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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 Michel Rolland (1)

Monday
Jan312011

2004 Reginac Tops 2004 First Growths in Blind Tasting

Château Reignac. Photo by habitatgirl via Wikimedia Commons.

Ever heard of Château de Reignac? No? Well, that makes two of us. Reignac is located in Saint Loubès, which is nowhere near the famous communes of Bordeaux, but they make a solid wine (with the help of Michel Rolland) stamped with the catch-all Bordeaux Supérieur AC. At less than $15 a bottle, Reignac is one of the least expensive Bordeaux that K&L carries. But don't think that means that this is simple, casual wine. On the contrary. The 2004 Reignac ($11.99) smells like crushed berry-scented tobacco, with cola and bittersweet chocolate accents, an undercurrent of sweet earth and a structure that belies its wonderfully modest price.

What sets Reignac apart from many of our other favorite value-priced Bordeaux, is that the 2004 recently beat out the same vintage of first growth Lafite-Rothschild, second growths Cos d'Estournel, Pichon-Lalande and Pichon-Baron, and fifth growth Lynch-Bages in a blind tasting in Hong Kong, receiving top honors from the participants. And while that's just one group's preference, it speaks quite highly of the wine, and goes to show that when it comes to taste, price doesn't really matter.

Check out the video below, and then get yourself on the waiting list for this spectacular, award-winning Bordeaux, which should be arriving at K&L soon. You won't regret it.

Leah Greenstein