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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 Cotes d'Auxerre (1)

Thursday
Sep222011

Wine of the Week: 2009 Domaine Anne & Arnaud Goisot Bourgogne Côtes d'Auxerre Pinot Noir ($12.99)

The Goisot Burgogne is back! I love the Goisot wines for their purity, and at such a great price their Côte d’Auxerre Pinot is a wine you should buy by the case. It opens up as soon as the cork is pulled. The nose is fragrant with cherry and strawberry aromas, and the palate is filled with beautiful cherry fruit. It has an elegant mouthfeel and finishes with some soft tannins. This is a lovely Pinot Noir for only $13! - Steve Greer, K&L Staff Member | 9-16-2011

Côtes d'Auxerre is the northerly region in Burgundy adjacent to Chablis where the cool climate and Jurassic limestone terroir combine forces to produce light-bodied, perfumed, low-alcohol (and thus very food-friendly) wines. Light, bright, and fresh, the 2009 Goisot Bourgogne Côtes d'Auxerre Pinot Noir ($12.99) -- a K&L Direct Import -- is an exceptional example of the quality and value that can be found there.

Made from 30+ year old vines, this unoaked Pinot Noir presents textbook Côtes d'Auxerre red berry and earth spice aromatics. The palate is lively and fresh but not austere, showing just-ripe fruit flavors with spicy licorice accents, thanks to the excellence of the 2009 vintage. While sometimes the red wines from this region can be quite high in tannin and lacking in fruit (after all, Auxerre is one of the most northerly sites for red wine production in the world!) there was enough sunshine in 2009 to produce the body to balance the tannins and acidity. Enjoy this charming light-bodied wine young with a variety of foods (coq au vin or bœuf bourguignon are recommended) or hold for up to 10 years and savor it with gamier dishes -- pheasant, wild duck, rabbit -- or with a creamy brie cheese.

 

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Step It Up!  K&L's Steve Greer  has come a long way since his days of drinking Blue Nun in the '80s.  Based in Hollywood, Steve specializes in Bordeaux, but has a soft spot for fun, food-friendly wines of all shades, especially when the price is right. Could your own collection or wine buying strategy use some improvements?  Join the K&L Personal Sommelier Service for customized monthly wine selections and service with Steve as chosen sommelier (did we mention it's free to join?) or visit the K&L Staff Review Page to browse recent wine reviews by Steve and the K&L staff.