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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 Loureiro (1)

Monday
Aug062012

Spanish & Portuguese Wine News: Exciting New Arrivals from Portugal

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

Boa tarde Portuguese and Spanish wine lovers,

After a bit of an hiatus, Portugal finallly returns to the spotlight on this email list, as we just received in our long awaited wines from one of the Iberian peninsula's most exciting wineries.  Based in the Lima sub-zone of Vinho Verde, Aphros embodies some of the traits which make Portuguese wines (Spanish as well, of course) so exciting right now. Thoughtful, responsible (in this case biodynamic) crop cultivation, intellectual curiosity, a restless creative spirit, and an emphasis on crafting honestly made, brightly acidic, energetic, delicious wines for drinking!

Vasco Croft is a furniture designer and architect by training, who was a student of Steiner and biodynamics long before he began making wine. His keen fashion sense and Hollywood good looks (a composite of Owen Wilson and Richard Gere, perhaps?) may make him popular with the ladies, but it is his range of delicious vinho verdes which has quickly earned him some fans in the Bay Area. 

We have chosen to focus on two wines you are not likely to see too much of, locally or elsewhere for that matter.  One is an amazingly, lip smackingly good bottle of 10% ABV vinho verde from loureiro grapes.  The other is a thought provoking rosé nearly the color of red wine, but with bracing acidity and refreshingly tangy red fruit - one of my two favorite rosés of the season in fact (right up there with Pradeaux Bandol, another direct press rosé, albeit in a very different style).  This one is from the dark skinned, dark pulp vinhao grape.  It's too bad we have had to wait until August for this rosé; fortunately though our warmest summer days are yet to come. 

I'd be remiss if I were not to mention the winery's excellent top of the line red, as well, produced from hand harvested vinhao grapes grown in granitic soil, a really spicy, beautiful expression of the grape and granite soil (think Northern Rhone on this one).

 

2011 Aphros Vinhao Rosé Vinho Verde - $14.99

http://www.klwines.com/detail.asp?sku=1109049  

 

2011 Aphros "Ten" Loureiro Vinho Verde - $14.99

http://www.klwines.com/detail.asp?sku=1109043  

 

2009 Aphros "Silenus" Vinhao Vinho Verde - $39.99

http://www.klwines.com/detail.asp?sku=1109054  

 

Obrigado and Saude,

-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