La Rioja Alta Wine Tasting - Table Wine - Asheville, North Carolina

La Rioja Alta Wines – Try Three For Free Wine Tasting

Saturday, October 21st from 2-5pm – This week, we’re pouring the legendary wines from Spain’s La Rioja Alta Estate and beyond.  For fans of traditionally-styled, complex Spanish wines, this is a tasting you don’t want to miss.

Formed in 1890, La Rioja Alta is one of the top quality-oriented producers in Spain.  In addition to making world class Riojas, the firm has also purchased prestigious properties in other top viticultural zones throughout the country.  Join us as we present you with three wines from three different properties including a stunning Albarino, a world-class Rioja, and a powerful Ribera del Duero.  You’ll be amazed at the quality to price ratio on all of these wines.  Taste, learn, and save every Friday at Table Wine.

All of the featured tasting wines are being offered at 20% off by the bottle!  All sales must be tendered by the end of business on Friday unless other arrangements are made.  Email us at with questions.

1. 2016 Lagar de Cervera Albarino (Rias Baixas, Spain) – Owned by La Rioja Alta S.A. since 1988, Lagar de Cervera produces some of the finest dry white Albarino in Spain.  This wine particularly stands out for its great aromatic intensity, with marked hints of stone fruit (peaches) and white fruit (ripe apples and quinces) against a citrus background of lemon tree leaves.  Big, flavoursome and fresh in the mouth, with a well-integrated acidity.
Special Tasting Price: $13.59/bottle

2. 2010 La Rioja Alta Vina Alberdi Reserva (Rioja, Spain) – Year in and year out, this is one the top values in classic Rioja.  100% Tempranillo, the wine was aged for 24 months in American oak before being bottles in 2013.  “This is the younger of their wines, with even some red berry aromas and spicy oak, quite harmonious. The palate is lively, balanced and polished, with tasty flavors and bright acidity. Delicious.” – Luis Gutierrez – Wine Advocate – 91 points
Special Tasting Price: $19.99/bottle

3. 2013 Bodegas Aster Ribera del Duero Crianza (Ribera del Duero, Spain) – Owned by La Rioja Alta since the 1990’s, this is 100% Tinta del Pais (the local name for Tempranillo) aged for 22 months in French and American oak.  “The straightforward and fruit-driven 2013 Crianza is a classical Ribera del Duero: clean, modern and with nicely integrated oak. It’s pure Tempranillo aged in French oak (70% new) for 22 months. The palate is approachable, balanced and fresh, very good for the year.” – Luis Gutierrez – Wine Advocate – 90 points
Special Tasting Price: $20.79/bottle

Josh Spurling
Owner/Operator at Table Wine

Buy 2012 Atalayas de Golban Torre de Golban Reserva Ribera del Duero at Table Wine in Asheville, North Carolina.

Tempranillo Treasure – 2012 Torre de Golban Reserva

Wine of the Week – Let me make this easy for you.  The 2012 Torre de Golban Reserva from Spain’s Ribera del Duero region is seriously awesome and easily one of the best values in its category!  100% Tinto Fino (the local name for Tempranillo) from 60 to 80 year old vines, 18 months aging in high quality French oak barriques, just 367 cases for the entire world, and it’s less than $25!  I ordered the last 10 cases that my distributor had in stock.  With the number of serious Spanish wine lovers that shop at the store, I can promise you this one won’t last long.

2012 Atalayas de Golban “Torre de Golban” Ribera del Duero Reserva — On sale through Saturday, April 22nd unless we run out first!

Regular Price: $24.99/bottle

Sale Price: $22.49/bottle (10% off) or $18.99/bottle on your solid 6-pack (over 20% off)

I should start the story by telling you about Ribera del Duero and why it is such a unique and special zone for Tempranillo.  This high desert plateau 2 hours northwest of Madrid gets steaming hot in the summer and frigidly cold in the winter.  Temperatures can easily surpass 100 degrees during the growing season, only to drop into the 50’s at night.  These severe temperature swings would destroy most crops, but these hearty old Tempranillo vines thrive under these conditions yielding grapes with powerful personalities and intricate flavors.  Similarly, the rocky, rugged, and dry conditions of Ribera del Duero cause the vines to struggle, intensifying flavors and adding structure to the wines.

