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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
Oct222010

Traveling with Wine?

Remember the days when you could get to the airport 20 minutes before your flight, run across the terminal and somehow still catch your plane? You didn't have to take off your shoes, or throw away your bottle of water, and you definitely didn't have to check your bags just because you wanted to bring a bottle or two of wine home for the holidays. Now, not only do you have to wait at baggage claim, but most airlines charge you for the "luxury" of checking luggage, which means those bottles of wine are now at least $25 more expensive.

Well, according to ABC News, researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico are working on a new scanner for the TSA that could not only determine whether or not the liquids passing through are explosive, but are so sensitive as to determine whether a bottle of wine is red or white. The devices, still in development, are now about the size of a small refrigerator, but are too slow to be practical (taking 15 seconds per scan). The devices are still at least three years away from any "practical application"--which means it might be a while before we can toss that bottle of Chanteduc into your carry-on, but at least it offers a glimmer of hope to the wine-loving traveler.

Leah Greenstein

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