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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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Thursday
Jun182009

More Paris Recommendations 

Editor's Note: Our fearless leader, Clyde Beffa, left for VinExpo yesterday and is slowly winding his way toward Bordeaux to taste the 2008 vintage wines. He's sending updates on the restaurants and hotels he discovers along the way. If you're planning a trip to Paris, start here. Then, read Clyde's recommendations here, from his last big trip.

Ate lunch today at La Rotisserie d'en Face in the 6th Arrondissement. 2 rue Christine 75006 Paris. Tel. 01 43 26 40 98 Quite nice and not too pricey. Try their roast chicken with heavenly mashed potatoes. Email la-rotisserie@orange.fr

Tonight I head to Michelin-starred Restaurant Jacques Cagna across the street. Superb value. Only dinner where my wife, Kay, oders foie gras and I don't. We did the gourmet menu for 100 Euro (four courses, though they served six). All very good. The trotters were sans hooves, just calories wrapped with bacon. Great John Dory and excellent quenelles of bass. Wine: Good news, Daugenau for 40 Euros, bad news 2007 Serge Daugenau, fine. 1999 Poujeaux was heavenly, sweet and delicious. 14 rue des grands Augustins 75006 Paris. Tel. 01 43 26 49 39

Also, try Cafe Laurent  in the Hotel d'Aubusson. It's been there since 1690 and known for its Jazz club. Very American-friendly, fabulous location. A bit pricey but worth it. 33 rue Dauphine 75006 Paris. Tel 01 43 29 43 43. Email reservations@hotelaubusson.com

—Clyde Beffa Jr

 

 

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