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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 Shaun Green (1)

Friday
Jun112010

Getting to Know: Shaun Green

Shaun Green: K&L's Master of EverythingWhat’s your position at K&L and how long have you been with the company?

I work in our customer service department, wine sales, accounting, IT, you name it I've probably been asked to do it.  It keeps my day exciting.

What did you do before K&L?

I started carrying out boxes in High School for K&L, so I’ve always been connected to the company.

What do you do in your spare time?

Outside the wine world, I love gardening and we regularly attend the magnificent SF Symphony, Opera and Ballet.

What was your "epiphany wine"—the bottle or glass that got you interested in wine? Is there a current wine that you consider the equivalent?

I would say it was more of an epiphany vintage... I tasted the young wines of the 1981 Bordeaux vintage and was completely perplexed. It sparked my imagination wondering how these brash wines could ever taste good. And it started my asking questions, lots and lots of questions of Ralph, Clyde, and Kevin (my then manager). It's a credit to their character that they still talk to me!

Describe your perfect meal. What wine(s) would you pair with it?

Starts with Champagne, Comtes de Champagne would be fine, and smoked fish…followed by a White Burgundy and a mature Red Burgundy (Keith would pick them for me) and a ’61 Chateau Latour with grilled lamb and roast vegetables. Most importantly it should be a huge dinner with plenty of friends and last way too long into the night. 

How do you think your palate’s changed over the years?

I've become more and more fascinated with the fine evolution of older wines, and less excited by exaggerated and massive wines. Elegance and finesse have become much more important to me.  I want my wines to be poetic and thought provoking.

What do you like to drink?

Champagne (lots of Gary's finds from Europe) and whatever is my current obsession. At the moment it's Burgundy and Sauvignon Blanc. 

What words of advice do you have to offer people just getting into wine?

Taste all you can, ask questions, and listen to all those who have been around a while.