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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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Archives

Entries in Pinot Noir (80)

Tuesday
Sep282010

Pre-Harvest Report: Willamette Valley 2010

If you follow us on Facebook or Twitter, you might recall seeing some pleas for "no rain" or "sunshine" dances over the past few weeks. That's because I was up in Oregon interview winemakers for this blog, spending everyday looking at and tasting from the carefully tended clusters of Pinot Noir from some of our favorite wineries - Westrey, McKinlay, Chehalem and Bethel Heights - among others. And it seemed to me, what they all needed was just a few more weeks of mostly dry weather and partial sunshine to maximize their potential.

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Wednesday
Sep152010

Wine Wednesday: Fonty's Pool "Single Vineyard" Pinot Noir

I've always had a thing for underdogs. I was a Mets fan growing up. I liked the L.A. Kings hockey team before Wayne Gretzky played for them. And I like wines made from grapes that nobody's heard of. So it comes as no surprise then, to me at least, that I would totally dig a Pinot Noir from Western Australia.

Now, I know what you're thinking...Australia? Pinot Noir? That's a beast of an underdog. But the 2008 Fonty's Pool "Single Vineyard" Pinot Noir ($12.99) from Pemberton in Western Australia isn't a blown out critter wine. Nor is it Syrah prancing around with a Pinot label.

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Tuesday
Aug242010

Pinot Noir-Lavender Sorbeto


The 2010 grape harvest is officially underway. In some cases two to three weeks late. According to the Press Democrat, Hunter Vineyards near Glen Ellen was on schedule to start picking Pinot Noir yesterday, and Mumm in Napa reported starting to pick in the cool, pre-dawn hours this morning. 

But not all of the grapes being harvested across the state in the next few months will wind up in wine...

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