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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 d'Yquem (1)

Monday
Feb212011

Auction Spotlight: 1975 d'Yquem, Sauternes

Ladies and gentlemen, place your bids!

There are few wines more legendary than those from Château d'Yquem; it is the ne plus ultra of sweet wines and one of the most famous wines from Bordeaux. The estate's wines were already acclaimed in the late 1700s, when it is said that America's best known oenophile Thomas Jefferson wrote to acquire some. Made from Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon grapes affected by botrytis cinera, the noble rot that causes grapes to shrivel and concentrates their flavors, d'Yquems are praised for their distinctive flavors and unparalleled longevity.

The three half bottle's of d'Yquem currently available in an auction lot that closes Friday, February 25th at noon, come from the extraordinary 1975 vintage, which critic Robert Parker said "may turn out to be the greatest of the modern-day Yquems" rivaling other spectacular vintages like 1921 and 1937 when he last reviewed the wine in 1998. The wines were impeccably stored in a professional wine facility since they were first purchased and are in excellent condition. Older vintages of d'Yquem are rare, especially in such pristine condition.

Place your bid now.