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JAN 2012

Asheville’s Best Wine Tasting Saturday, January 28th, 2012 3PM-7PM


…shh……..Can you hear it? Can you smell it? The smells, sounds and shapes that are taking form at 745 Biltmore Ave Suite #121 are intensifing……. It won’t be much longer……..!


Fresh Charleston Oysters are coming……… Captain Bryan Pender has championed the backwaters of John’s Island, in true Watermen form, to find the tastiest reefs available. Capt. Pender adheres to a sustainable nature of harvesting, maintaining a strong population at all times for the future health and strength of the ecosystems that support this coastal delicacy so that they can be enjoyed by the next generation(s) of Carolinians. Date for this event is TBA, please stay tuned.

~ Asheville’s Wine Tasting ~

StoneCap Chardonnay– StoneCap is made with estate-grown Chardonnay from the expansive and renowned Goose Ridge Vineyard in Washington State’s Columbia Valley. This valley and its surrounding rivers were formed during the Ice Age. The soil in this region is frequently wind-blown leaving a “stonecap” at the top of the hills. This is a refreshing example of West Coast Chard, yet maintains the tropical fruit flavors of the style. Tart star fruit, citrus and granny smith apple collect lazily on the tongue and remain for length on the bright finish. 89 points Wine Spectator Shelf $9.99 Tasting $8.99

RedCliffe Pinot Noir– Redcliffe has earned international acclaim as a source of stellar quality Sauvignon Blanc since its introduction in 2004. With the success of the Sauvignon Blanc, Redcliffe has expanded the line to include one of today’s most popular varietals, Pinot Noir, sourced from delle Venezie Italy – an area ideal for Pinot Noir cultivation due to its exceptional soil and cool climatic conditions. The perfect red for any occasion. Enjoy with grilled meats, seared tuna steaks and fresh salmon. Vibrant purple with aromas and flavors of dark black cherry. Simple, clean and affordable. The RedCliffe line of wines are custom labels for Palm Bay Imports. The are produced from premium vineyards through out the world and bottled for resale at well below the categorical norms. Shelf $9.99 VIP Super Sale $7.99

Bookwalter BookMark– The number preceding the NV indicates how many BookMark blends we have produced. For over 28 years this winery has crafted wines that are more compelling and interesting than single vintage and varietal wines by employing the centuries-old practice of blending wine lots from multiple vintages (Vertical Blending) with multiple grape varieties (Horizontal Blending). Each lot of wine is carefully selected each year for BookMark based upon the mature flavors of the older vintages and the vibrant fruit characteristics of the younger vintages. The result is a wine that offers, fruit, structure, approachability and exceptional value. BookMark wine is a delicious, fruit driven blend of several varieties that flourish in the hot, dry climate of Washington’s Columbia Valley. The wines aromatics are complex showing subtle scents of smokiness, marzipan, cola, black currants and black berries wrapped in a trace of baking spices and sandalwood. The first sip offers sweet fruit with a mouth coating mid-palate full of berry cobbler, plums and chocolate covered cherries. Secondary flavors of dried herbs, resin, tobacco and bakers chocolate are followed by a lush, lingering finish that is complimented by the natural sweetness and acidity of the wine. Vineyards from the Columbia Valley, Horse Heaven Hill, Red Mountain and the Yakima Valley appellations make up this wine. Final Blend Syrah 33%, Merlot 31%, Cabernet Sauvignon 25%, and 11% other varieties. Shelf $14.99 Tasting $13.49

Villa San-Juliette Petit Sirah– 85% Petit Sirah, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon. Villa San-Juliette is a 168 acre estate owned by NIGEL LYTHGOE, KEN WARWICK creators of the famous “Pop Idol” and “American Idol” . From the winemaker: “As those who’ve read my notes on this wine before can attest, I tend to find our Petite Sirah a bit too jammy and one dimensional on its own. Great if you are producing an aperitif, not so great if you are producing wine for food. So the 2009 Villa San-Juliette Blueberry Motor Oil benefits, as in past blends, from a generous dollop of Cabernet Sauvignon. About 15% was all that was needed to take this young wine into a new state (yes, the joke was not lost on me, but unlike the past, I won’t go there anymore). So the intensity of the varietal still pops through on the nose and in the primary fruit flavors, but there is a rough tannin edge that takes the sweetness down a notch and provides a platform for food flavors and textures to stand on. Blueberry and black fruit nose. Dark fruit attack with flavors that open in their own peculiar order as the wine works its way towards the back of the throat. Pretty solid acid for this varietal example supports the finish for a considerable time.” —Adam LaZarre, winemaker. More oak than most wines we taste here but certainly well integrated with the dense fruit that this wine offers super value for full-bodied wine lovers. Shelf $11.99 Tasting $10.79 CASE $9.99 (special order)

LaPlaya Sauvignon Blanc

Asheville’s Best Wine Tasting Saturday, January 21st, 2012 3PM-7PM

Great news!! The outdoor seating area is tiled and the windows are in! The walk-in cooler was installed today! The floors are almost done! The bar is framed and the top is going on as I type! Gives me goosebumps ya’ll…. for real, the space is going to be sweet, HELLO Biltmore Ave!




