Stay Connected
What We're Drinking

 

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. 

Recent Videos

Tasting with Oliver Krug

Upcoming Events

We host regular weekly and Saturday wine tastings in each K&L location.

For the complete calendar, including lineups and additional details related to our events, visit our K&L Local Events on KLWines.com or follow us on Facebook.  

 

Visit our events page on Facebook or the K&L Spirits Journal for more information.

>>Upcoming Special Events, Dinners, and Tastings

See all K&L Local Events

Archives

Entries in Spain (42)

Friday
Apr262013

Spanish & Portuguese Wine News: Pedro Lopez de Heredia, rest in peace

By: Joe Manekin | K&L Spanish & Portuguese Wine Buyer
 

Greetings all,

Sad news this week. Pedro Lopez de Heredia, grandson of founder Rafael Lopez de Heredia y Landeta, passed away on this past weekend at the age of 85. I never met Pedro, though I feel like through stories I hear from his daughter María José, those of others, and drinking lots (LOTS) of bottles of his Riojas over the years, I can and should piece something together.

Lopez de Heredia wines, as I'm sure anyone who knows them will attest, are unapologetically old school. Their style has never changed with the times. Even at the height of the trend towards rich, extracted, purple colored new fancy cooperage French oak influenced wines in Spain, Lopez de Heredia carried on making the same wines as only they knew how: using estate grown fruit, very old oak fermentation vats, and well used barrels. No "vinos de autor," no modern cuvees, no new product launches. Despite the multiple veiled critiques from colleagues accusing traditional Riojas such as theirs as lacking color, complexity, a sense of place, Lopez de Heredia stuck to their guns and continued on their path. This was before the gushing New York Times reviews, pieces on NPR, and mandatory placements on wine lists of dozens of American Michelin starred restaurants that have all brought so much acclaim to this winery over the past decade or so. If nothing else, it proves that in wine as in fashion, pop culture and the arts, all things do eventually come back around. I would be hard pressed to think of a Spanish winery that is more deserving of their recent success than Lopez de Heredia.

 

Of the current generation at Lopez de Heredia (Mercedes, Julio and María José), it is María José, the incredibly energetic, tireless spokesperson and public face of the winery, who I have come to know over the past several years. And this is where the story gets a little personal. My last visit to the winery, my wife, another couple and I joined María José for a walk through Viña Tondonia and an impromptu picnic in the center of this beautiful place, framed as it is by a centuries old village, mountains, a winding river in the distance. Pedro had recently suffered a stroke, and María José was going to be the primary caretaker, making frequent trips to Madrid (at least four hours from her home base of Haro) in order to be with her father and insure that he receive the best care possible. She was in a talking mood, so we let her talk and listened. To hear María José speak about her father, about her love as well as the huge amount of respect and love that others in the industry had for Pedro, it reminded me not only of  the strength of family and community, but also brought to mind a very similar situation I had experienced not even a year earlier. Another very well respected, strongly opinionated older man, someone who had set up a successful family business, and who had given back as best he could to the community that fostered his success, was ailing. That man was my grandfather, and his primary caretaker was my dad.

 I cannot overstate the influence my grandfather has had on me, and I cannot think of a single winery in Spain or anywhere else for that matter, that I feel as personally connected to as Lopez de Heredia. Pedro Lopez de Heredia, rest in peace. I hope you all will join me in toasting the man this weekend with your favorite bottle of wine from the winery he helped to usher into the modern era -- without losing sight of history and tradition.

Un saludo,

Joe

---
Joe Manekin
Spanish, Portuguese, Latin American Wine Buyer
K&L Wine Merchants
Ph: 877.559.4637 ext. 2748
Thursday
Apr042013

Spanish & Portuguese Wine News: Bodegas Riojanas in the House! Special Tasting Thursday 4/11

By: Joe Manekin | K&L Spanish & Portuguese Wine Buyer

Greetings all,

BODEGAS RIOJANAS will be in the house here in Redwood City next Thursday 4/11 from 5pm-6:30pm. You will definitely want to join us as we will have some tasty Spanish themed snacks and both Sara (export dept) and Pablo (winemaker) here to explain what distinguishes this traditional, historic Rioja bodega from many others. As you probably know, these are some of our favorite Riojas on the shelf and it's always a pleasure to taste through them, particularly when we have a knowledgeable winemaker to walk us through the line-up. Just $5 to taste and snack!

rsvp on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/klwines?ref=hl#!/events/287689771363901/

link on K&L Local Events: http://www.klwines.com/local_events.asp

Hope to see you there.

 

Saludos,

Joe

 

---

Joe Manekin

Spanish, Portuguese, Latin American Wine Buyer

K&L Wine Merchants

Ph: 877.559.4637 ext. 2748

joemanekin@klwines.com

Saturday
Mar302013

Spanish & Portuguese Wine News: Back from Spain, Lessons Learned + Wines to Drink Tonight

By: Joe Manekin | K&L Spanish & Portuguese Wine Buyer

Pardon the interruption, folks, but it's been a long time without any email chatter. So here we go.....

We (Keith Mabry and I) just returned from Spain and a very good, productive time was had by all. There were many takeaways on this trip, but here are just a few:

- Prepare for snow storms in Rioja! Pack warm clothes if you go anytime between October and May.

- For an awesome cultural and culinary experience, go to San Sebastian in March and drive to one of the local sagardotegias (cider houses) in the neighboring villages. Eat Bacalao omelette and chuleton (ribeye steak); drink sidra. Try to speak Eusker and you will become an instant hit with the locals.

- Jerez gets lots of rain in winter and spring. Locals willl say it never rains as much as when you are there- just nod your head and smile while sipping some Palo Cortado.

- If you cannot make it down to Jerez but find yourself in or near Logroño craving Sherry, hook up with Miguel Merino who happens to be a big Sherry fan. He'll take care of you.

That was just a taste of many observations and lessons learned. It was a fantastic trip, with plenty of new products to likely look forward to later in the year. New direct import Sherry and perfectly cellared, older Rioja vintages from an amazing restaurant cellar are just a few of these things.

For now, though, let's talk about wine we have in stock, ready to go, for your drinking pleasure.

 

2008 Luis Pato Vinho Tinto Beiras - $12.99

http://www.klwines.com/detail.asp?sku=1124644

A fun one from Portugal: grippy and slightly rustic, with balanced fruit and alcohol, Pato's everyday red is delicious and we're excited to have it back in stock.

 

2010 "Rufo" do Vale D. Maria Douro - $12.99

http://www.klwines.com/detail.asp?sku=1125226

And another Portuguese red. I'm usually less of a fan of the big, saturated, polished dark fruit of the Douro, but in typical fashion, in a solid line-up such as that of Mr. Van Zeller, I prefer the cheapest wine!

 

2011 Primitivo Quiles "Cono 4" Monastrell Alicante - $11.99

http://www.klwines.com/detail.asp?sku=1112484

Last call for this delicious wine as we gear up for another amazing Mourvedre value from the same importer (hint: enter keyword text "escudo de plata")

 

Un saludo,

Joe

 

---

Joe Manekin

Spanish, Portuguese, Latin American Wine Buyer

K&L Wine Merchants

Ph: 877.559.4637 ext. 2748

joemanekin@klwines.com