Owner of Metro Wines

New in Shop

Gratallops Black Slate 2011, Red Wine, Priorat, Spain

The label says: The inspiration is a Burgundian concept of village nomenclature applied to the Priorat - one region, nine historical villages, each with its distinct character but all unmistakably Priorat. Sun scorched vines cling to breathtakingly steep hillsides with their roots deeply plunged in the llicorella (slate) soils of this ancient region. The village of Gratallops, in the heart of the Priorat, is the most prominent in the region, home to the most preeminent broad and robust wines of the DOC.

If you had to describe this wine in a word, the word would be BIG, but honest and well behaved! As with all wines from Priorat, Gratallops is a Garnacha blend. Typically mixed with Carinera (Carignan in France), the wines are all inky with intense flavors. The wine speaks of ripe black cherry, licorice and, of course, crushed stone with a floral overlay on the nose. Perfectly balanced, with plenty of fruit and well welcomed tannins, the wine could age a decade.


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Parking Nightmare and $5 more. Really?

Chateau Granville-Lacoste 2012, Imported by Kermit Lynch

>> Our price $17.99. GreenLife price $22.99 <<

$5 LESS !!! Do you really want to fight traffic, parking and baskets to spend $5 more.? Most of us would drive anywhere for a bottle like Chateau Granville-Lacoste, but why go farther, stress out if you just don't need to?  

Shop us for this great wine and save time and $$$.

White Bordeaux is a blend of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc.  Offering the distinct elegance of the mineral rich soil of Bordeaux, Chateau Granville-Lacoste, founded in 1890, consistently presents one of the best White Bordeaux wines for the price. And price is the issue here!  On the nose, this lively wine has aromas of peach, melon and with splashes of cut grass and citrus brought by the Sauvignon Blanc. On the palate, the wine is medium bodied with clean, fresh fruit flavors. The acidity hangs in through this long and strong finish.

Metro Wines Tasting Panel suggests that, to fully realize the complexity of this sizzling wine, you let the bottle warm on the table just a bit after chilling. Chateau Granville-Lacoste is good to GO on its own or pairs with anything from fish to poultry.


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Domaine Christian Bellang et Fils Bourgogne Aligote:
In French:
Le Bourgogne aligoté est un vin blanc, tout en fraîcheur, comme la brise de printemps. Bon enfant, un rien impertinent, fruité, il s'habille d'or pâle. Son bouquet est floral (acacia, aubépine) ou fruité (pomme). En bouche, ce vin tendre et coulant désengourdit les papilles sur des notes noisettées qui se déclarent en finale. 
And for the rest of us, this translation:
The Bourgogne aligote is a white wine, while freshness, as the spring breeze. Good child, a nothing impertinent, fruity, he is dressed in pale gold. Its bouquet is floral (acacia, hawthorn) or fruity (Apple).  In the mouth, this wine soft and flowing.
OK. So much for google translation. The point is that this is a beautiful, aromatic, full flavored wine. 
What we say:
Bourgogne Aligote is a light white wine. In Burgundy, residents drink Aligote young as the wine does not age as well as other whites. The name Aligote is used only in Burgundy but winemakers are allowed to add up to 15% Chardonnay grapes. With the flight to Chardonnay, production of Aligote has decreased over the years. Pale gold in color, lemon and apple on the nose, Bourgogne Aligote is a virtual spring breeze. While the wine is abundantly companionable, it retains its independence with flavors including hawthorn and acacia and notes of hazelnut, that will tickle your taste buds
Metro Wines Tasting Panel suggests serving Bourgogne Aligote as an aperitif. At dinner, the lively flavor profile of this wine is a perfect match for grilled fish and the citrus notes stand firm against the saltiess of oysters or to a strong goat cheese. Although a tough competitor, Bourgogne Aligote will not overpower salads, tabouleh or steamed vegetables. And if you are going French for dinner, this wine pairs well with the traditional cold ham and parsley.
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Star Light. Star Bright. Shooting Star Tonight

