Picking our anniversary wine from the $$$ wine list

2008 Ladera Stile Blocks Howell Mountain Cabernet SauvignonSally and I dined at J&G Steakhouse in Scottsdale, Arizona last Wednesday for our 14th wedding anniversary. Local laws prohibited us from bringing a bottle of wine from our own collection, so we had to go to our bag of tricks to pick something from their wine list.

Admittedly, it was tough to pay steep restaurant prices for a nice bottle of wine. Cost is one of the many reasons why we bring our own bottle whenever we can.

We struck out trying to use our usual tricks for selecting wine from a restaurant wine list. The first move is to look for familiar wines, but they didn’t have any bold red wines we knew that fell within our price range. Our next trick is to look for options on the wines by the glass list so we can try before we buy, but again nothing jumped out.

Our last trick is to go with a region we know and get our server’s advice. We selected a Ladera 2010 Stile Blocks Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon that sounded promising. Our server hadn’t tasted it, but enjoyed other offerings from Ladera. It was also from Howell Mountain, which is in the northern part of Napa Valley and has a flavor profile we generally enjoy.

The wine turned out to be a good one. It had aromas of dark fruit, pencil box, and cocoa on the nose which gave way to blackberry on the palate along with a bit of tartness that mellowed as the wine warmed. The finish had powerful tannins which were a perfect match with our steak.

This wine is 98% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Petit Verdot. It’s a current release and is available for sale on the Ladera Vineyards website

Posted on November 9, 2013 and filed under Wine Discoveries.