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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 KLWines.com or follow us on Facebook.  

 

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Tuesday
Mar182014

How to Buy Single Malt Casks: A Practical Guide

There are two places to find whisky in Scotland for exclusive K&L bottlings: straight from the distillery or from the warehouse of an independent bottler. With so much demand on the stock of distilleries from the recent surge in popularity for single malt, their supplies are buttened up tighter than Dolly Parton's corset. They don't have enough Scotch for themselves let alone for the likes of us. There are a few exceptions in the folks we have built good relationships with (people who have grown to like a roaming band of loud Americans knocking on their door asking for hooch), but for the most part it is all about finding whisky from the independent bottlers who have been buying casks from all over Scotland for the past few decades. 

Think about going to a place with barrels of Caymus, Silver Oak and Opus One all sitting next to each other, wondering if you'd like to buy them. Sound interesting?  A wonderland of Whiskey? I'd say so. I feel like Agustus Gloop with my big melon plunged into the river of chocolate each time I walk in and see the samples spread before me. These treasure troves are where we look to find not only the big name guys but also the lost relics and overlooked gems that would never look good on a list all the way from California, but may taste transcendent in the glass in Glasgow. 


From well appointed offices to dank, cold warehouses tucked deeply into the Scottish country side; we leave no stone unturned in our quest for new casks to bring back home. One bottler's barrels were tucked away on a farm where they had just spread manure and had decidedly more sheep than both people and casks. With 205 miles of driving (the whole dang country is only 274 miles) behind us, today was successful.  There are some very exciting things on the horizon for K&L. From Tuesday night whisky to help numb the pain of the Real Housewives, to fancy Friday night sippin' whisky. More to come.

-Kyle Kurani

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