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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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Wednesday
Oct052011

Iberian Wine News 10/4/2011: 

By: Joe Manekin | K&L Staff Member
 
 
Spanish & Portuguese Wine News 10/4/2011

Plenty of new stuff this week.
 
1.) Great wines from Michael Sullivan/Beaune Imports
 
At the risk of leaving out any number of our terrific suppliers, I do not intend to regularly feature any one importer's wines, but this week warrants an exception.  Beaune Imports, whom you may recognize as the importer of many top French properties including:  Clos Rougeard, Didier Dagueneau, Francois Chidaine, Domaine des Comtes Lafon, Domaine de Montille and others, has recently expanded his Spanish selections.  We have enjoyed Sullivan's Spanish wines over the years, but Michael has dug a bit deeper this time and added some very cool wines.
 
Francois Chidaine "Tres P" Tempranillo y Monastrell Bullas - $15.99
Rich, sauvage, exotic, yet balanced.  For the braised meat!
 
2010 Adega Vella Mencia Ribeira Sacra - $15.99
Bright and snappy, precise red fruits.  Yes.
 
2010 Diego de Lemos Mencia Ribeira Sacra - $21.99
Deeper bass tones, quite mineral, impressive depth of flavor, all without any oak and at 12.5% abv. 
 
2.) Madeira
 
Need a fairly dry madeira to cook with?  I recently made one of the tastiest soups I have ever cooked:  onions, garlic, bacon, black lentils, san marzano tomatoes, water, smoked paprika, parsley, kale and a few healthy glugs of Barbeito 3 Year Old Seco.  So simple, but so good.  I also was reminded that, as an aperitif served at cellar temperature, this madeira is delicious.  Staff really enjoyed this one; even Jim Barr (not always the biggest fan of the fortifieds) liked it.  This is my fortified wine of the moment.
 
Barbeito 3 Year Old Seco Madeira - $17.99
 
3.) DI update
 
We tasted the Miguel Merino wines and I was very happy with how the Redwood City staff received them.  Lots of good feedback.  And, to my relief, I would agree that the wines were showing well - still recovering from their journey but certainly ready to go now if need be (personally I would wait another few weeks to let them settle in).  Especially tasty were the 2005 Miguel Merino Reserva and the 2008 Miguel Merino Viñas Jovenes.  Even the staunchest of Rioja traditionalists will appreciate the textures and purity of fruit in these - as Miguel describes them - updated classics.
 
2008 Miguel Merino "Viñas Jovenes" Rioja
 
2005 Miguel Merino Reserva Rioja - $29.99
 
4.) Tasting events
  
Friday October 7th 
Vibrant Rioja tasting (featuring a few of the new DI's!) in San Francisco store (5-6:30pm). $5
Vibrant Rioja tasting (featuring a few of the new DI's!) in Hollywood store (5:30-7pm). $5
Bodegas Ontañon (great up-and-coming Rioja property!) tasting in Redwood City store (5-6:30pm). $5
 
Friday October 14th
Sherry focused tasting  in Redwood City (5-6:30pm).  From quaffers to collectibles. We will be pouring Remelluri's terrific Rioja as well. Price TBD.
 
Sunday October 16th
For the SoCal people and folks who may happen to be in Los Angeles this weekend. Vibrant Rioja walkaround tasting at Campanile (4-6pm).  $25 to taste at least 25 wines, including some top producers and our new direct imports from Miguel Merino and Bodegas Puelles. Tickets available online:
 
Thursday October 20th
Vibrant Rioja tasting in Redwood City store (5-6:30pm). $5
 
Have a great week everyone.
 
Saludos,
Joe
 
---
Joe Manekin
Spanish, Portuguese, Latin American Wine Buyer
K&L Wine Merchants
Ph: 877.559.4637 ext. 2748

joemanekin@klwines.com

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