouth feel, hints of mineral and floral on the nose with just enough acidity to make it great. This is the glass you want at the end of a hard day at work. See you in the City… —Mike Jordan

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