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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 Duoro (1)

Saturday
Mar302013

Spanish & Portuguese Wine News: Back from Spain, Lessons Learned + Wines to Drink Tonight

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

Pardon the interruption, folks, but it's been a long time without any email chatter. So here we go.....

We (Keith Mabry and I) just returned from Spain and a very good, productive time was had by all. There were many takeaways on this trip, but here are just a few:

- Prepare for snow storms in Rioja! Pack warm clothes if you go anytime between October and May.

- For an awesome cultural and culinary experience, go to San Sebastian in March and drive to one of the local sagardotegias (cider houses) in the neighboring villages. Eat Bacalao omelette and chuleton (ribeye steak); drink sidra. Try to speak Eusker and you will become an instant hit with the locals.

- Jerez gets lots of rain in winter and spring. Locals willl say it never rains as much as when you are there- just nod your head and smile while sipping some Palo Cortado.

- If you cannot make it down to Jerez but find yourself in or near Logroño craving Sherry, hook up with Miguel Merino who happens to be a big Sherry fan. He'll take care of you.

That was just a taste of many observations and lessons learned. It was a fantastic trip, with plenty of new products to likely look forward to later in the year. New direct import Sherry and perfectly cellared, older Rioja vintages from an amazing restaurant cellar are just a few of these things.

For now, though, let's talk about wine we have in stock, ready to go, for your drinking pleasure.

 

2008 Luis Pato Vinho Tinto Beiras - $12.99

http://www.klwines.com/detail.asp?sku=1124644

A fun one from Portugal: grippy and slightly rustic, with balanced fruit and alcohol, Pato's everyday red is delicious and we're excited to have it back in stock.

 

2010 "Rufo" do Vale D. Maria Douro - $12.99

http://www.klwines.com/detail.asp?sku=1125226

And another Portuguese red. I'm usually less of a fan of the big, saturated, polished dark fruit of the Douro, but in typical fashion, in a solid line-up such as that of Mr. Van Zeller, I prefer the cheapest wine!

 

2011 Primitivo Quiles "Cono 4" Monastrell Alicante - $11.99

http://www.klwines.com/detail.asp?sku=1112484

Last call for this delicious wine as we gear up for another amazing Mourvedre value from the same importer (hint: enter keyword text "escudo de plata")

 

Un saludo,

Joe

 

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Joe Manekin

Spanish, Portuguese, Latin American Wine Buyer

K&L Wine Merchants

Ph: 877.559.4637 ext. 2748

joemanekin@klwines.com