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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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Wednesday
May042011

Wine of the Week: 2010 Ojai Vineyard California Rosé

Now that the weather's turned warm, at least in Southern California, what to drink during the lazy days of summer has been on everyone's mind. Crispy whites? Refreshing, fruit-foward reds with a little bit of chill on them? Really, nothing captures the joy of a warm evening,like  sitting and listening to the cicadas and sipping on a lean, minerally rosé. 

The 2010 Ojai Vineyard California Rosé ($14.99) was the surprise hit of last week's staff tasting in Hollywood because the wine is really good and it's priced at a level that can compete with our go-to rosés from the South of France. The wine is such a pale salmon color it seems irridescent, changing from rose to clear and back again in the glass. Based on Syrah, small amounts of  Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier were added to heighten aromatics, and the nose is a beautiful, with a  floral perfume balanced by scents of citrus, minerals and watermelon rind. Steve Greer says, "the finish was my favorite part, with a spicy orange peel accent." This isn't your over-the-top California pink wine, nor is it something we expected from Ojai. It's an entirely new style for the winery and a smashing success. It's lower in alcohol than most California rosés, with the vibrant acidity that will keep it at our tables until inventory runs out. Stock up!

Leah Greenstein

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Reader Comments (3)

I tasted this wonderful wine and i think is very good on for its kind.
Dan,
http://howtomakegrapewine.com/grape-wine-home-recommendations/
Do you know where this wine be available in LA? Do they have it at Trader Joes?
July 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSeth Jared
It's available at K&L Wine Merchants, of course! Our L.A. store is on Vine, just across from the ArcLight.

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