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Vallana Barbera at Table Wine in Asheville, North Carolina.

2014 Vallana Barbera – Case of the Month

Case of the Month – Ben, Will and myself were sipping on the 2014 Vallana Barbera after work recently and a really good question arose.  How is this wine less than $15?  We’re talking about one of the most historically significant names in the Alto Piemonte and a producer that Wine Spectator called one of the top 100 producers on the planet.  And we’re also talking about a wine that is absurdly delicious, and one that we all agreed could easily sell for $20+ per bottle.  We never found an answer to our original question, but we certainly found extreme enjoyment out of that bottle of wine.  I promptly contacted Jay Murrie of Piedmont Wine Imports and secured enough Vallana Barbera to make it our next Case of the Month.  You should buy some! Here’s the deal:

2014 Vallana Barbera – On sale through June 17th

Regular Price: $13.99/bottle

Sale Price: $10.99/bottle on your solid case — Over 20% off!

Vallana is the stuff of legends.  The estate as we know it today was founded in 1937, but the Vallana family name first shows up in connection to high quality winemaking in Alto Piemonte in 1787.  As Robert Parker says, these are “intense traditionally-made wines that ooze with character.”  The family’s specialty is Spanna, the local name for Nebbiolo (we’ve got that too), and these are the wines that deservedly gain all of the critical acclaim.  But they also make a small amount of Barbera.  It is not to be overlooked, and it is the least expensive way to “test drive” a Vallana wine.  It also bears the stylistic framework that marks Vallana’s wines.

Vallana Winery in Alto Piemonte.

From humble abodes come grand wines.

The vineyards of the Alto Piemonte, located north of the Langhe at the base of the Alps, are cooler and possess more acidic soils.  These conditions give the Vallana wines their acidic backbone and the structure that allows them to age gracefully for years.  The propensity to age and improve is one of the hallmark attributes of Vallana, and the tradition is carried on today by Giuseppina Vallana, together with her son Francis (a Ph.D. in Viticulture and Oenology), and her daughters Marina and Miriam.

Although their Barbera is perfect to drink young, it also has a track record for medium to long term aging.  Yes, an $11 bottle of wine that you can age!  As with all of their wines, including their more expensive offerings, all of the grapes for their Barbera are hand harvested from organically farmed vineyards.  Fermentation and aging takes place in cement vats to preserve purity and character.  And wow, does this wine have some character!  Made in a traditional, old school Piemonte style, the wine is medium bodied and refreshing, offering up lovely notes of red berries and moderately complex notes of spices and earth.  High in acidity but possessing soft tannin, this is enjoyable all year round as a stand-alone wine, but I really love the way it enhances the flavors of grilled meats, especially lamb.

What more is there to say?  Seriously folks, this is the kind of wine that makes me do what I do with such vigorous passion.  Legendary producer, clean farming and production techniques, delicious wine.  Buy some!  If you’re not sure, we invite you to stop by Saturday, May 20th (2-5pm) to give it a sniff and a sip. Email me at josh@tablewineasheville.com if you’d like me to hold some for you as this one will run out.  Cheers and happy drinking and eating in Asheville!

Josh Spurling
Owner/Operator
828.505.8588

Italian Wine Tasting at Table Wine in Asheville, NC.

Tour of Italian Wines – Try 3 For Free Wine Tasting

Saturday, May 20th from 2-5pm – Take a tour of Italian wines at your favorite neighborhood wine shop on Saturday!  We’ll hit north, central and southern Italy for this adventurous tasting that features the incredible 2014 Vallana Barbera, one of Italy’s greatest red wine values.