That is why some of Spain’s and the world’s top wineries have set up shop here.  Atalayas de Golban is owned by and the neighbor to Dominio de Atauta, one of Ribera del Duero’s, Spain’s, and the world’s elite estates.  To produce the Torre de Golban Reserva, the estate’s top red wine, the winery uses 100% Tinto Fino from their oldest and highest altitude vineyards.  Tinto Fino is the name of the local clone of Tempranillo found in Ribera del Duero; heartier, thicker skinned, and more resilient than other clones of Tempranillo, it thrives in this inhospitable environment.  The winery ages the wine for 18 months in French oak barrels, followed by an additional 2 years of aging in bottle before release.

The resulting wine is a big one and one that can be consumed now or over the next 4 to 5 years.  It’s a little shy right out of the gate, so it’s not a bad idea to decant this one or pour it into your glass for a 10 minute “breather.”  Once it opens, it is a symphony of aromas and flavors that will delight the palates of Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux lovers……..or those who like big, strong, powerful wines.  Assertively dark fruited (blackberry, black currant, black cherry) with background notes of tobacco, spice box, coffee, vanilla, and dark chocolate, this could easily pass for a good Left Bank Bordeaux or mountain-grown Napa or Sonoma Cabernet.


Trust me folks, if you like bigger, more structured, and more savory wines that work wonders with grilled meats, this one is for you.  As I said in the opening lines, I ordered the last 10 cases from my distributor and this one won’t last long.  Stop by and pick some up or email me and I’ll be glad to hold your wine for you through the end of the sale period.  Cheers and happy eating and drinking in Asheville, NC.

Josh Spurling
Owner/Operator at Table Wine

Taste some robust European Red Wines at Table Wine in Asheville, NC.

Free on Fridays Wine Tasting – Robust European Red Wines

Friday, February 17th from 4-7pm — Get your weekend off to a good start with free wine tasting featuring some hearty and robust European Reds!

This is guaranteed to be the best free wine tasting in Asheville as we’ll be pulling the corks on some fuller styled, full flavored and complex European red wines.  First in the lineup is the fresh and lively Chat Fou Cotes du Rhone from France’s Eric Texier.  Primarily Grenache, with 20% white varietals, it is plump, juicy, earthy and spicy with notes of red fruits, white pepper, earth and forest floor.  Up next is the stunning, Wine Advocate 92 point rated Monastrell from Enrique Mendoza, one of Spain’s masters of the varietal. Warm, rich, and laced with spicy dark fruit, this soft and full bodied red sells for less than $15!  To finish up, you’ll get to sample a true masterpiece of Spain’s Ribera del Duero zone.  100% Tempranillo from the hot, dry, and sun drenched vineyards, the Torre de Golban Reserva is firm, layered, and complex with notes of dark fruits, tobacco leaf, dark chocolate and exotic spices………it’s also less than $25 which is incredibly rare for Ribera Reservas.  All you have to do is stop by, taste, learn and save big on all of the tasting wines.

Can’t make it by, but want to place an order?  Just email us at

The Wines
Save big on all of the tasting wines!  Mix any 3 of them and save 10%, mix any 6 and save 15%, or mix any 12 and save 20%!

1. 2014 Eric Texier Cotes du Rhone Rouge “Chat Fou” (Rhone Valley, France) – Eric Texier is one crazy cat (Chat Fou means pesky or crazy cat) and we are told that many of his winemaking friends refer to him with that nickname.  He has no formal winemaking training, he makes close to 30 different wines, and he has a cult following…..we are members of that “cult.”  This one is 80% Grenache with 20% white varietals (Clairette, Viognier, Chasselas) that comes from various parts of the Rhone.  It is pure, soulful, highly drinkable red wine from one of our favorite producers.
Tasting Price: $15.29 on mixed 3-packs | $14.44 on mixed 6-packs | $13.59 on mixed cases