For the Shooting Star Zin, we seek a fresher, fruitier style when compared to our old-vine Steele Zinfandels. We source two younger vineyards in Lake County for this wine: Hansmith and Duncan. Both are located near the dormant volcano Mount Konocti, the dominant geographical feature in Lake County. These vineyards drain well, have excellent exposure, and are not overly fertile.
Steele used approximately 80% neutral barrels and 20% new barrels in order to capture as much of the aroma and flavor of the grape as possible. This wine has aromas of raspberry and other ripe black fruit, butter, and just a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg.  The tannins and acids in this wine are soft but distinct.  Cedar tones with just a hint of plum make the finish a wonderful explanation point.
Goes great with pulled pork, beef bourgogne, Tuscan style game hens. It won a bronze medal at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition in 2012. Sells for $13.49, usually priced at $15 at other wine stores.
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La Dolce Vita

Live large. Live Italian! Asheville Citizen Times recipe today for "Sicilian Eggplant Caponata" sent me on a search. Eggplant being a "bitter" food means Eggplant Caponata is a tough customer on any day by any recipe.  But the recipe by Reza Setayesh saw and raised the bid by adding the extras of cinnamon, cocoa and red chili pepper flakes. OUCH! Nevertheless, Metro Wines has nailed it. Poggia Gonfienti 2012 Rosato Dei Colli made by Alberto Antonini. 


Poggia stands up to the acidity of caponata and, in this case, the burn of chili peppers and cinnamon. The dish with or without the extras has a sweet and sour profile and could be easily overwhelmed by pairing it with a new world wine. Made of 60% Sangiovese and 40% Merlot, the color is a medium intensity pink with violet reflections.  The wine presents an elegant aroma of fresh red fruit and tastes of those same fruits with almonds. Full feel in the mouth with a good balance between softness and acidity and a long finessed finish.

Asheville Citizen Times Recipe 


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Smooth Operator

A medium bodied 100% Chardonnay, Domaine de Martinnolles 2012 from Languedoc-Rousillion, France, is a smooth operator and that's a fact! The wine is made in Limoux, a relatively cool corner of Languedoc, which has emerged as the second city for Chardonnay in France. Unoaked, this wine stands in sharp contrast to the barrel-fermented bottles to whch we have become accustomed. Here you will find aromas of white flowers with tropical fruit and just a hint of honey. On the palate, Domaine de Martinnolles is crisp with lemon lime flavors and refreshing acidity.

One critic has recommended serving this Chardonnay with fried Toulouse sausage. Sure. I'm good with that but if you don't, and I am not making any judgments here because I am certain that you do!!! have a few extra links of fried Toulouse sausage laying around, go with a hearty fish, a little parsley,  a little butter......tres bien.



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Oak? NOT.  In order to highlight the tropical fruit characteristics of the grape, the use of wood is just not on the winemaking table at Bodega Martin Codax for Burgans Albarino 2011. Founded in 1986 by 50 vinticulturalists, the winemaking at Bodega Martin Codax is overseen by Luciano Almoedo.

This wine is made from grapes grown pursuant to sustainable farming practices on hillside vineyards called "Burgans." The grapes are sourced from 1400 closely monitored parcels and harvested by hand. Fermented and aged in stainless steel, the wine is bottled after the spring harvest.  Luciano Almoedo has been an assertive advocate to gain respect and recognition for the Albarino varietal in Spain and for the Rias Baixas Appellation. Many say that Luciano Almoedo essentially brought Albarino to the world. And now, Bodega Martin Codax is known as one of the most progressive wineries in the zone. Burgans 2011 Albarino is made from the oldest vines on the estate and is blended by Eric Solomon "in concert," he says, "with the property." 

We say this wine is ALIVE! almost like a tropical fruit bowl. There is just a hint of sweetness.  All wine facts and flavors considered, this wine would be perfect with curry!

Critic Review:

"Pale gold. Powerful scents of pineapple, mango and white flowers, with a chalky overtone. Supple and round in the mouth, offering juicy tropical fruit flavors and a bracing note of lemon zest. The floral note comes back on the long, broad finish."

Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar. 90 points




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Filon Real Garnacha REAL

"Bright ruby. Pungent aromas of black raspberry and fresh rose. Lush and complex, offering potent flavors of cherry, blackberry, floral pastilles and cola. Rich but lively wine with good closing punch and gentle tannins."  International Wine Cellar 90 points. If you follow our Wine Blog, you know International Wine Cellar IS Stephen Tanzer who reviewed Honoro Vera Garnacha and nailed it. His comments, at least with Garnacha, deserve consideration.

