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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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Friday
Mar102006

Final Day of Alimentaria

What a crazy day! I made a last minute round at the fair. The general public is allowed into Alimentaria today, so it’s even more crowded and loud! A quick pass through El Corte Ingles for gifts and on to taste some new projects from our great friend in wine Eric Solomon of European Cellars. There are some terrific new whites on the horizon---great things from Galicia and Rueda. I tried a new Priorat that you folks are going to love, love, love! Right now it’s 1:30 AM and I have just gotten back from dinner. The wind is howling loudly outside and I need to pack my bags. It’s time to say good bye to Barcelona, one of my favorite cities in the world and to all of the lovely people who made this week at Alimentaria fun, educational, and a pleasure. ---Hasta la proxima vez! -Anne Pickett

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