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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
Oct262011

Wine of the Week: Michel Loriot "Cuvee Reserve" Brut Champagne ($29.99)

Review By: Chiara Shannon

I love this Champagne! It is distinctive and crowd-pleasing all at once. Made from 100% Pinot Meunier, this Champagne opens with a nose of pear and apple, which leads to a leesy palate and creamy, mouth-filling mousse and long, mineral-driven finish accented by a pleasing nutty spice. I have been a fan of this Champagne since it first arrived a year ago and it continues to impress me. It is a stunning bottle for the price. (10/24/2011)

Rated 'Outstanding' by the Underground Wine Letter: "This is made 100% from Pinot Meunier grown in the village of Festigny. One half of the wine in the blend comes from old reserves which gives it an extra element of richness. Light yellow in color the wine has a lovely perfume of spice and apples with a touch of citrus and baked bread. It is very flavorful, yet has elegance. Rounded with exotic nuances and a faint touch of spice this is a really lovely Champagne and a great value." (10/5/2011) Full review

 

 

 

 

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