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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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Saturday
Mar222014

A Match Made in Heaven!

This post was written by Mellyn Craig, who works in our Redwood City office on our phone crew. She is one of our best ambassadors for Champagne! -Gary Westby

Sashimi and Bruno Michel- YUM!

Before I started working at K&L, I already loved sushi as well as Champagne, but it was Gary Westby’s influence that got me hooked on pairing the two.  Many Champagnes go nicely with sushi, but some elevate the experience to another level. 

Last week we were blessed with some exceptionally beautiful weather here in California, and take-out sushi with a bottle of Champagne sounded like a perfect way to end my work week.  Following Gary’s suggestion, I took home a bottle of the Bruno Michel “Rebelle” Extra Brut Champagne ($39.99).  I would not normally choose an Extra Brut Champagne for sushi since they often lack richness, but Gary was right once again!

It was a warm evening and therefore I was in the mood for something light.  I ended up ordering sashimi with both Hamachi (Yellowtail) and Hirame (Halibut), and edamame seasoned with garlic and sesame.  The Hamachi sang with this Champagne!  The rich characteristics in both the Rebelle and the fish seem to melt in your mouth, and the acidity of the Champagne worked well with the wasabi and soy sauce.  The Hirame was a bit too delicate for this Champagne, but it wasn’t off putting.  The edamame embraced the toasty qualities of the Champagne.  Munching on the edamame and sipping the Champagne was so delicious that it was hard to stop.

The Bruno Michel “Rebelle” Extra Brut Champagne is now my first pick when pairing Champagne with sushi.  It complements the seafood and many of the other Asian flavors beautifully.  I think it will be amazing with avocado, spicy tuna, salmon, etc, and I look forward to trying this with many more sushi dinners!- Mellyn Craig   

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