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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
Mar232012

"Have This With a Meal"

So Jeff Garneau hands me a bottle yesterday and says, "Take this home and have it with a meal. You'll love it."  Always making sure to follow his advice explicitly, I went home and prepared a roast chicken with potatoes, along side a rustic bean stew.  While 1997 isn't the most prestigious vintage in Bordeaux history, we've had some tremendous success with value wines from that year (i.e. Langoa Barton - destined to go down in the K&L hall of fame).  After pouring myself a glass, relishing the savory and earthy characters of the wine, while still enjoying plenty of soft fruit, I was certain that the 1997 Terry Gros Cailloux, St. Julien $19.99 would cost me around $35 to $40.  When I got back to the store today and found that we had loaded up at the $20 price point, I about fainted.  This wine is an absolute steal - I'm still not sure how we got it for this price.  All I can say is this: if you enjoy Bordeaux, or more mature wine in general, then you cannot miss out on this.  The staff will probably buy most of it, but we'll do our best to leave some for our customers.

-David Driscoll

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