For fans of Italian wines, you don’t want to miss this free wine tasting!  We’re pulling the cork on that Vallana Barbera (our new Case of the Month) along with some other delicious, but lesser known wines.  We highly encourage you to stop by.  Up first, it’s a relatively rare white grape from Italy’s Abruzzo region.  Cococciola is the grape, and it yields a fresh, bright and aromatic white wine perfect for sunny days.  Up next is something entirely unique. Dry rosé of Aglianico is something I wouldn’t think would work (the grape is quite thick skinned and tannic), but it does when Fontanavecchia makes it! Fuller bodied and more powerful than most rosés, this is truly a treat for the senses.  And last but not least is that Barbera I’ve mentioned too many times! Vallana is one of the Piemonte’s most legendary producers, and their Barbera is about as good as red wine gets for less than $15.  Stop by, try the wines, learn something new, and save every Saturday at Table Wine.  Can’t make it by, but want to place an order?  Just email me at josh@tablewineasheville.com.

Table Wine, Asheville's premiere wine shop.

The 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.

1. 2016 Cantina Frentana Cococciola (Abruzzo) – Here’s something you don’t try every day.  The Cococciola grape is believed to be peculiar to the Rocco San Giovanni region of Abruzzo.  It produces a beautifully aromatic, dry white wine with notes of melon, pear, apple and herbs.
Tasting Price: $10.79 on mixed 3-packs | $10.19 on mixed 6-packs | $9.59 on mixed cases

2. 2016 Fontnavecchia Aglianico Rosé (Campania) – Fontanavecchia is one of our favorite producers of Southern Italy, and this is a new one for us. The rugged and tannic Aglianico grape is made pretty by turning it into a dry rosé.  A shade darker than many rosés and intensely flavored, this is dry pink wine to enjoy with richer fish and seafood dishes.
Tasting Price: $14.39/bottle | $13.59 in a mixed six pack | $12.79 in a mixed case

3. 2014 Vallana Barbera (Alto Piemonte) – It’s our new Case of the Month, and we can’t figure out how this wine retails for less than $15.  From a winery that Wine Spectator called one of the Top 100 Producers on the Planet, this is pure, medium bodied, and lively red wine perfect for sipping with or without food.  At $10.99/bottle on your solid case, you won’t find a better wine for the money and this has a track record for aging and improving.
Tasting Price: $12.59/bottle | $11.89 in a mixed six pack | $11.19 in a mixed case
Special Case of the Month Price: $10.99/bottle on your solid case

Josh Spurling
Owner/Operator at Table Wine
828.505.8588

Warm Weather Wines Tasting at Table Wine in Asheville, NC.

Wonderful Warm Weather Wines – Try 3 For Free Wine Tasting

Saturday, May 6 from 2-5pm – Join us to sample some great warm weather wines ideal for the spring and summer seasons.  Taste a white, a dry rosé, and a medium bodied red handpicked by Team Table Wine for your drinking pleasure!

There’s something about the spring that is just magical.  The flowers and trees are in full bloom, the landscape is green and full of life, and my wine preferences shift.  I tend to move from heavier, heartier foods and wines to fresher and livelier selections as the temperatures rise.  If you agree, stop by the store and let me share some of my favorite warm weather wines with you!  Up first, it’s a brand new Pinot Grigio from Argentina.  This one is rounder and more aromatic than most Pinot Grigio’s in this price range.  I think it would be great for sipping by the pool or on the beach or with richer seafood dishes.  Up next, it’s a new arrival dry rosé from Provence, and it’s a good one.  Flowing with gentle red fruits, ripe citrus, and mineral, I could drink this one liberally with any sort of grilled fish and/or vegetables.  To finish, it’s the new vintage of Barbera from Italy’s famed Vallana estate.  I love the purity and honesty of this medium bodied, slightly rustic red from one of the Piemonte’s greatest producers.  Enjoy it with just about any sort of meat off the grill.  I’ve done it again — writing up these tastings always makes me hungry!  Stop by on Saturday, taste, learn, and save big on all of the featured tasting wines.  Can’t make it by, but want to place an order?  Just email me at josh@tablewineasheville.com.

The 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.