2. 2014 Enrique Mendoza Monastrell “La Tremenda”  (Alicante, Spain) – One of the great Monastrell champions and red wine producers of Southern Spain, this wine is an absolute joy to drink.  “La Tremenda” is a single plot of old Monastrell vines grown in the rugged and arid region of Alicante………..the vine truly struggles here and the resulting wines are intense and distinctive.  This year’s release is incredible when you consider the price — full bodied, silken in texture, and lengthy on the finish, it offers up ripe and accessible notes of dark cherry, blueberry, plum and cocoa.  92 points The Wine Advocate
Tasting Price: $12.59 on mixed 3-packs | $11.89 on mixed 6-packs | $11.19 on mixed cases

3. 2012 Atalayas Torre de Golban Reserva (Ribera del Duero, Spain) – We poured this not long ago at our first Super Saturday Wine Tasting and it was the first wine to sell out.  The sister winery and neighbor to the region’s famed Dominio de Atuata, this is 100% Tempranillo (from 60-80 year old vineyards) and it exudes classic Ribera del Duero sophistication, power, and class.  Just over 350 cases were produced and the wine saw 18 months aging in French oak barriques.  Showing firm, yet ripe notes of dark fruits along with tons of secondary complexity, this is one of the best Ribera Riservas we’ve ever offered for the price……………these wines tend to start at $35 and go up from there.  Enjoy!
Tasting Price: $22.49 on mixed 3-packs | $21.24 on mixed 6-packs | $19.99 on mixed cases

La Rioja Alta Wine Tasting

La Rioja Alta Wine Tasting

La Rioja Alta Wine Tasting in the Table Wine Classroom – Wednesday, March 23rd from 7:00 to 9:00 – $40/person or $32 for Grape Nuts – This promises to be an incredible evening of tasting and talking about wines from one of Spain’s and the world’s greatest and most legendary producers.  Simply put, La Rioja Alta makes Riojas that will make your head spin.  In addition, the company owns other wineries in Rias Baixas, Ribera del Duero, and Rioja Alavesa.  You will get to try all of the wines from their delicious Albarino and their savory Tempranillos from Ribera del Duero all the way up to their famed Gran Reserva Rioja.  This is a once in a lifetime chance to try all of these wines under one roof.

The Table Wine classroom.

The Table Wine classroom.

We will be joined by La Rioja Alta’s Export Manager Maria Saenz de Santa Maria for the evening and the entry fee gets you nice samples of 8 different wines along with cheese and bread to cleanse your palate in between tastes.  In addition, all of the wines will be offered at the best prices in Western North Carolina, if not the entire country.  We can only take 24 lucky wine lovers for this incredible event.  To pre-pay and make your reservation, please call the store at 828.505.8588.

***Due to our planning needs, refunds will only be given on cancellations made prior to Monday, March 21st.

Massive, full bodied Tempranillo.

Wine of the Weeks – 2014 Triton Tinta de Toro

Wine of the Weeks – A Blockbuster, Old Vine Tempranillo For Under $20!!!  Trust me folks, if you like deeply colored, chewy, powerful red wines, you are going to love this one.  Triton is the personal project of famed Spanish importer Jorge Ordonez, the man who put the wines of the Toro region on the map.  After helping to launch the Numanthia brand, the wine(s) that introduced the world to the wonders of Tempranillo from Toro, Jorge started his own estate.  Today, his wines easily rival those from Numanthia and cost a fraction of the price. This stuff is like Tempranillo on steroids!!  It’s our new Wine of the Weeks and we just bought the last 8 cases from our distributor. Here’s the deal:

2014 Bodegas Ordonez Triton Tinta de Toro
Regular Price: $16.99/bottle
Save 10% when you buy 6 bottles or 15% off when you buy 12 bottles!

There is something quite unique about the region of Toro and the clone of Tempranillo that grows there.  Known locally as Tinta de Toro, this is the oldest clone of Tempranillo in Spain and it is native to Toro.  The extreme growing conditions of the region (dry and hot days, rocky/sandy soils, old vines and low yields) result in wines of massive concentration and structure and deep flavors.  Try sipping this one next to a Tempranillo-based wine from Rioja and I guarantee you would never guess that the wines were made from the same grape.

