Friday, August 26, 2022

Ladera Napa Valley Lone Canyon Cabernet at Morrie's Steakhouse, Sioux Falls

Ladera Napa Valley Lone Canyon Cabernet Sauvignon 2004

For our getaway roadtrip, we took nearly a case of wine to enjoy during our overnight stays and dinesite dinners. During an overnight stay in Sioux Falls, SD, we dined at Morrie's Steakhouse which proved to be perfect venue for the occasion - a fine wine and dining experience. With our grilled beefsteak and salmon entrees, we took from our home cellar this BYOB Napa Cabernet which proved to be a perfect accompaniment pairing for the dinner. 

We dined at Morrie's Steakhouse in Sioux Falls. For dinner I ordered the grilled New York Strip beefsteak, perfectly prepared 'Pittsburgh style', my favorite, hot pink center with charred outside, served with whipped potatoes. Linda had the Salmon entree. Our server Erin was attentive, professional, and adept at serving our vintage wine.

We discovered, tasted and acquired this wine during one of our visits to the winery up on Howell Mountain above Napa Valley, during our Napa Valley Howell Mountain Wine Experience in 2008.

We featured our visit to the winery in previous blogposts in these pages.

We last tasted and posted about this wine just a couple months ago when I reposted about this producer and label, we discovered this wine and purchased it following our visit to the Ladera Vineyards estate and winery up on Howell Mountain in 2006 and then again during our Napa Valley Howell Mountain Wine Experience 2008

We'd driven past the property, formerly the historic Chateau Woltner many times over the years on our treks up Howell Mountain in northeast Napa Valley.

The fabulous historic winery building consisted of production and barrel storage below and a rustic tasting room upstairs. It is surrounded by spectacular gardens, beds of lavender, and of course the vineyards. 
Ladera was founded when Stotesburys moved their family to Napa Valley from Montana in 2000 when they acquired a historic Howell Mountain property featuring an 82-acre vineyard. For the next 16 years, this property served as the home for Ladera.

With deep agricultural roots, and decades of experience as ranchers, Pat and Anne Stotesbery acquired the Napa Valley mountain vineyard in 1996. The following year, they purchased their second vineyard, Lone Canyon, embracing life as full-time winegrowers and vintners. In 1999, they founded Ladera, which means “hillside” in Spanish and Italian, and made their debut vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon. Ladera initially primarily focused on Cabernet Sauvignon of which we still hold a several cases of four different labels across several vintages from this era.  

Around 2008, their son Dan visited us while on a wine promotion trip to/thru Chicago and we took him around to several of the local wine merchants in the area.  

Stotesburys sold the Ladera land on Howell Mountain in 2016, following the next year selling their Lone Canyon and the Mount Veeder property.

Ladera Lone Canyon Vineyard Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2004

Ladera produced several labels of Cabernet Sauvignon including several sub-appellation designated labels from Howell Mountain and this one from Lone Canyon, Napa Valley. 

Lone Canyon Vineyard is located on the flanks of Mt. Veeder in the western hills of the Napa Valley. The ranch consisted of 480 acres of which 75 were planted to vines. 

The topography is very steep in some areas with elevations reaching 1,100 feet above sea level. The elevations, as well as its specific location in Napa Valley, contribute to the unique climate at Lone Canyon. The clay loam soils are of moderate depth and are very well drained.

Winemaker's Vineyard Notes: The 2004 Ladera Lone Canyon Cabernet Sauvignon is truly an expression of the Lone Canyon vineyard. The unique terroir of this vineyard allows the fruit to showcase the vintage at hand. 

This is one of several bottles we still hold from a couple of  mixed cases we acquired during our winery visit back near its release. 

Winemaker Notes: The 2004 Lone Canyon Cabernet is a perfect example of how rich and lush the wines from this property can be. This wine is exuberant in color and the aromas are alive with spicy and herbal fruit. The nose provides earthy, brambly undertones with brilliant dark fruit. A full bodied entry hits the palate with flavors of dark cherry and licorice. The wine is layered with textures that are bold and masculine yet maintain tannins of a velvety character. The dark fruit flavors blend with the complex tannins to produce on extremely long fruit finish.

This was awarded 91 points by Wine Spectator and 90 points by Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar.

Tonight, this was consistent with our earlier tasting experience and published notes for this wine.  

Dark garnet colored, medium full bodied, firm, tight and concentrated complex black berry and black raspberry fruits with notes of black tea, cassis, mineral sage and herbs with fine smooth tannins on the lingering finish.

RM 91 points. 

Upon selling their vineyard properties, “It was too big for us, and taking care of it was more than a full-time job,” says Pat. “We wanted to focus our energies on doing what we love the most—making great wines. Because of the relationships we have formed, we are fortunate to be able to partner with Napa Valley’s greatest growers in pursuit of this vision.”
Ladera has evolved, moving away from owning vineyards and instead partnering with several of Napa Valley’s most respected growers, to source fruit from acclaimed sites. “Over the course of our first 20 years, our love of mountain vineyards took us from Mount Veeder to Lone Canyon to Howell Mountain and beyond,” says Pat. “From each location we learned a great deal, which made our wines better and better. Today, this knowledge and experience, along with the freedom and ability to work with Napa Valley’s greatest vineyards, is resulting in our finest wines ever.”

Today, after
more than two decades producing estate wines in Napa Valley, they continue to produce extraordinary mountain-grown Cabernet Sauvignons, along with acclaimed Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays from their Pillow Road Estate Vineyard in the Russian River Valley. They reside and host wine tastings and events from their winery new location on Silverado Trail in Calistoga.  

One Cellartracker writes about this wine: "Screaming awesome. Can totally see why Harlan bought this vineyard. Incredible cedar, cassis, cherry liquor, minty herbal notes, silky long finish, such a Bordeaux feel, seems perfect right now. Wow. 95 points."