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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 Pernand-Vergelesses (1)

Tuesday
Nov082011

Personal Sommelier Online: It's Dunce Day! Fun November Holidays and Wines to Match

November 8, 2011

November.

The month of Thanksgiving and Black Friday, of All Saints Day, All Souls Day and Dia de los Muertos. Of Veterans Day. At K&L, November is also Burgundy month, when our shelves are stacked high with recent arrivals from France. Nevertheless, despite all this activity and potential, most food and wine discussions in November revolve around turkey.

It gets old.

So, if you’re tired of talking turkey (like me) or simply appreciate any excuse to drink Burgundy (also like me), here are some of my favorite lesser-known November holidays to celebrate this month, with Burgundies to match.

 

November 8th: Dunce Day

Although the conical dunce cap is today symbolic of stupidity, Dunce Day is meant to celebrate learning, in the name of the influential and controversial Franciscan theologian Johannes Duns Scotus, who believed that the cone-shaped hats increased learning potential. While that cap may not have aided Duns’ cause much, the Stelvin closure (screwcap) continues to win serious believers the world over. Even in traditional winemaking locales such as Burgundy, producers are finding that this style of closure seals in and preserves freshness most effectively for wines meant to be enjoyed young, like the 2010 Domaine des Nembrets Denis Barraud Mâcon “Source de Plaisirs”* ($12.99). With its citrusy and Golden Delicious apple-scented nose, creamy mouthfeel, mineral layers and acidity, you would be a dunce to ignore this one. 

November 17th: Take a Hike Day

It is easy to forget what Pinot Noir actually smells and tastes like, given that so many Pinots these days are bombarded by new wood. Well, those wines can take a hike while we get back to the roots of Pinot Noir, celebrating pure varietal expressions like the 2009 Domaine Anne & Arnaud Goisot Bourgogne Côtes d’Auxerre Pinot Noir* ($12.99) on what might be one of the last hikeable days of the year (at least in Northern California). Grab a bottle of this clean, fragrant, unoaked Pinot Noir from the northerly region of the Côtes d’Auxerre, pack a hearty picnic lunch and head to the woods. Hike not an option? Don’t worry: You can still observe this holiday in the comfort of your dining room. 

 

November 23rd: National Cashew Day

The only requirement on National Cashew Day is to eat cashews. And don’t we love how a handful of these fatty nuts can be the most profound complement to a glass of Corton-Charlemagne! The buttery flavors and creamy texture of the roasted and salted cashew enhance the taste sensation of this powerful, layered expression of Chardonnay. Splurge on the 2009 Domaine Dubreuil-Fontaine Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru* ($89.95), which is surprisingly approachable, or give the 2009 Domaine Dubreuil-Fontaine Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Cru Blanc “Clos Berthet”* ($36.99) a try. Sourced from the only Premier Cru monopole for white wine in the area, the “Clos Berthet” will floor you with its power and density at half the price of the Corton.

November 28th: Make Your Own Head Day 

It’s not as weird as you think. Initiated by teachers to inspire creativity and imagination in school children, who on this day are asked to draw a new head for themselves. Why not give your wine collection a facelift and design your own customized wine club through the K&L Personal Sommelier Service? Learn more about the options and benefits and get started by visiting KLWines.com/Sommelier.asp.

 

Happy November & Cheers,

Chiara

 

Chiara Shannon

Head Sommelier - Personal Sommelier Service

K&L Wine Merchants

Tel: (800) 247-5987

Email: chiarashannon@klwines.com

KLWines.com

 

"It is well to remember that there are five reasons for drinking: the arrival of a friend; one's present or future thirst; the excellence of the wine; or any other reason."

-Latin saying