Jorge’s vineyards are located at 2,400 feet in elevation and one parcel was planted in 1956 and the other in 1963.
These old vineyards yield just a meager 0.81 tons/acre — trust me, that’s a tiny amount of fruit per acre!  After fermentation in stainless steel, it moves to older French oak barrels to complete malolactic fermentation and then is aged for nine months in barrel.  The resulting wine is purple/black in color and blasts out of the glass with notes of creme de cassis, blueberry, black cherry, pepper, violet and smoky mineral.  As dark and intense as the wine is on the nose, it remains soft, supple, and creamy on the palate.

With the holidays upon us and dinner parties and special meals aplenty, think about this one with standing rib roast, leg of lamb, or a hearty winter stew.  For fans of big Cabs and Malbecs, this is your glass of wine, but you’ll struggle to find anything this good for less than $20.  We bought the last 8 cases of the wine from our distributor and there will be no more coming to North Carolina this year.  Stop by the store to pick some up or email us at to reserve yourself some today.  We’ll be glad to hold your wine for you for up to two weeks.  Cheers and happy drinking and eating in Western North Carolina!!!

Free Tempranillo Wine Tasting

Free on Fridays – Tempranillo Three Ways

Free on Fridays Wine Tasting — The Wonderful World of Tempranillo — Friday, December 4th from 4-7 p.m. — Tempranillo is Spain’s most famous and well known grape variety and it is responsible for many of the country’s greatest wines.  Grown in many of Spain’s most famous viticultural zones, the style of wine it produces can vary tremendously depending upon a number of factors including climate, clonal selection, and producer philosophy and methodology.  Join us for a free wine tasting where you’ll get to sample some different styles of Tempranillo from a variety of regions.  Stop by, taste, learn, and save up to 20% off on all of the tasting wines.

All of the featured tasting wines are on sale the day of the tasting: take 10% off if you mix any 3, 15% off if you mix any 6, or 20% off if you mix any 12.

The Wines
Prices range from $7 to $20

1. 2014 Paso a Paso Tempranillo (La Mancha) – You will be hard pressed to find a better under $10 bottle of red wine.  Good old Paso a Paso is 100% Tempranillo produced from older vines (some 40 to 50 years old) in the eastern sector of La Manacha.  Fermented entirely in stainless steel and aged in oak for 6 months, it is surprisingly full bodied and packed with flavor, yet it remains soft and supple on the palate.  This is one to buy by the case!
Tasting Price: $8.99 on mixed 3-packs | $8.49 on mixed 6-packs | $7.99 on mixed cases

2. 2008 La Rioja Alta Vina Alberdi Rioja Reserva (Rioja) – La Rioja Alta is the benchmark estate for traditional Rioja.  They make nothing but Reserva level wines or higher and they age their wines for extended periods of time in oak and in bottle before release.  Their Vina Alberdi is 100% Tempranillo matured in American oak for 2 years.  As Luis Gutierrez of The Wine Advocate says, “The nose is very classical, with notes of beef blood, leather and spices and more fruit than its siblings. It develops aniseed aromas with time in the glass. The palate is soft and polished, has good acidity and freshness through to a very tasty finish.” – The Wine Advocate 91 points
Tasting Price: $22.49 on mixed 3-packs | $21.24 on mixed 6-packs | $19.99 on mixed cases

3. 2014 Bodegas Triton Tinta de Toro (Toro, Spain) – It’s our Wine of the Week and this is your chance to try it for free.  Toro is one of Spain’s most extreme terroirs with some of the hottest, driest, and most rugged conditions of any in the country.  The Temparnillo that grows here goes by the name Tinta de Toro, and the wines it yields are bigger, richer, and fuller flavored.  Triton is produced from two different parcels of old vines (one planted in 1956 and the other 1963) and yields are incredibly low.  Aged in French oak for 15 months, this mammoth, savory, delicious red wine sells for far less than it should.
Tasting Price: $15.29 on mixed 3-packs | $14.44 on mixed 6-packs | $13.59 on mixed cases
Special Wine of the Week Price: Buy 6 solid for $13.99/bottle or a solid case for $12.99/bottle!!!!

