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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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Entries in Brunello (3)

Wednesday
Apr222015

*NEW* 2010 Brunello Producer - Albatreti

Thank you Ryan for posting this for me...I’ll get my own login soon! - Greg St.Clair

The moment I put my nose in this wine I knew it was extraordinary, effortless, graceful, and classic, everything you’d want in a Brunello and more…and well…without being “More”. My colleague Mike “Guido” Parres and I tasted the wine simultaneously and both had the same reaction “WOW” who is this? We’ve been travelling to Montalcino together for more than 20 years and have tasted a veritable ocean of Brunello. We’d never even heard of this producer, the first vintage was the 2009 and we hadn’t seen it in the market at all. We re-tasted another bottle just to make sure we didn’t get mis-poured, and the second time we had a “Double Wow”!

So we went out to meet the producer, Gaetano Salvioni and found a self proclaimed “Hobbyist”. He makes 5300 bottles of Brunello, that’s not cases that’s bottles. He ages the wine for 12 months in barrels not bigger than 5HL then 2 years in botte, that’s a really big barrel. His vineyards are about 30 years old and just southwest of the town of Montalcino in a rocky outcrop in some of the highest elevations in Montalcino.

The nose on this wine is scintillating, so pure it is hard to put into words to, yet it seems like waves of aromas of wild cherry, Tuscan brush, leather, rosemary and Middle Eastern spices. On the palate the wine is so graceful, respectful and calm it reminded me of Gaetano himself.

Sangiovese’s long core of acidic structure gives this wine just incredible length and around this foundation the wild cherry flavors seem to wrap themselves around this center and then peel back into the flow of the wine.

On the palate the wine has real body, weight and a richness that is so texturally pleasing it’s hard to believe it seems so delicate at the same time. In the mouth the wine has so much flavor or so many flavors it would seem to be a Bulldozer but this wine’s great charm and character is its delicacy, it’s no Bulldozer it’s a Symphony.

The fruit is so well integrated into the wine it doesn’t seem to have layers or waves it is just one very complex flavor that includes wild cherry, leather, porcini, earth, oyster shells, smoke, rosemary, dried meats, spice and that wild Tuscan brush. Great balance as well, you can drink this wine now or age for another decade plus, it is a real steal!

 

2010 Albatreti Brunello di Montalcino (Pre-Arrival) $34.99

Ciao, Greg St.Clair K&L Italian Wine Buyer

 

 

Friday
Feb242012

*Bellisimo Brunello* Tasting with K&L & James Suckling! Sunday May 12th at Fort Mason, San Francisco

Join K&L Wine Merchants and James Suckling for a special Brunello tasting featuring 30+ Brunello producers, pouring '07 Brunelli and '06 Riservas! Standard and VIP Tickets available. Purchase VIP tickets to gain early entry to the event and full access to all the wines!

 

VIP Bellisimo Brunello with K&L Wine Merchants & James Suckling

Sunday, May 12th 2012

2pm- 5pm (VIP Admission at 2pm; General Admission at 3pm)

VIP Tickets ($99) Click to purchase:  http://www.klwines.com/detail.asp?sku=1086430

General Tickets ($69) Click to purchase: http://www.klwines.com/detail.asp?sku=1086806 

Location:

1 Fort Mason (General's Residence)

Entrance at Bay & Franklin

***

Some of the confirmed producers are listed below:

Antinori - Pian delle Vigne

Capanna

Caparzo

Casanova di Neri

Castello Banfi

Castello Romitorio

Celestino Pecci

Ciacci Piccolomini D'Aragona

Donna Olga

Eredi

Fuligni

Fanti-Tenuta San Filippo

La Rasina

La Serena

Marchesi de Frescobaldi

Mastrojanni

Maté

Nicale

Podere la Vigna

Poggio Il Castellare

San Filippo

San Polino

Scopone

Silvio Nardi

Siro Pacenti

Tassi

Uccelleria

Valdicava

Vitanza

...and more!

 

VIP Ticket holders will have their name added to the guest list.

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Shop Brunello on KLWines.com

Wednesday
Aug112010

Wine Wednesday: 2005 Tenuta di Sesta Brunello di Montalcino


After the brouhaha over controversial 2004 Brunello di Montalcino (producers were allegedly slipping in some unauthorized varietals to give the wines a boost), a little uneven ripening in the vineyards is a pleasant respite. If nothing else, it's much easier to negotiate. The 2005 vintage was good in Tuscany, if not cooler than usual, with some rain during the summer. This led a number of producers to drop fruit and to be incredibly selective during harvest. In some cases, this meant putting all the best fruit into the a regular Brunello and forgoing a Riserva for the vintage. But in the warmer parts of Tuscany, and the most exposed sites, the wines that resulted are excellent and ageworthy.

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