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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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Monday
Sep292008

Cocktail Craze: The Pisco Sour

pisco Our last pisco sour production. This was taken when my parents visited us in in San Francisco. Left to right: Me, Derek and my dad, whose family also lived in Peru when he a young boy.

My husband Derek and I love Pisco Sours—in fact it’s our favorite cocktail. Derek lived in Peru for a year, bartending in Lima for awhile, mastering the technique for this traditional drink that utilizes the Peruvian brandy, pisco. According to Derek, he was ultimately able to make a pisco sour to the standards of the natives after much trial and error—no small feat for a gringo. I wanted to share our recipe and story with you, noticing that Peruvian cuisine is becoming more fashionable here in Northern California, particularly since the recent opening of the Pisco Latin Lounge in San Francisco and the recent arrival of Montesirpe Pisco here at K&L. Pisco Sour 2 parts Montesirpe Pisco 1 part lime juice .75 part simple syrup one egg white Shake with very little ice or blend. Top with cinnamon. Note: Other recipes call for a garnish of bitters instead of cinnamon, but Derek says that cinnamon is what they use in Lima. —Chiara Shannon

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