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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 Highland Park (1)

Thursday
Oct222009

San Francisco WhiskyFest 2009

K&L's David Driscoll pours Caol Ila and Highland Park at SF WhiskyFestWell, the biggest whisk(e)y event of the year has come and gone, and I'm completely exhausted.  I had a blast meeting everyone and pouring our delicious selections for the drinking public.  This being my first WhiskyFest, my strategy was simple: let every other vendor bring out their big guns, while I brought out affordable malts that every ticket holder could love and afford.  The consensus was simple - I asked most tasters what their favorite malt of the night was and they gave me the specifics on some 20+ year old relic that was being held back under the table of a specific vendor.  When I asked if they planned on buying a bottle of that delicious dram, 100% of those asked responded with "NO! Too expensive!"  I am happy to report that the K&L selections seemed to be the malts that everyone wanted to actually shell out their hard earned money for, and that makes me happy! Our $35 bargain bottle of Highland Park 8 year got rave reviews as did the 10 year Laphroig and the 8 year Caol Ila.  I didn't get to taste the whole floor, but my whiskey of the night went to a single barrel cask strength bottle of Four Roses, which knocked my socks off.  I absolutely love what they are doing over there with Jim Rutledge and company.  Anyway, here are a few photos of the event. 

David Driscoll

 

K&L San Francisco's Jeff Jones holds down the fort.

 

K&L's David Driscoll with the Malt Advocate's guru John Hansell.

K&L's David Driscoll with the crew from Four Roses, his favorite producer of the event.