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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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Friday
Oct012010

Food-Pairing Friday: Broiled Leeks with Apple Vinaigrette

Photo by White on Rice CoupleFor transplants to the West Coast, fall can be a difficult season. The leaves don't change color and neither does the weather, really. In odd years like this, where summer seems to have waited until the end of September to arrive, faux fall can be downright depressing. Fortunately I've found a way to combat California's own "Seasonal Affective Discorder" -- apples

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