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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 buyer's premium (1)

Monday
Feb072011

K&L Launches Online Auctions

On Your Marks, Get Set, Bid!

It's been 35 years since K&L, a small, neighborhood liquor store, first opened its doors in Millbrae. And we've come a long way since then. (Our first sale was a pack of Camels and Coca-Cola.) Our co-owner Clyde Beffa's newfound passion for Bordeaux and the opening of our new store in Redwood City in 1978 were the beginning of a new era for K&L, one committed to great service and the best wines available. In 1987 we opened a store on Balboa Street in San Francisco (we moved to our current location in 2003, with a couple of other spots in between), and in 2007 we opened our yet another location, 500 miles away, in the heart of Hollywood. We were one of the first brick and mortar retailers to experiment with the internet, launching our online store in 1996. And now we're pleased to announce our next big step: K&L is entering the world of online auctions.

K&L has long been committed to getting you, the customer, the best possible wines at the best possible prices. And we think that our new auction feature will help further that cause by helping to deliver wines that might not ordinarily be available in the traditional retail market, particularly older wines, cult wines and other rare bottles. But the best part? As a buyer you have the assurance that the wines available at auction on KLWines.com have been vetted by a retailer you trust. We inspect all of the bottles closely for authenticity and adhere to strict quality standards. K&L also charges NO BUYER'S PREMIUM! This fee, which can add 14-22% to the price of the winning bid at other auction houses, means that more of your money as a buyer can go toward getting the wine you want.

K&L's auctions are user-friendly, too! If you've ever fiddled around on eBay, the structure of K&L's online auctions should be familiar to you. We allow users to bid by proxy, which means you can set your maximum bid, and then our system will continue to place future bids automatically, in increments, so that you only bid enough to remain the highest bidder. If your maximum is outbid, we'll send you an email so you have the opportunity to get back into the game if you want. We also  include pictures of the actual bottles for sale in a lot, information about provenance, bottle condition, fill level and whatever tasting notes are available for the wine to help you make the best buying decision. We clearly post how much time is left in the auction and bid history, so you can make educated bids, too.

Have You Got Wine to Sell?

Whether your tastes or finances have changed, you've amassed more wine than you can hope to drink or you just want to make room for a new passion, selling your wine collection, or just a few bottles from it, is easy at K&L. We've been buying cellars through our Library Wine department for decades, and we will continue to do so. But our new auction option just provides sellers greater flexibility when selling their wine, especially for highly sought-after bottles, which tend to do better at auction. And because K&L charges NO BUYER'S PREMIUM, you can walk away with more money in your pocket than at other auction houses, since buyers generally take into account this surcharge when calculating their maximum bid. 

Becoming a seller is easy! Visit the Sell Your Wine section of our website to further explore your options. Then log into your K&L account and download our inventory template or email an organized list of your wines to Auctions@KLWines.com.

Learn more about K&L's Online Auctions on our FAQ page, which includes more detailed information about how to place bids, how to pay for your wines, shipping, fees and how to sell your wines. We've got some incredible lots available already, including Bergstrom Pinot Noirs, Harlan, Opus One, Lafite-Rothschild and much, much more! Visit KLWines.com to see all of our open auctions.

Leah Greenstein