Located in Villarroya de la Sierra, the winery sits at a relatively high altitude amidst quartzite and slate offering the vines a healthy diet of REAL organic material. The vines are 30 to 40 years old situated on hillsides 3,000 above sea level around the north zone of Calatayud. As with some of the wines we talked about last week, Alto3 for example, the high altitude makes for a high contrast in day and night temperatures and low rainfall, all of which makes the vines work for it!

Filon Real is 100% Garnacha. Aged 6 months in French Oak, Filon Real presents aromas of smoke, mineral and wild cherry with ripe cherry fruit on the palate. The feel is broad and chewy with a long finish that leaves you with notes of chocolate and licorice.

Our Price: $12.75


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July 27th from 1 to 3pm is all about Austria.  Metro Wines will be serving Austrian wines and Curator Gary Byrd will offer a brief presentation on Austrian artist Gustav Klimt. Born on July 14, 1862 (Bastille Day), Klimt was also known as one of the most prominent members of the Vienna Secession Movement.

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Getting Real

About time we got real. Cate here. Film maker Irene Magafan will be bringing her regional emmy award winning film, narrated by Ashley Judd, on bonobos to the shop this Friday. I know Irene from Washington DC but she might not know Bandit. Anyway, in the bonobo society, the females have a lot more authority. I like that. This will be a great evening. We show the film and Irene will be there to answer questions about the bonobos, the film making process, how the film is being received, and what we can learn from bonobos. I bet the boy bonobos don't push the girl bonobos to go first through the door! Bandit, I am talking to you here.

Since the bonobos are from Africa, word is that the shop will be pouring wines from South Africa. Nice.

This is a bonobo with a baby bonobo:


And you can read all about bonobos on Irene's website here.

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"Exotic Wine"

La Val Orballo, Rias Baixas, Spain. Albarino 2009

"This exotic wine offers notes of red cherry, strawberry, violets, white pepper and spice," says the winemaker. With clean fragrances of fresh fruit, the winemaker says this bottle has soft floral and balsamic evocations, powerful flavors, good structure and balanced acidity.  The color is straw yellow with a green hue. The nose is apples and flowers with a background of citrus. On the palate, the wine presents pineapple, nectarine and apple, smooth and creamy to the feel, balanced and fresh with a long and pleasant finish in structure. Perfect for 2 to "drink the whole bottle" for dinner at 12% alcohol.

This wine comes with a story. The Limeres Family owns three famous and successful restaurants in Madrid and Vigo. Quality obsessed, Jose Limeres, decided to grow his own Albarino grapes to offer quality wines that met his standards. Limeres was a pioneer in planting only Albarino grapes and in making a totally and truly estate wine with only his and no one else's grapes. In other words, for this bottle, the wine buck stops with Jose!  Trellises are used to keep the grapes closer to the sun and away from the damp soil. Only native yeasts are used. The yield is low. The wine is well crafted and, well, muy bueno!

This green skinned grape is native to Galicia on the North Atlantic Coast of Spain. Rias is a wine zone in Spain known for producing some of the country's most acclaimed dry white wines. The word "rias" refers to the coastal inlets that characterize the landscape.

If you like "Gina's Picks," this is a bottle you should try.




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ZOLO Bonarda SOLD OUT! But we have a Bonarda blend which is extraordinary. That said...........

ZOLO Signature Red 2012

Estate grown, sustainably farmed in Mendoza, Argentina at the foothills of The Andes.  ZOLO calls upon different grapes to create more complex and interesting wines.  "Signature Red" blends Cabernet Sauvignon, Bonarda, Merlot and Malbec. Red fruit on the nose; long, lush mouthfeel on the palate.


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"LONELY GRAPE DAY" is all about ZOLO. Today: Torrontes and Bonarda

These are both grapes that make wonderful wines that wine consumers might have passed by. When "lonely grapes" are raised right, as we say back home, with the right winemaker and the right conditions, wine magic happens.

First about the winery: Stephen Tanzer of the International Wine Cellar says of ZOLO: "Genuinely Excellent Wines."

