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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 Vinho Verde (5)

Wednesday
Jun222011

Wine of the Week: 2010 Adegas Cooperativos de Monção "Muralhas" Rosé Vinho Verde ($9.99)  

2010 Adegas Cooperativos de Moncao "Muralhas" Rosé Vinho Verde ($9.99)

When a Personal Sommelier customer emails me a picture of one of her recent personalized selections with the subject "AMAZING WINE!" and places an order for more, I get that warm and fuzzy feeling of a job well done.  

Of course, she's not the only one who has gone gaga over the 2010 Adegas Coopertivos de Monção "Muralhas" Vinho Verde Rosé ($9.99).  In our last rosé-themed staff tasting in Redwood City, this unabashadly pink, slightly fizzy rose from the Monção subregion of the Vinho Verde DOC in Northern Portugal, emerged as a clear favorite, eliciting comments from otherwise professional K&L staffers like "I wouldn't mind taking a bottle of this to the dome," "not too much wrong with that for $10!" and "this just makes me happy."

Made from a blend of traditional Portuguese grape varietals including Alvarelhao, Pedral and Vinhao, this rosé has a lovely vibrant pink color and enticing bouquet of sun-kissed raspberries and ripe melon. Racy acidity and a bit of spritz makes this slightly off-dry, fizzy wine finish clean and with the perception of dryness.

Pick up a bottle.  Served chilled, this lower alcohol (only 11% abv) and incredibly food-friendly rosé just might amaze you, too.

Tuesday
Aug172010

Wine Wednesday: 2009 Monçao Coop "Trajarinho" Vinho Verde

Last Wednesday's wine struck up a little ire in one of our readers, not because he wasn't a fan, but because he felt, with the state of the economy, that $35 Brunello was out of touch, expensive. While I stand by the fact that $35 is a helluva deal for good Brunello, which can cost upwards of $50 or $75 bottle, it's definitely not suited to every budget. But at just $8.99, this Wednesday's wine is both affordable and fantastic!

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