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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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Monday
Aug132012

Spanish & Portuguese Wine News: Let's Talk Sherry

By: Joe Manekin | K&L Spanish and Portuguese Wine Buyer

Let's talk sherry. We just received in the "en rama" (literally this means straight out of the barrel) version of Gonzalez Byass Tio Pepe Fino.  While this was not bottled literally straight out of the barrel, it was bottled with the barest minimum of filtration very recently, in May.  What this means is that the color is not a pale straw, but rather a more golden hue; the salty, yeasty tang of the sherry is all the more visceral; and finally, the sensation that one is tasting at the source (for fino and manzanilla sherry, this is a good thing!) all the more apparent.  In short, if you want as real and authentic a substitute for visiting a bodega in Jerez or Sanlucar, en rama bottlings are the way to go. 

In addition to this spectacular new en rama fino, I'd also like to remind you about our en rama manzanilla from Equipo Navazos, bottled in April.  While it's not quite last call on this, we have gone through more than half of our original purchase.  So if you like what you've tasted, it may be time to consider your needs and buy accordingly; this won't be around much longer.

Last and by no means least, we have a very pretty bottling of fino from Cesar Florido, the only bodega I know bottling and selling sherry in the seaside town of Chipiona (just south of Sanlucar).  While I have not measured out the steps, Cesar's bodega might well be the closest to the Atlantic of any I've been to.  As a result, there is a delicacy to this young (3 years old) fino solera which makes the resulting wine quite delicious.  While it doesn't have the sheer richness of an El Maestro Sierra or the all out flavor intensity of our en rama bottlings, it is very fun to drink, and a unique reflection of the flor specific to this area.

Tio Pepe (Gonzalez Byass) Fino en Rama - $21.99

http://www.klwines.com/detail.asp?sku=1109455

 

Equipo Navazos Manzanilla "I Think" Saca de Abril 2012 (375ml) - $14.99

http://www.klwines.com/detail.asp?sku=1089369

 

Cesar Florido Fino (375ml) - $12.99

http://www.klwines.com/detail.asp?sku=1108977

 

Un saludo,

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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