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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
Mar082013

Keith's Burgundy Hotline: Bonneau du Martray Corton Charlemagne

By: Keith Wollenberg | K&L Burgundy Buyer

Burgundy Lovers:

We just got some older Bonneau du Martray Corton Charlemagne, shipped directly from the domaine. Like many of you, I have been quite concerned with the rapid oxidation of many of this storied domaine's vintages. Last Spring, I had an interesting chat about the issue directly with the ever-eloquent Jean-Charles de la Morinière, proprietor. He told me that when they became aware of the extent of the problem, they went to their cellars, where substantial inventory is kept in pristine conditions, and sampled a large number of bottles. 

He explained that they were able to trace the increased incidence to certain cork suppliers. Once they made this assessment, they took two actions: 1) they discontinued purchases from certain suppliers, in favor of those whose corks had shown better results, and 2) they went through their stocks, and by reading the corks were able to eliminate those bottles from the defective cork suppliers.

Now that they have been through this laborious exercise, they are re-releasing some older vintages in small quantities, through their authorized importer in California, Chambers and Chambers.  Suzanne Chambers tells me she has had two bottles from this shipment, with terrific results.  We got only a handful of these bottles, and they are IN-STOCK AND ON THE WEB (Click HERE), or by calling us at 800-247-5987.

1998 Corton Charlemagne, Grand Cru, Bonneau du Martray, $169.95

93 points Wine Spectator  

Vibrant. Clean and lively, with lovely midpalate concentration, this medium- to full-bodied white Burgundy is straight as an arrow. Fabulous balance of subtle toasted oak and ripe fruit. An ager.

K&L Notes

One of the best producers of Corton Charlemagne, Bonneau du Martray always makes focused, linear Corton, which benefits from some time in the bottle. This has the pronounced minerality which is the hallmark of this wine, but also a richer and more honeyed side from the toasty oak. Showing well now. This was selected by the domaine, and shipped directly from their cellars in a refrigerated container. (Keith Wollenberg, K&L Wines)

 

A santé,

-Keith

 

Mr. Keith WOLLENBERG

Directeur Commercial Bourgogne

K&L Wine Merchants

http://www.klwines.com

+1-650-556-2724 Direct Line

Keithw@klwines.com

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