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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
Feb072006

Landmarc Restaurant in NYC

Last week I was in New York for a tasting of 2004 Burgundies (more on that later). While I was there I ate at wonderful restaurant I wanted to share with you all. It is in Tribeca, and is called Landmarc, at 170 W. Broadway. (http://www.landmarc-restaurant.com/ ) The food is simple, but wonderful, with lots of French favorites on the menu, but plenty of more modern items as well. I was impressed by the food and the ambiance, but overwhelmed by the wine program. Prices for wines appear to be only about $5 above retail, and the selection is an excellent one, with Nicolas Potel Burgundies, Jolivet Sancerre, and lots of interesting wines to pick from. They do not have any wine by the glass program, since their half bottles are so reasonably priced. In a town where Beringer founder’s Merlot went for $10 a glass at my hotel, $15 for a half bottle of Nicolas Potel’s Bourgogne Rouge is just a steal. Every table had a good bottle of wine on it, as you would expect with prices like these. Kudos to proprietors Marc Murphy (formerly of le Cirque) and his wife Pamela Schein Murphy for a wonderful place and an extremely fair concept on wine. If I lived nearby, this place would be a regular hangout. -Keith Wollenberg (K&L Burgundy buyer)

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