~ Asheville’s Wine Tasting ~

This week we are continuing on the theme of direct importing by bringing Bill O’Friel of The Country Vintner back to the tasting bar. Cali Bill is a 20 year veteran of the wine industry, having work all over the country and at some of WNCs top retailers.

The benefits of direct importing have been divulged in prior newsletters, but it is worth stating again that this direct involvement at the importer level by distribution companies keeps our prices low while maintaining the high level of quality that you’ve come to expect from the Appalachian Vintner wine portfolio. As always Charles and I love passing these savings on to you, our best customers.


Mas de Daumas Gassac Moulin de Gassac GUILHEM Rouge– A typical Mediterranean blend of 40% Syrah, 25% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre & 15% Carignan. The area where the Daumas estate lies has a wine growing history dating nearly 1,000 years ago to the time of the Charlemagne. The current owners revitalized the run down farm in the 70’s after Professor Enjalbert (geologist consultant to the great Bordeaux and Burgundian grand cru estates) told them “It’s quite possible to make a Grand Cru here” “But it would take 200 years for it to be recognized and accepted as such!!” Luckily it hasn’t taken nearly as long. While not a grand cru, the Guilhem Rouge oozes with the quality found in its higher-end brethren. Vinous, with complex aromas of sweet red berries, cherry, blackberry and creamy strawberry. Spicy and rustic with juicy tannins that need food to shine. Organically farmed without the use of chemical fertilizers or synthetic matter, only manure from local farms. Shelf $8.99 Tasting $8.09

Juan Gil Honoro Vera MonastrellOrganic Monastrell (mourvedre) from dry farmed old vine vineyards in Jumilla, a rocky and sparse region in southeastern Spain. Purple colored medium bodied red with underbrush, mineral and blueberry leading to a thick nicely balanced finish. Delicious! Shelf $9.99 SALE $8.49

SAINT COSME Côtes du Rhône– 100% Syrah Aged in vat and sourced from limestone sands, red clay, rolling stones. We really love this wine and could go on and on about it but instead we’ll let the 14th generation vigneron, Louis Barruol sing its praise: My «little » Saint Cosme Cotes du Rhone, my little syrah (not my « petite syrah » !) is well looked after every day, this is very important. I only use the nicest sources to make this wine : the terroir of Vinsobres and the “galets roulés” (rolling stones) by the Rhone river, very similar to the best places in Chateauneuf. We are talking about extraordinary quality potential. Watch out 2010 : this is purely my best Cotes du Rhone since 2007, without a doubt. The quality of the fruit is superb, the wine is profound, round, with a deep colour. Its crunchiness brings a lot of pleasure and anybody can understand and enjoy it. This wine brings me plenty of satisfaction and makes me learn every year. I am simply very happy to be able to deal with such a vintage…Wonderful. Graphite, strawberry compote, liquorish, lilacs.” Shelf $12.99 Tasting $11.69

Azienda Agricola Masciarelli Montepulciano d’Abruzzo– Masciarelli is the largest organically farmed family-owned Estate in Italy, 1000 prime acres of Abruzzo vineyards from the cool, mountain Villa Gemma and Marina Cvetic vineyards at San Martino, to the warm, low lying Valori and Iskra vineyards in Teramo. Their Montepulciano is a nice marriage of old and new world styles. It has a few characteristics that make it earthy even a bit dirty, but interesting in an old world way and with plenty enough fruit to appeal to fans of new world wines. It has a slightly smoky and dusty nose with dark berries and leather. There is very good concentration in the palate with notes of black cherries, blackberries and bitter chocolate. There is a lot of fruit, but the fruit is a touch young tasting—keeping this wine very dry. It has a long finish with smooth tannins and more hints of chocolate. Note: this wine likes air, allow it to breath. Drink with pizza, pasta or burgers while taking a load off with good friends. Shelf $9.99 (750ml) $19.99 (1.5L Magnum for lots of friends)

Isabel Sauvignon Blanc

Talbott Kali Hart Pinot Noir

Ochoa Graciano/Garnacha– stop the press its 50% graciano the famed grape of Rioja

Venturini Baldini Lambrusco Dolce

Bottega Petalo Il Vino del Amore Moscato– grows amongst wild roses which impart a beautiful aromatic quality to this moscato.

