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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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Thursday
Aug112011

Wine of the Week: 1994 Corbin Michotte, St-Emilion  ($39.99)

Wanna drink like Clyde? The 1994 Corbin Michotte, St-Emilion ($39.99) is a delicious, "old school" Pomerol, aged to perfection for your enjoyment tonight.


Yes, K&L founder Clyde Beffa loves Right Bank wines.  He has a soft spot for what he calls the "old school" style of these Merlot-based wines - rustic, earthy bottlings from the less hyped vintages -with at least a decade or two of bottle age, of course.  While it might not be the bomb that critics like Robert Parker appreciate, the 1994 Corbin Michotte ($39.99;  $54 elsewhere) will surely appeal to those looking for balanced, mature Bordeux to drink tonight.  This wine is "sweet and lush, ripe and forward [with] tons of blackberry fruit," notes Clyde. "This is not Parker's style because it is a bit older school and not garagiste. I think it's a fabulous value for mature Right Bank wine. This Chateau always flies under the radar."

This obscure wine from the border near Pomerol will surprise you with its overall quality and gentle charm. This is soft and lush for the vintage and has a mineral component that tastes more of Pomerol iron than St-Emilion limestone. Plush, elegant and gentle, this tastes of cedar, plum, dusty cherry and mineral. A high quality well aged Bordeaux at this price is a rare find. -Steve Bearden, K&L Staff Member 8/9/2011

 

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