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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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We host regular weekly and Saturday wine tastings in each K&L location.

For the complete calendar, including lineups and additional details related to our events, visit our K&L Local Events on or follow us on Facebook.  


Visit our events page on Facebook or the K&L Spirits Journal for more information.

>>Upcoming Special Events, Dinners, and Tastings

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Wine Wednesday: Franck Bonville "Brut Selection" Blanc de Blancs

Whether or not you're celebrating Rosh Hoshanna tonight, or just the fact that it's already Wednesday (thank you, shortened holiday work week), you'll want to do it with a bottle of Franck Bonville "Brut Selection" Blanc de Blancs Champagne ($29.99) (assuming that you drink non-Kosher wine). This is my favorite Champagne in the store for a couple of reasons. First, it's the Champagne that got me to like Champagne. Before drinking the Bonville, I had concluded that Champagne was ridiculously overrated, sickly sweet at its worst and sappy at best. Since drinking the Bonville I discovered that I just don't like BAD Champagne, wine with little character and lots of sugar, but I do like GOOD Champagne, and K&L has it in spades, including others from Bonville, Ariston Aspasie and Philippe Gonet, to name a few.

Second, it's affordable! No it's not a $10 bottle of wine. But to think that you could drink estate, Grand Cru Champagne without forking over at least twice what this Bonville costs is delicious insanity. This iteration is a blend of three very good years--2005, 2006 and 2007. And, like previous bottlings, it has a fantastically elegant texture, citrusy fruit and a vein of minerality that adds character and charm; the Audrey Hepburn of Champagnes.

Finally, this is the Champagne that we served at my wedding. And you know what? Dozens of people who had, like me, previously thought they didn't like Champagne, loved it, even my husband. I had planned on pouring a Cremant de Loire or Prosecco de Valdobbiadne, but couldn't resist the temptation of winning more converts. Plus, it pairs well with food.

On a side note: K&L is, once again, hosting two incredible Champagne events next month. On Saturday, October 23rd in Hollywood and Sunday, October 24th in San Francisco, you'll get to taste more than 40 spectacular artisan and grand marque Champagnes, plus have the rare opportunity to meet Isabelle Bonville from Champagne Franck Bonville as well as a number of other grower-producers flying in just for these tastings. Visit our local events page for more details.


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