Falcor Le Bijou– new vintage!

Evil Twin Soft X-mas aka Pretty please with a cherry on top

Evil Twin Biscotti Break

Evil Twin Freudian Slip

Evil Twin Without you I’m Nothing

Green Flash Rayon Vert

Courage Russian Imperial Stout– English RIS, best by 2024!

Stillwater Folklore– limited

Stillwater/ Hof ten Dormaal Bronze Age

Foothills Porter 22oz

Weihenstephan Kristallweissbier

McRitchie Hard Cider 22oz

McRitchie Dry Cider 22oz

Pisgah Extra Pale Ale Growlers

Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye

Troubadour Magma Special

Asheville’s Best Wine Tasting Saturday, January 14th, 2012 3PM-7PM


~ Asheville’s Wine Tasting ~

We are happy to welcome Mike Tiano from the Haw River Wine Man to our tasting salon. Mike and his partner Jim Stock import wine from small family estates, directly to Burlington, NC. Their portfolio represents the best from each corner of the Italian countryside. Molto Bene!


Vecchia Torre Vermentino– Sourced from a 40+ year old estate in Salento in the far south-eastern extremity of Apulia, at the very tip of the Italian boot-heel. This Vermentino is a stark contrast to the ones commonly found in the northern reaches of Italy, which due to the late-ripening nature of the grape have a high level of acid and show a crisp citrus dominated flavor profile. The Salento region is blessed with plenty of warmth and sunshine, allowing this thick skinned white varietal to fully ripen, producing a wine chalk full of tropical fruit and a rich juicy palate. Shelf $10.99 Tasting $9.89

Garofoli Montepulciano d’Abruzzo “La Meriggia”– 100% Montepulciano from Abruzzo, the DOC region. Montepulciano d’Abruzzo covers a vast expanse of land in the Abruzzo region between the Apennines foothills down to a few miles inland from the Adriatic coast. The region is one of Italy’s most mountainous with more than 65% of all Abruzzo being considered mountainous terrain with the Apennines peaks reaching up to 9000 feet above sea level. This is a young, light red wine with fresh notes of bright fruit. Dry, but fruity and extremely drinkable, it yearns for unmanicured lawns, camp fires and simple but flavorful foods. Shelf $8.99 Tasting $7.99

Tenuta Canale Merlot di Toscano– Tuscany, Italy. Tenuta Canale is located close to the medieval towns of Monteriggioni, San Gimignano and Siena, in the heart of the Chianti hills, where the Aiello family farm has been producing wines for decades. The wine is designated “IGT” (Indicazione geografica tipica), meaning a wine that is typical of its geographic area, in this case Tuscany. IGT wines are labeled with the locality of their creation, but do not meet the requirements of the stricter DOC or DOCG designations, which are generally intended to protect traditional wine formulations such as Chianti or Barolo. In wine terms, it is considered the rough Italian equivalent of the French vin de pays designation. 100% older vine Merlot, think of it as a “Super Tuscan” (without the overt french oak) that drinks like a “Right Bank” Bordeaux. Classic fleshy merlot, mouthwatering texture with traditional black cherry spice with woody nuances from barrel aging. Only 300 cases of this amazing wine were produced, we’ve burned through multiple at the shop, so this will probably be the last shipment. Shelf $17.99 Tasting $16.19

Venturini Baldini Lambrusco– The estate itself is on a natural reserve of 400 acres, with a quarter planted to vines, with the rest dominated by the natural world. And the altitude (600-1,000 feet) gives great exposition for the grapes to mature slowly and surely, with cool nights and sunny days. The soil is mostly a mix of clay and sand (good drainage) with some marine fossils for good measure. No herbicides, insecticides, chemicals of any type; manure has its place here, as do plant extracts such as Neem, and certain insects that prey on parasites. They recently obtained biologic certification for the Lambrusco and Malvasia, although they’ve been practicing organic for years. The first cue of the high quality here is the deep dark crushed purple hue and pretty pink froth on this off-dry fizzy red. Venturini-Baldini owns up to being an artisan Lambrusco with powdery tannins, bright acidity and some vibrant brambly character. It hits all the right buttons, opposed to the mass-produced, icky sweet stuff you see in the grocery store. They also produce balsamic vinegar, walnuts, honey and grappa: the stuff of life. Wild Yeast Fermentation, Low SO2 Added. Perfect for the up-coming Valentines Day, goes great with chocolate and it smells like flowers! Shelf $9.99 Tasting $8.99


Asheville Brewing Co. Rocket Girl Lager– cans

PEAK Organic Oak Aged Mocha Stout

Duck-Rabbit Baltic Porter– DRAFT~~~~~ ~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~!

