Stay Connected
What We're Drinking

 

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. 

Recent Videos

Tasting with Oliver Krug

Upcoming Events

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 KLWines.com 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

See all K&L Local Events

Archives
Tuesday
Mar102015

Araujo - Welcoming the present, respecting the past.

Araujo was established 23 years ago by Bart and Daphne Araujo when they bought the historic Eisele Vineyard. The Eisele Vineyard was first planted over 125 years ago ( to Zinfandel and Riesling) and for the last 50 years has been planted primarily to Cabernet Sauvignon. The vineyards are farmed using  organic and Biodynamic methods, keeping this legendary vineyard in the best condition possible. Araujo produces Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc and occasionally Viognier from the Eisele Vineyard. They also produce a second Cabernet Sauvignon based red wine,  Altagracia. The is a blend  of  Estate fruit and purchased fruit from Other Napa Valley Vineyards which Araujo has complete control over.The beautiful Vineyards at Araujo.In 2013, Bart and Daphne decided to sell. The property was bought the Pinault family and Groupe Artemis. The Pinault family own legendary Bordeaux First Growth Chateau Latour. There is no doubt that the 38 acres property is staying in good and capable hands. The future continues to look bright for this First Growth of California.

The incredible caves at Araujo. Patience is the key with the Araujo wines.

The Araujo wines are extremely limited but we do occasionally have both new and old vintages in stock.

The amazing 2012 Araujo "Altagracia" Napa Valley Red Wine $129.99 has just arrived and we couldn't be happier. The wine is a blend of 71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Petit Verdot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 6% Merlot and 4% Malbec. The wine is bold and vibrant with incredible purity of fruit. Black and blue fruit with hints of red berry, Cassis, graphite and a touch of menthol. Cedar and vanilla wrap itself around the wine with great fervor. Tannins are very apparent but soft enough to approach this wine in the next couple of years.

 2011 Araujo "Eisele Vineyard" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon  $ 495.00

"Araujo has long made some of the more restrained Cabernets in Napa Valley. The 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Eisele Vineyard is one of the more Left Bank inflected wines in the estate's distinguished history. Beautifully layered and expressive, the 2011 graces the palate with exquisite finesse and total harmony. The 2011 isn't a huge, explosive wine like the 2010 or 2009, but it stands out for its exceptional length and vibrancy. Readers should not expect an obvious Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. I imagine the 2011 will still be marvelous at age 30, and I won't be surprised if it is one day regarded as one of the great, iconic wines of the vintage. The 2011 has been truly special since I started tasting the single blocks in the Spring of 2012. The blend is 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. (96+) Antonio Galloni

"Top 100 Wines of 2014* Compelling aromas of black fruits such as brambleberries, plus blueberries and fresh mushrooms. Asphalt, too. Forest fruits. The tannins just melt into the wine as you taste it. Aristocratic and regal in style and length. A powdery, fascinating texture. From biodynamically grown grapes. Drink now, but better in 2017." James Suckling

Monday
Mar092015

Anderson Valley Trip

March 17th - 20th.  Eric Story, Shaun Green and Angie An will be joining Mike Jordan (Domestic Buyer - SF) on a buying trip to the Anderson Valley. We will be visiting some of our oldest partners such as Handley, Roederer, Scharffenberger , Golden Eye and Husch along with some our newer partners such as Knez, Lichen and Drew. We hope the trip will open up some new relationships with some of the great up and coming wineries of the area. Follow us on this Blog and our Facebook pages to keep up with all the goings on.

 

 

Friday
Mar062015

A Tale of Two Amantillados

 

Herederos de Argüeso was established in 1822 by León de Argüeso in Sanlucar de Barrameda only two years after his move to the city. He quickly prospered as a grocer and used his money to purchase the cellar of San Jose in the barrio bajo containing some very old soleras. Today, a team of bodegas belonging to Argüeso are situated in the same area, on the same street and have some stunning buildings that hold soleras with the original coffered ceilings from the 16th century convent that used to lie there. The barrio bajo is said to be unique due to its position that traps the humidity and salty sea air into the neighborhood thanks to the barrier created by the higher barrio alto. All of the Argüeso wines have a beautiful salinic and tangy character to them which can be attributed to the barrio bajo and proximity to the sea. León de Argüeso did not marry or have children, so he left his fortunes to his niece and nephew, thus the names Herederos (heirs) de Argüeso. The coolest part of it all.. the original solera systems León purchased (which were already fairly old) are still in production today, and said to be up to 250 years old. The wines of Argüeso are difficult to get on the export markets.


I know what you’re thinking, 'why would you tell me that story about this fantastic producer if I can’t even get their sherry?'.....That’s exactly how Joe Manekin, our sherry buyer, and Alexander Russan of Alexander Jules felt, so they sought out to remedy this problem.


K&L and Alexander Jules (a local Sherry importer and bottler) teamed up to get Argüeso to California. Together they went to Sanlucar and were tasked with the difficult, and simply agonizing chore of tasting 27 barrels of very old and rare (VORS) Argüeso Amontillado in order to determine which bota was their favorite. Very old and rare indeed, this 27 barrel solera is an average of 50-60 years old!! Ultimately Joe and Alex chose two bota (barrels), bottling each as single barrel Amontillados. There is a very limited amount of this stuff considering you are only legally allowed to remove a bit less than 10% of the wine from each bota. After days and days of tasting and eating copious amounts of jamon, they finally returned with two gorgeous and rare Amontillados:


The Alexander Jules Amontillado "Singular" K&L Single Barrel 4/27 Sanlucar de Barrameda, which is the more feminine expression of the two with notes of fresh ground espresso, cocoa and dark chocolate, white flowers and old books. The palate certainly shows its fino roots with fresh, high-toned brightness, apple skins and tons of salinity. Finishing with roasted hazelnuts, toffee, apricots and a full yet elegant round body. On the other hand, the Alexander Jules Amontillado "Singular" K&L Single Barrel 19/27 Sanlucar de Barrameda is more masculine with an intense nose of smoked almonds, deep dark roasted coffee, salted caramel, dried figs and prunes. The palate is bit chubbier and meatier with even more intense notes of salinity, espresso beans, toffee and caramel.


There were only about 65 bottlings of each the 4/27 and the 19/17 and there are very few bottles left to be had. A rare chance to taste not only Argüeso but single barrel bottlings of a very old solera.


For more information on the collaboration visit Joe’s original post about his trip.

-Olivia Ragni