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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
Jul122010

What We're Drinking

The K&L staff had fun this weekend. Here's a sampling of what they drank. How about you?

Mulan Chan-Randel, K&L Rhône and French Regional wine buyer: At my friend's house for an outdoor dinner: Grilled salmon in grape leaves, entrecote of beef, assorted grilled vegetables, artisanal cheeses, macaroons and flourless chocolate cake. We paired all that with: 2001 J.J. Christoffel Urziger Wurzgarten Spätlese, 1992 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc, 1981 Palmer and 1962 Palmer. I have very nice friends.

Anne Pickett, Redwood City: I had a glass of the 2008 Julian Chivite Gran Feudo Rosado from Navarra with three kinds of tapas: Garbanzos con Chorizo, papas bravas and pan con tomate. A la Furia Roja!!! Salud!!

 

David Othenin-Girard, K&L Spirits buyer: I had the 1998 Montfaucon Côte de Rhône - It was ridiculous!!! I also had the Kern River Brewing Company's "Just Outstanding" IPA.  It's so good that no one will be able to find any...

Mahon McGrath, K&L Hollywood: A tuxedo cocktail: Gin, Sherry and Orange bitters. I hadn't tried it with a dry Amontillado Sherry before, Lustau Los Arcos in this case, but it was a much more satisfying drink than when I've had it with Fino or Manzanilla sherry, which always seemed to disappear when mixed. The  nutty, salty sweetness of Amontillado really came through on the finish. The Los Arcos also made a more compelling version of the Bamboo cocktail, too. (That's 1:1 Dry Vermouth and Sherry, with two dashes orange bitters, two drops of Angostura and a lemon twist for a garnish.)

David Driscoll, K&L Spirits buyer: I drank a Vieux Carré cocktail  (Dudognon Reserve Cognac, Rye whiskey, Benedictine, Sweet Vermouth, Peychaud's and Angostura bitters, served up) at the Slanted Door in SF, made by master mixologist Jennifer Colliau.

 

Last week I was at a beautiful wedding at a farm in Sebastopol. The bride and groom arranged to have a phenomenal bar stocked with sipping quality spirits. Among those was the Zaya Gran Reserva. Over ice, sitting in the sun, watching the kids try to catch the ducklings and the adults congratulate the happy couple, I thought, "This is the perfect flavor to associate with this day."

Their generosity was rewarded with a gift of 12 year Hibiki Japanese Whiskey, which we've already heard is being thoroughly enjoyed.

 

 

 

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Reader Comments (1)

I had a shot of rye whiskey. :)
September 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRye Whiskey

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