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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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Monday
Nov072011

Wine of the Week: 2009 Fincas Don Martino "Viña Violeta" Malbec Old Vines Mendoza ($14.99)

By: Jim Barr | K&L Staff Member

The 2009 Fincas Don Martino "Viña Violeta" Malbec Old Vines Mendoza ($14.99) has to be one of the top five Argentine Malbecs to hit our wine market in 2011. The purity of this wine and level of complexity is just astounding. Deeply colored, the opulent nose offers cocoa, cassis, anise, cigar box, and cedar in gondolan amounts. In its expansive, broad set of flavors, you are treated to a wine of intense richness of a plummy, currant, and white pepper characteristic, with well-integrated tannins, superb complexity, layers of flavor, and a finish that refuses to give up. (11/03/11)

Drink from 2011 to 2020

Jim Barr has worked for K&L for 25 years. Interested in more recommendations from Jim? Visit the Staff Review section of KLWines.com to browse hundreds of staff reviews from Jim and other K&L Staff Members!

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