Patricia Ortiz, president and owner of ZOLO, produces wines in one of the most technologically advanced wineries in Argentina. Estate-grown and sustainably farmed, ZOLO has been a leader among Argentine winemakers since 2004. ZOLO selects grapes from targeted regions in Mendoza.  Situated at various altitudes, each of these terroirs presents a different fruit and varietal concentration. The purpose of the ZOLO classic line, including the Torrontes and Bonarda that we feature here, is to create a family of fruit-forward wines at great values which can be served and enjoyed with a wide range of foods or stand alone. 

ZOLO Torrontes

"Best Buy" says "Wine and Spirits." This accolaide follows a long line of praise for ZOLO Torrontes. "Wine Enthusiast" called the 2008, 2009 an 2011 a "Best Buy." And over the years, ZOLO Torrontes has received praise from critics across the wine world including "The Wall Street Journal" and Robert Parker.  Medium straw in color, the nose is an array of citrus including lime, white flowers and tropical fruit. The taste is ripe, dry and restrained, with notes of pear and dried orange peel. The finish is crisp!

ZOLO Bonarda

There remains some doubt as to the true origin of this grape, but most agree that Bonarda is the French Charbono grape. Following prohibition, Charbono was the workhorse grape in California for bulk wine production and, hence, fell into having a less than inviting reputation. Today, there is little left in California. The sad situation for this "lonely grape" is that it was never handled properly with appropriate attention and conditions, but when it is, as with ZOLO, it can be spectacular.

ZOLO Bonarda is produced under the direct supervision of Patricia Ortiz who works in Buenos Aries but travels to Mendoza weekly leaving her husband, "zolo," read "solo," alone.  Deep purple in color, the wine is full bodied with brambly fruit tastes of raspberries and blackberries. And, aging in French and American Oak for 6 months, lends a sweet toasty vanilla taste to the wine. ZOLO Bonarda presents firm tannins that are mouth filling but not out of balance with the fruit.

This lonely (and often disparaged grape) grape is one worth trying. ZOLO Bonarda is an excellent choice for grilled meats and hearty flavored stews. 


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Unfined. Unfiltered. Unparalleled.


Bottled unfined and unfiltered, this wine is unparalleled for the price, $13.99.  Located in Catamarca, Argentina, surrounded by the Andes Mountains, the Alto3 vineyard is one of the highest altitude vineyards in the world sitting at 4947 feet!  It is this high altitude and the characteristic dry rocky soil combined with minimal rainfall and highly contrasting temperatures between day and night, that produce low yield, high quality grapes.  The altitude and weather facilitate organic practices. The vines are not treated with any chemicals.

The grapes that make Alto3 are hand picked and packed in small cases of 30 pounds.  Fermentation takes place in small concrete tanks and only native yeasts are used. After a 21 day maceration, the wine is aged in American and French oak casks for 6 months and then bottled unfined and unfiltered.

Made of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, Alto3 presents a deep red, purple color in the glass. On the nose, you will find red currants, herbs, licorice and tobacco.  On the palate, the flavors mimic the nose and add a slightly minty quality to the mix. Alto3 is medium bodied with a smooth texture, solid structure and balanced fruit profile.

"The Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva is inky purple with an attractive bouquet of toasty black currants.  The wine has excellent depth with ample spicy red and black fruits, light tannin, and a very good depth.  Bodega Alto's Alto3 vineyard, consisting of 190 acres, is located in Catamarca, 515 miles north of Mendoza, at 4900+ feet of elevation. The vineyard is farmed organically." Wine Advocate 88 points.

Metro Wines Tasting Panel ALL agreed, and this is not always the case!, that this wine is excellent. Being unfined and unfiltered, the true flavors of the grapes are strong, yet elegantly blended. Alto3 is a great food wine.

Online shippers are showing limited supply of this wine left.

Metro Wines Tasting Panel Approved Unanimously

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Snap it, baby!


Bastille Day was awesome. But the pictures leave a little something to be desired. Anthony from Rely Local does a great job. Look at that shot of us on this page. We look maaaaarvelous. But the in house stuff by staff, well..... That said, and since Anthony is always busy with important clients, we are suggesting that Metro Wines hire another professional photographer for big events in the future. This is "Martine," a friend from Chicago. She is trying to break into the "biz." We hope you will support us in this effort. Your Shop Dogs.

