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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 Lager (1)

Friday
Mar042011

It's About Damm Time!

It's been a long time coming, but Estrella Damm Daura Gluten-free Lager is now available at K&L for for only $1.99 per bottle! In Gluten-Free Drinking, posted on Uncorked last July, I wrote that while there are a growing number of gluten-free beers made from alternative grains available on the US market, the few that actually taste like beer were at the time still trapped in Europe.

Well, while GF drinkers in Germany and Italy have been enjoying a variety of gluten-free beer options for quite some time, select US markets, and most importantly, all you gluten-free K&L customers, are finally able to find out for ourselves what the two-time award-winning *World's Best Gluten Free Beer* tastes like.

The 140-year-old Estrella Damm group of Barcelona-based S.A. Damm, one of Spain's most prestigious beer companies, partnered with the National Scientific Research Council to develop the technology to remove gluten from their barley-based beer to a guaranteed level of below 6 ppm (anything below 20 ppm is considered Celiac-safe by the FDA). They named the resulting Lager Daura.

The four-packs of these modestly priced lagers ($1.99 per bottle!) weren't even "officially" in stock the week before President's Day Weekend last month, when I snatched them up to take on the most important of beer road tests: the après-ski. In hot tub, recovering from a truly epic day of snowboarding (anyone in the Sierras that weekend knows what and which day I'm talking about), the crisp, malty, utterly beer-like taste of Estrella Damm Daura was, well, pretty damm great.

While I certainly do appreciate the GF beers out there made from alternative grains like sorghum, millet, and corn (Bards comes to mind as a standout in the category) I've asked around, and all of my gluten-free friends and neighbors who've tried the Daura, including the GF gals behind the SF-based glutenfreegluttons.com agree--it's the real thing.

It's made from barley and tastes like beer.  Pure and simple.

Buy Estrella Damm Daura Gluten Free Lager ($1.99) on KLWines.com!

Chiara Shannon