Bells Hopslam– call for availability

Thomas Creek Banana Split Stout

Asheville’s Best Wine Tasting Saturday, January 7th, 2012 3PM-7PM


To say that we are excited about 2012 would be a gross understatement. In fact some better words would be pure elation or perhaps extreme jubilation. Any way you stack it we are grateful for all that 2011 brought and are grinnin’ ear to ear with 2012 shinning in our faces, hope you’ll stick around to see the evolution.


In our industry the new year is off to an amazing start. We’ve already sampled dozens of fresh new products from our favorite distributors and plan on bringing them to you in the coming weeks, at Asheville’s best prices or course! So stay tuned for all these great new arrivals and for all you beer folks get ready for some soul shockingly good beer from the barrel program at Olde Hickory Brewery, how they do it we just don’t know, all we can say is hallelujah!


~ Asheville’s Wine Tasting ~

…to kick the tasting year off right we’re starting with some ridiculous values from Tryon Distributing. Real show stoppers, just wait until you taste them. Please come early if you can, to guarantee samples will be available…….


Chehalem Chemistry White– 53% Chardonnay, 20% Pinot Gris, 16% Pinot Blanc, 6% Riesling, 5% Gewürztraminer from the best vineyards in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. We’ve know of this blend for years but never had room on the shelf for it, until now… Richly textured with mouthwatering flavors of apricot, green apple and nutty spice. Produced by one of the top wineries in Oregon. Shelf $14.99 Special Tasting Price $12.99

Tintero Elvio Langhe Rosso– Imported by Kermit Lynch, one of our all time favs. From Kermit: “Elvio’s kitchen-sink blend of Barbera, Nebbiolo, Merlot, and Dolcetto is quintessential Langhe: spicy cigar box and cedar aromatics, subtle cherry and red berry juiciness, a light and bright texture, refreshing acidity, and fine-grained tannins. I imagine a young, spirited Hemingway drinking this in between ambulance runs during World War I. It is delicious, complete, and perfectly quaffable with just about any dish, for any occasion.” Get this one by the case. Shelf $11.99 Special Tasting Price $10.50

Writer’s Block Pinot Noir– 100% Pinot Noir from California’s sunny Santa Barbara County. This generous Pinot Noir, in fact its probably exactly what you’ve been looking for. The dark brick hue of this wine holds aromas of candied bing cherries, brown sugar and oriental spice. Writer’s Block Pinot Noir has more body and texture than typical Pinots and grabs your tongue with juicy cherry and raspberry flavors with hints of cinnamon and tobacco. The mouth feel is round and supple, and finishes with soft lush tannins. Depending on the vintage, barrel aging is in Oak from Oregon and the Eastern United States, Hungarian, and France. We are very interested in the different types of oak aging out there, more on that later……Bret?

Aviva Vino Bula Montsant Red– 40% Mazuelo(Cariñena, Carignan), 40% Grenache and 20% Syrah from the D.O. Montsant in the far North of Spain beneath France in Catalonia. Monstant surrounds the vineyards of Priorat and just like its famous neighbor has some wonderful soils and perfect weather to produce seriously powerful red wine. Over the years we’ve grown to recognize a product that will really impressive and offer unparalleled quality to value for your hard earned money, well this is certainly it! Bula offers up a lightly smoky, roasted, liqueur-like bouquet of mineral, incense, game, lavender, black cherry, and blueberry. Rich and complex on the smooth-textured palate, this layered offering is an incredible value in full-flavored red wine. It will drink well over the next 8 years so grab some for the cellar, you deserve it. 91 points Robert Parker. Shelf $12.99!! Tasting $11.69


New Arrivals ~

Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth 1L– arguably the best vermouth in the world, based on a 1786!

Carpano Punt e Mes Sweet Vermouth

Epic Smoked & Oaked Belgian Dark

Epic Brainless on Cherries Barrel Aged

21st Amendment Beers are Here!

Founders Double Trouble

Founders Imperial Stout

Heavy Seas Below Decks Bourbon Barrel Aged

Moylan’s Double IPA

Ommegang Aphrodite

Ommegang Seduction

Allagash Interlude

Terrapin Wake n Bake

2008 BrewDog Isle of Arran

Duck-Rabbit Baltic Porter

Rogue Chocolate Stout– its for real

Highland Thunder Struck Porter– 12 packs

Abbaye de St. Martin Winter– really great gift pack with two 750ml Belgian beers and a beautiful tulip glass.

Dogfish Head Ta Henket– based on ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs

Heavy Seas Below Decks