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Metro Wine poured Chateau Roc Meynard at the Bastille Day event on Sunday. Tough crowd for a French wine!

Verdict: Tres bien.

Chateau Roc Meynard 2010, Bordeaux Superior is a true Bordeaux value.  Aged for 20 months in tank, this Bordeaux blend is 90% Merlot giving the wine finesse and fruit, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon adding weight and complexity and 5% Cabernet Franc making for the high note. Located in the village of Villegouge, the Chateau sits stately next to the Fronsac Region. The vines are planted on the hillsides within a perfect terroir of chalk, clay and sandy soils. Robust, yet elegant, with ripe tannins and a velvety feel, the wine presents black fruits and darker spices on the palate making it a perfect match in texture and taste for meats and cheeses.

Chateau Roc Meynard received the MEDAILLE D'OR, concours de bordeaux 2012.

Being sold everywhere for $16.99, OUR PRICE IS $13.99. tres bien!

We pour again to taste on "Bring Me Bordeaux Sautrday."





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Chardonnay FAQ

Kendal's Chardonnay FAQ

  • Chardonnay is the world’s most popular white wine grape and it is grown in virtually every wine-producing region. 
  • Chardonnay generally produces dry to medium dry wine with oak, spice, smoke, vanilla, pear, apple, tropical, or citrus fruit flavors
  • When there is little to no oak barrel aging, Chardonnay tends to be more crisp and fresh. With extensive oak aging, the wine tends to have a creamy and buttery flavor with vanilla.
  • Chardonnay thrives as the white grape of Burgundy and it produces extraordinary wines in the Russian River Valley and Carneros region in California.
  • It is a relatively “low-maintenance” vine that adapts well to a variety of climates, resulting in fairly high yields worldwide. These high yields translate into millions of bottles of Chardonnay wines. As a result, you can buy a good bottle of Chardonnay for under $15.



The answer to the question is relatively easy to explain. An inexpensive Chardonnay, for the most part, will be light, easy-drinking and will have little oak influence and are relatively one dimensional on the palate, pure and simple. 

As you move up the price tier, most Chardonnays released have two principle influences. The first is the benefit of a more precise growing area, which has proven to be ideal for Chardonnay. For example, the Russian River Valley in Sonoma County has proven to be one of the most prestigious areas in California for Chardonnay. These wines generally display more intense fruit flavors and more complexity.

The second factor is oak aging. Oak barrels are very expensive, for example one 60 gallon French oak barrel is approximately $1,200, but well worth the investment, especially when Chardonnay is involved. When oak is involved, the retail is certain to increase. However, the wine’s body, complexity and finish increase dramatically as well.

In conclusion, a Chardonnay at $29.99 compared to a Chardonnay at $5.99 will have more complexity, more intense fruit flavors, a longer finish and more integrated oak flavors.


One of the most popular Chardonnays at Metro Wines is Domaine de Valensac. Page down to read the review on Wine Blog.


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Food Pairings:

  • Unoaked Chardonnay:
    • Raw or lightly cooked shellfish
    • Grilled Fish and Chicken
    • Creamy pasta with chicken or pork
    • Chicken or ham based salads
  • Full Bodied Chardonnay
    • Grilled steak, veal, and red peppers
  • Foods not to eat with Chardonnay
    • Smoked fish and meats
    • Tomato based dishes
    • Thai flavors
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Viognier FAQ


Viognier Information Sheet



-Viognier - the fast rising star.
Viognier is fast growing in popularity. The last ten years has seen a massive increase in Viognier production throughout the world.

-It is a French Dry, Floral, Full-bodied white wine from the Rhone Valley. Also found in California, Oregon, Washington State, Virginia, etc.

-Initially the grape was grown to blend with other whites - and reds, bringing extra character to well know varieties, and softening the syrah wines of the Côte Rôtie.

-Viognier has the most amazing clear, golden colour and the aroma of flowers and fruits at their freshest. Many talk of being surprised by the taste; the colour and nose hinting at something sweeter but the actually taste being dry with a variety of distinctions both on the tongue and afterwards. 

