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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
Aug252011

Wine of the Week: 2009 Burgo Viejo Rioja ($9.99)

The 2009 Burgo Viejo Rioja ($9.99) is one of our favorite young Riojas we have yet to taste this year -in stock now at the K&L near you and available online at KLWines.com!

We love Rioja. The wines are so versatile: they are generally sufficiently fruit forward to drink upon release, often times structured and serious enough to age, and amongst the most food friendly reds around. But the unoaked wines are not without merit as well. Especially for summer drinking, where fresh fruit expression often trumps oak derived nuances.

Based in the Rioja Baja town of Alfaro, Burgo Viejo consists of six families pooling together their vineyards and resources to produce very good wine. In the 2009 Burgo Viejo Rioja, Tempranillo forms the backbone, bolstered by Garnacha and Mazuelo (Carignane). This wine is all red macerated cherries, with excellent purity, texture and character, no doubt due in part to the malolactic fermentation and ageing taking place the old fashioned way, in concrete vats. This is undoubtedly one of my favorite young Riojas I have yet to taste this year. (Joe Manekin, K&L Spanish wine buyer, 8/22/2011) 

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