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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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Friday
Aug192011

Wine of the Week: 2006 Jo Pithon "La Croix Picot" Savennieres ($14.99) 

This stunning Savennieres has been cellared in a temperture controlled warehouse and is drinking at its peak. Available for $14.99 at K&L while supplies last! We were thrilled to get ahold of the last of the 2006 Jo Pithon "Les Bergères" Anjou Blanc  earlier this year, which disappeared like hotcakes once word spread of the dissolution of the Jo Pithon label.* So, when some 06 Savennieres became available (one of the last wines he produced), we grabbed all we could! This stunning Chenin will not stay in stock for very long, though...

"Savennieres is traditionally the longest lived expression of dry Chenin Blanc in the Loire Valley of France. Jo Pithon was forced out of his property by some unscrupulous double dealings with his business partners and the 2006 "La Croix Picot" Savennieres ($14.99; previously $34) was one of the last wines he produced. Full of honeycomb, spice and apple skin notes, this stunning 100% Chenin Blanc has a medium to full bodied texture with vibrant underlying acidity. It has been cellared in a temperature-controlled warehouse and is drinking at its peak." -Keith Mabry, K&L Staff Member (08/18/2011)

*NOTE: Jo Pithon continues to make great wines in a partnership with his son-in-law under the Pithon-Paille label.

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