-Typical markers, or notes, of viognier include white floral such as honey-suckle or jasmine, as well as orange blossom. Along with a honey or honey-suckle notes, you’ll also find stone fruit flavors, peach, apricot, nectarine, as well as a nice spice component that can be described as baking spices.  On the palate, you will find it to be typically fuller bodied, often with an oily or “lanolin” feel in your mouth.

-Food Pairing:

-Asian and Chinese food, Roasted Chicken, Crab, White Fish, Lobster, Indian Food, Cirtus fruit, rosemary, 

Seafood (scallops, shrimp, shellfish), Curry and Thai food, veal

-Do not pair with:

-Any earthy dishes and salty dishes.


Viogniers on our shelf here:b2ap3_thumbnail_70137_20130713-123129_1.jpg         b2ap3_thumbnail_227060.jpg


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Case Club Report


If you were a member of the Case Club, you found these great wines in your box:



Altes Herencia Garnatxa Negra 2012


91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

“Another incredible value and full-throttle wine made from 100% Grenache.  From very old vines and aged completely in concrete, is a naked, unadulterated, unmanipulated effort with great minerality (from the chalky, limestone soils) and an intensity and richness (from the old vines) that are normally found in $50+ wines. It offers loads of kirsch, raspberry, licorice, and chalky minerality. Medium to full-bodied and dense, it is best consumed over the next 2-3 years. “


Pair with grilled meats, and Spanish and Mexican foods that have low levels of chili pepper heat.


Chateau Recougne Bordeaux Superieur 2009


Robert Parker called Recougne the finest Bordeaux Superieur. It is an estate that has produced wine for over 400 years, and its name is said to have come from King Henri IV in the early 17th century, in "recognition" of the quality of its wine. Factors that contribute to the quality of the vineyard include: several parcels of very old vines of 50+ years, environmentally friendly viticulture techniques, minimal spraying, low yields through green harvesting, and excellent canopy management.  The blend is 75% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc.


This is liberally toasty up front, with a mocha edge giving way to notes of espresso and spice, yet pure red currant, black cherry and plum fruit emerges from behind, with a roasted cedar edge inlaid on the finish. Drink now through 2013.  Serve with beef, mushrooms, and heavier French or European style meals.


Colle Ambro Rosso Piceno 2009


This wine is made from 70% Montepulciano and 30% Sangiovese. Ample, persistent aroma of ripe red fruit with scents of cherries, plums and prunes as well as fresh licorice roots. Flavor is full, and warm with generous hints of tannins that are moderately expressed.  Enjoy with anything Italian.



Honoro Vera Monastrell 2012


The Honoro Vera is deeply colored with aromas of sweet herbs and spices, and the lush palate is bursting with ripe raspberries, blackberries, and cherries. Backing all of these aromas and flavors are firm tannins; which makes the wine a great match for braised lamb and pork dishes, as well as a plate of figs and aged cheeses.




Con Class Rueda 2011


A blend of 60% Verdejo, 25% Viura and 15% Sauvignon Blanc aged on its lees in stainless steel, this is a light to medium-bodied, pure, floral-scented, nicely textured, crisp white that admirably demonstrates the remarkable progress Spain has made with its white wine program.  The Wine Advocate rated it 87 points.


Enjoy with chilled shellfish, variety of tapas, warm cream sauces and soups, salads, grilled fish, or a wide variety of cheeses including brie and goat cheese.


Cono Sur Bicicleta Viognier 2012


Pale gold color; tropical fruit aromas with melon, peach and orange blossom notes; dry, medium bodied, with great acidity and flavors of grapefruit, peach, green apple and pineapple; good length on the finish.

Serve with stir-fry or wok-sautéed white meats, vegetables and creamy poultry.

Don't let another month pass you by. Some of these wines just don't stay on the shelf.

And Case Club Members always get First Dibs!

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Windows - Walls - Cancellations and Infections

Windows, Walls, Cancellations and Infections

Semi Public Viewing Space at Metro Wines, 169 Charlotte Street in Asheville.

New Art Now: Tony Bradley 2012-2013. New Prints NOW through August 27th. 

Join us on Saturday, August 27th for a Closing Reception and Artist Talk, 6 to 8pm.

And show can be seen daily at Metro Wines, Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 8pm and Sunday from noon to 5pm.

Some of the pieces here:

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