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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 temperature control (2)

Monday
Sep202010

Wine 101: Off-Site Storage (SoCal Edition)

Ideal 55 founder George Fansmith at the Hollywood facility.The selection of 2005 Bordeaux is dwindling, and I haven't bought any to put away yet. It's not because I don't like Bordeaux (I do) or that I couldn't find any I could afford (I did), but because I have nowhere to put them. Same goes for the incredible 2007 Rhônes, 2004 Brunelli and 2002 vintage Champagnes. Now with the exceptional 2007 California vintage and 2009 German Rieslings coming to market and the already-legendary 2009 Bordeaux being sold pre-arrival (not to mention countless bottles from less talked about but equally cellar-worthy vintages from around the world) I'm beside myself. What's a girl in a small apartment in Southern California with an equally small budget (which she'd rather spend on wine than a ginormous cabinet) to do? 

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Monday
Sep132010

Wine 101: In-Home Wine Cellars & Storage

Last week I ran through the ABCs of wine storage. Today, I'm going to jump ahead and assume that you've moved your wine out of the hall closet and into something a little cooler that, in all likelihood some 30-bottle wine fridge from Home Depot or Target that rattles and hums nearly as much as U2. Wine refrigerators certainly keep wines cold, but tend to have temperature swings as much as 15 degrees as the cooling system kicks on and off. Since proper cellaring requires steady temps, this doesn’t work for long-term aging.

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