2014 Aderezo Tempranillo

2014 Aderezo Tempranillo

Wine of the Weeks – Stunning Ribera del Duero for Less Than $15/bottle – On Sale Through Tuesday, October 27th – I know that many of you love Tempranillo, Spain’s most famed grape, and I highly recommend that you try this one.  This one is brand new in North Carolina, and I’m not kidding when I say that it is one of the best Ribera del Duero values I’ve ever tried.  Composed of 100% Tempranillo from 50+ year old vines, this unoaked and unfiltered beauty is a ton of wine for the money.  It’s the 2014 Aderezo Tempranillo, and it’s our new Wine of the Weeks.  Here’s the deal:

2014 Aderezo Tempranillo (Ribera del Duero)

Regular Price: $17.99/bottle

Sale Price: $14.99/bottle (over 15% off) or $13.99/bottle on solid 6-packs (over 20% off) 

Aderezo is the proprietary red wine from Bodegas Vina Vilano, a small family estate located in Pedrosa de Duero, the highest zone of Spain’s famed Ribera del Duero zone.  Founded in 1957, the winery sits at about 3,000 feet in elevation in the dry, rugged landscape of Western Spain.  Low yielding old vines that fight to survive?  Yep, it’s those same conditions that result in some of the greatest wines on the planet.

Aderezo literally means garnish, dressing, or seasoning, and the wine got its name after an epic meal at Nazareno, one of the top restaurants in the region.  Importer Josh Hackler of Spanish Vines had just enjoyed some “lechazo” or suckling baby lamb with a fresh tank sample of this wine.  All parties at the table agreed that the wine was the perfect compliment or seasoning to the lamb, and a new wine was born.  I’m looking forward to having that meal myself one day!

Trust me, this is not a wine that requires food of any sort to be enjoyed.  Far from it, this is ripe, lush, and downright flamboyant with a nice mix of sweet cherry, raspberry, and plum aromas and flavors.  It’s not just a fruit bomb though.  There’s some nice complexity in the form of cracked pepper, Indian spice, and violet both on the nose and the palate.  What I really like about this wine is the texture and the overall mouthfeel.  It’s full bodied and full flavored without being aggressively tannic or acidic.  Let’s call it soft, luscious, and interesting.  How’s that sound?

Good?  Want some or want to try before you buy?  If you trust me and like the wines that I write about, simply email me at and let me know how much you’d like.  I’ll put it aside for you until you can make it by.  Or you can stop by this Saturday, October 17th between 2-5 p.m. to taste it first and make sure it’s your “glass of wine.”  Until then, happy drinking and eating in Asheville.

2009 Mencos Rioja Crianza

Wine of the Week – 2009 Mencos Rioja Crianza

Wine of the Week – An Aged Rioja That’s Drinking Beautifully – 2009 Mencos Rioja Crianza – Team Table Wine tasted a bunch of wines this past week in consideration for our next Wine of the Week, and this one came out as the clear winner.  Trust me, we tasted close to 40 wines with our best reps, and this one stood out among some other great candidates.  Think about it, how often do you get the opportunity to buy a 91 point rated, perfectly aged red wine for less than $20?  I’ll go ahead and answer for you — RARELY!  This 100% Tempranillo-based wine is in prime form right now, offering up an incredible mix of savory, spice accented fruit and a complex Indian spices. It’s the 2009 Mencos Rioja Crianza, and it’s our new Wine of the Week.  Here’s the deal:

2009 Mencos Rioja Crianza — On Sale Through Tuesday, October 13th

Regular Price: $24.99/bottle

Sale Price: $21.24/bottle (15% off) or $19.49/bottle (Over 20% off) on solid 6-packs or more!

Imported by North Carolina’s own Andre Tamers and De Maison Selections, Mencos is the project of Íñigo Manso de Zúñiga Ugartechea…….try saying that three times fast!  Íñigo owns prestigious plots of old vines in Rioja Alta, and his family has been selling to the likes of Campo Viejo for many years.  Íñigo trained at the University of Bordeaux in France, and this training taught him to respect balance and restraint over power and concentration. His philosophy at the estate is based on harvesting ripe grapes that are not overly mature, and the idea behind his Mencos wines is to create a line of traditionally styled Rioja from his younger vineyards.

