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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 stickies (2)

Wednesday
Jan192011

Wine of the Week: 2007 Guiraud Sauternes

Bordeaux has taken over. Between last weekend's Fête du Bordeaux at San Francisco's One Market, our in-store tastings last Saturday and the upcoming Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux (UGC) tasting at the Palace Hotel on Sunday, January 21, it's all we can think and talk about. So it seems only fitting that our Wine of the Week would be from Bordeaux. That said, I did declare January to be "Digestivo" month, so we're looking to the sweeter side of Bordeaux for the week's featured wine: Sauternes.

 The $25 2007 Guiraud, Sauternes (375ml) comes from the most famous appellation in all the world for sweet wines, long ago eclipsing Hungarian Tokaji. It is ocated in the Graves district of Bordeaux, about 25 miles southeast of the region's namesake city. Made from a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon infected with the noble rot, botrytis cinera, which causes the grapes to shrivel and all the sugars and flavors to concentrate. 

The Grand Cru Guiraud quickly eliminates any question about the quality of the 2007 stickies, with its exuberant tangerine and summer peach-inflected nose, tropical fruit kissed palate and honeyed citrus finish. Balanced, refined and, according to K&L's Bordeaux buyer and co-owner Clyde Beffa Jr., better than their 2005. Vibrant now, this spectacular after-dinner drink, which would go exceptionally well with a cheese plate with some extra funky cheeses, it would benefit from another year or two in your cellar at least. 

Monday
Aug302010

Cheese Happens

K&L Personal Sommelier Online: September 2010

 "Un dessert sans fromage est une belle à qui il manque un oeil."  

 (A dessert without cheese is like a one-eyed beauty.)

 —Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, The Physiology of Taste

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