1. 2016 Vina Las Perdices Pinot Grigio (Mendoza, Argentina) – I’m always looking for good Pinot Grigio as it remains a go-to for many Table Wine customers.  I tasted this one recently with one of our favorite wine reps, and it floored me.  From Agrelo, a small village just south of Mendoza, this one bursts out of the glass with aromas of ripe citrus and white flowers.  Bring on the grilled salmon and green veggies!
Tasting Price: $12.59 in mixed 3-packs | $11.89 in mixed six packs | $11.19 in mixed cases


2. 2016 Les Hauts Plateaux Provence Rosé (Provence, France) – Talk about a great find in value priced, true Provencal rosé — this is it!  A blend of Syrah, Grenache, and Cinsault, I could drink this for hours on my back porch while reading, hanging with friends, or eating.  It’s just plain good.
Tasting Price: $10.89 in mixed 3-packs | $10.19 in a mixed six pack | $9.59 in a mixed case

3. 2014 Vallana Barbera (Piemonte, Italy) – Wine Spectator called Vallana one of the top 100 estates on the planet!  I’ll go with that, and I invite you to see what you think about their lowest priced wine.  100% Barbera flowing with honest, authentic, and traditional flavors of tart berry fruit, earth and spice, this has me dreaming about grilled lamb chops.
Tasting Price: $12.59 in mixed 3-packs | $11.89 in mixed six packs | $11.19 in mixed cases

 

Italian Wine Values

Great Value Italian Wines

Try Three for Free Wine Tasting this Saturday, April 9th from 2-5 pm featuring some new arrival, great value Italian wines!  Stop by the store this Saturday for one of the best free wine tastings in Asheville!  We’ll have a trio of new arrivals from some of Italy’s most prized viticultural areas and all you have to do is drop by!  We’ll start with a glorious Vernaccia, the classic white wine of Tuscany before heading north for a super juicy and easy drinking Merlot from Friuli.  Last, but not least, we’ll pour you a splash of the sturdy and hearty Barbera from the Piemonte’s famed Vallana Estate.  Trust us, you don’t want to miss this!  Stop by, taste, learn and save up to 20% off on all of the featured tasting wines.

Best free wine tasting in Asheville.

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

1. 2014 Fontaleoni Vernaccia di San Gimignano (Tuscany, Italy) – Tuscans say that Vernaccia is the wine that tickles, licks, bites and stings and we tend to agree with this.  Super clean, zesty and refreshing, the version from Fontaleoni is textbook in character.  If you want a perfect sunny day sipper, look no further.  For a special treat, try it with prosciutto wrapped melon!
Tasting Price: $13.49 in mixed 3-packs | $12.74 in mixed six packs | $11.99 in mixed cases


2. 2014 Visintini Rosso Palmira (Friuli, Italy): This certified organic, family owned estate produces one of the most charming versions of Merlot we’ve ever tried.  Fermented entirely in stainless steel with some whole clusters and native yeasts, it is fresh and juicy with dark cherry, raspberry and cranberry notes galore.  Low in tannin but high in pure drinking pleasure, it’s a perfect quaffer for everyday drinking or for serving with grilled chicken or pork.
Tasting Price: $11.69 in mixed 3-packs | $11.04 in a mixed six pack | $10.39 in a mixed case

3. 2014 Vallana Barbera (Piemonte, Italy) – This fifth generation family estate is one of the most famed in Italy’s Alto Piemonte.  They make a tiny amount of Barbera and we were one of the lucky North Carolina wine shops to get any.  From organically farmed vineyards, the grapes are hand harvested and fermented in cement tanks (the old way).  The resulting wine is hearty, honest and real with a great mix of red and dark fruit and plenty of heart and soul.  For those seeking a really traditionally styled Italian wine at  a great price, look no further.
Tasting Price: $12.59 in mixed 3-packs | $11.89 in a mixed six pack | $11.19 in a mixed case