The 2009 vintage in Rioja was hot and dry and resulted in “solid wines with ripe fruit,” according to Wine Spectator. After tasting this wine, I would agree that this wine lives up to that assessment.  From a beautiful organically farmed parcel of 35+ year old vines on the south side of the Ebro River, this vineyard is composed of chalky clay over gravel, the perfect site for Spain’s noble Tempranillo grape.  Fermented in stainless steel with indigenous yeasts, the wine is aged for 12 months in American oak.  The result is a wine that shows some of the classic complexity of traditional Rioja along with some of the riper fruit nuances of modern Rioja.

The wine pours a beautiful, deep ruby color, and I was immediately taken with the bouquet of the wine.  I was greeted with notes of warm spices (think cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, etc.) wrapped around ripe dark cherry, raspberry, and plum.  On the palate, the wine is medium to full bodied and quite silky with a lovely mix of red and dark berry flavors, along with notes of complex spice, balsam wood, vanilla, and just enough grip to keep things connected.

In a nutshell, this wine offers could easily be mistaken for a $35-$40 bottle.  Drink it with fall favorites like hearty stews and root vegetables over the next 3 to 4 years. Our first shipment arrives this Thursday, October 1st, and you can place your order by calling us at 828.505.8588 or emailing us at  Happy drinking and eating in Asheville!

2009 Mencos Rioja Crianza:
“Deep ruby. Fresh cherry and dark berry aromas are complicated by vanilla and smoky Indian spices. Chewy and expansive on the palate, offering smoke-accented cherry compote and black raspberry flavors and an invigorating kick of minerality. Closes silky and long, with a hint of dark chocolate and gentle tannic grip.” 
91 points Josh Raynolds – Vinous Media

Sierra Cantabria Rioja

2010 Sierra Cantabria Rioja Reserva “Unica”

Our Top Shelf Selection of the Week is a stunning Rioja from a great vintage and a great producer.  Sierra Cantabria was founded in 1957 by the Eguren family, and it is still owned and operated by the same family. Marcos Eguren’s vineyards are all located in the Rioja Alta zone in the towns of San Vincente de la Sonsierra, Labastida, and Laguardia, all considered “prime terrain” in the region.  The combination of these great vineyard sites, careful work in the vineyards and the cellar, and expert winemaking decisions come together to make the 2010 Sierra Cantabria Rioja Reserva “Unica” a wine that you will remember.

All of Sierra Cantabria’s vineyards are located in Rioja Alta, long regarded as the best sub-zone in the region.  Whenever you see “Alta” attached to a wine name, whether it be from Spain or Argentina, think high altitude.  In fact, Sierra Cantabria is actually named after the mountain range that protects the region from the cool, northerly winds.  The Eguren’s vineyards are situated at 1,400 to 1,700 feet above sea level, and it is in these high, cool vineyards that grapes ripen slowly and evenly, developing finer, more intense and more complex aromas and flavors.

Buy a case and you get the wooden box!

Buy a case and you get the wooden box!

In 2010, the wine is composed of  97% Tempranillo and 3% Graciano sourced from vineyards in the 30 to 40 year old range.  Due to the coolness of these vineyards, the grapes were harvested the last week of October (that’s late!) at optimum ripeness.  All harvesting was done by hand and the grapes were then carefully transported back to the winery where they were carefully sorted.  Fermentation took place in stainless steel followed by 24 months aging in French and American oak.  The wine was bottled without filtration.

When we say that we carry artisanally made wines, this is the process that makes them artisan.  The meticulous, careful, and thoughtful steps that were taken to make this wine can definitely be tasted in the finished product.  Stephen Tanzer of the International Wine Cellar agreed, awarding the wine with 92 points……..and he’s tough!

