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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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Thursday
Aug042011

Wine of the Week: Antano Milziade Umbria Rosso IGT ($14.99)

 

Antano Milziade Umbria Rosso IGT ($14.99). We can't get enough of this non-vintage Umbrian stunner, and we know you'll love it too - in stock now at KLWines.com.  

Sometimes vintage doesn't matter; it's the blend that counts. This is especially true in the case of the Antano Milziade Rosso IGT ($14.99) a nonvintage Sagrantino-Sangiovese blend from Umbria that has captured even our most fickle of wine-geek hearts. In the hills just east of Tuscany (St. Francis of Assisi's stomping grounds) Francesco Milziade produces wine from grapes grown on his family's small plot with minimal intervention. We love how the high-toned cherry fruit and mineral aromatics of Sangiovese are balanced by Sagrantino's rich, grippy, and darker bass tones; how the blending of younger and older wine creates layers of complexity. While this wine has some staying power, once its open you won't be able to resist savoring it until the very last drop!

"This extraordinary blend of 50% Sangiovese and 50% Sagrantino is the perfect wine for those looking for smoother, richer, more powerful wines that aren't too tannic. The Sagrantino's power is deftly balanced by the elegance of Sangiovese, which gives the wine great length and adds to its freshness.  Aged only in stainles steel tanks, this nonvintage wine is perfect for grilled meats, tomato-based pasta dishes, or to be enjoyed the Umbrian way - with just a hunk of cheese and a loaf of bread!" (Greg St. Clair, Italian wine buyer, K&L Wine Merchants)