In the glass, the wine has that lovely garnet/ruby color that lets you know that it’s not too heavy, but not too light.  The bouquet immediately grabs your attention with notes of ripe, but fresh red fruits, exotic spices, flowers and a whiff of smoke.  On the palate, the wine is medium to full bodied, elegant, and bursting with juicy cherry, raspberry and strawberry fruit followed by more complex notes of cinnamon, cardamon, and white pepper.  Sumptuous, silky, delicious and in some ways resembling a really good California Pinot Noir, I would guess that this one will drink well through 2020 or so.  I’ll have trouble keeping my hands off of it though!  Even better, this would be a great red to serve with Thanksgiving dinner and if you buy a solid case, you not only get more than 25% off, you also get the wooden box!

2010 Sierra Cantabria Rioja Reserva “Unica”
Regular Price: $29.99/bottle and worth every penny!

On Sale Through 11/19 or As Long As Supplies Last

$26.99/bottle if you buy 3 bottles (10% off)

$25.49/bottle if you buy 6-11 bottles (15% off)

$21.99/bottle if you buy 12 or more bottles (Over 25% Off!)


Tempranillo Takeover – Friday Wine Tasting

Friday, May 2nd 2014 from 4 to 7 p.m. — $5/person…..Free for Grape Nuts — Join us Friday, May 2nd for one of Asheville’s best weekly wine tastings.   This week, we’re going to dive deep into the world of Tempranillo, one of Spain’s most important grape varieties.  It reaches its pinnacle of quality in the regions of Rioja and Ribera del Duero, but the grape is making  a name for itself in some other regions as well.  One of the most interesting things about Tempranillo is that there are a number of different variations or clones of the vine/grape that have naturally mutated throughout the years to best suit the climate and conditions in which they are planted.  From the more elegant and red fruited wines of Rioja to the darker and more structured versions from Ribera del Duero and California,  there’s a Tempranillo to tempt every taster.  Stop by any time between 4 and 7 to taste, learn, and save with us every Friday at Table Wine.

The Wines
Prices range from $14 to $22
All tasting wines are 10% off by the bottle or 15% off when you mix any six tasting wines!

1. 2013 Ostatu Rosado (Rioja, Spain)
This deliciously dry rosé is a blend of Tempranillo and Garnacha from one of our favorite Rioja producers.  Super dry, brisk and focused, it offers up gorgeous notes of  tart strawberry, pomegranate and cherry followed by mellow spice and white florals.

2. 2011 Hazana Rioja “Tradicion” (Rioja, Spain)
Made by Miguel Angel Rodriguez, winemaker at Vinicola Real, this is an absurd value in high quality Rioja.  A blend of 85% Tempranillo and 15% Graciano from 20 to 40 year old vines, the wine sees 12 months of aging in French and American oak.  The result is a medium bodied, fresh style of Rioja bursting with juicy red fruits, fresh flowers, Asian spices and musky herbs.

3. 2011 Bodegas Barco de Piedra Ribera del Duero (Ribera del Duero, Spain)
This is a sensational wine at a crazy-good price!  It showcases the darker fruit and the fuller bodied character one finds in the Ribera del Duero region, and it does it at well under $20 a bottle!  With ripe notes of cherry, blueberry, blackcurrant, flowers and licorice this medium/full red wine  would love a nicely charred steak.

4. 2010 Matchbook Tempranillo (Dunnigan Hills, California)
We’re venturing outside of Temparnillo’s “comfort zone” on this one, and we think you’ll be very pleased by what you find.  The Guigiere family have crafted a very “varietally correct” version of Tempranillo that reminds us of a wine from the Toro region of Spain.  The addition of Tannat (10%) and Graciano (7%) has added more dark fruit and structure to this 90 point rated extreme value.  Enjoy!

5. 2011 Ostatu Rioja Crianza (Rioja, Spain)
I know I said that Rioja typically produces lighter, more elegant, red fruited wines, but there are exceptions.  Ostatu’s Crianza is almost entirely Tempranillo and it sees 12 months of aging in French oak.  The palate is dense, rich and dark fruited with full bodied notes of dark berries, cacao, spices and toast.  If you like Cabernet Sauvignon and other fuller bodied reds, this might just be your wine!



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