Metro Wines Blogs

Metro Wines Asheville, NC


~ ~ IN Memoriam ~ ~
Somebody's Political Career
Let's recognize the passing with a bottle
about which there can be no doubt.

The Big RED WHITE and BLUE for this Week!
Monte Rio Cellars Red Wine 2019 SKULL, California. 17.99
"Devoted to the Spirit of Old California"
Harkening back to, perhaps, the 1950s or early '60s, when California vintners
were not yet hooked on oak, and 12.5% alcohol was the norm rather than rare exception!

True to their word, SKULL is 12.5% ALC!

50 Petite Sirah, 30 Mission, 20 Zinfandel.  All organically farmed.

A blend of Petite Sirah (65%), Mission (30%) and Zinfandel (20%)
following the winemaker's 100% carbonic/natural/unsulfured/"old wood" approach,
"Skull" comes across as bigger than the individual varietal bottlings.
 Dark purplish ruby with a bright red rim, with an intense nose weaving black tea,
pipe tobacco, kitchen herbs and red fruit. There is a slightly grippy tannin feel
to its big fruit quality, asked and immediate on the palate reflecting
the "Old California" approach to wine.
Aged 10 months in old wood barrels. ONLY 675 cases produced.

Monte Rio Cellars, is owned by multi-award winning
New York City sommelier and restauranteur, Patrick Cappiello. 

$21.99 at Natural Wine Company
$20 at Verve in New York and Sold Out
But  $17.99 @MetroWines!

No Flip Flopping. It's a promise!

Reserve Your Election Day Skull at (828) 575-9525

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Lettie Teague Quotes US in Wall Street Journal




As at many stores, the offerings near the register are geared toward impulse buying. Within easy reach of the cashier’s line at Gary’s Wine & Marketplace in Wayne, N.J., customers find novelties such as wine in cans and accessories such as corkscrews, fun wine gadgets and cheese boards. The concept is similar in the four other Gary’s stores in New Jersey and Napa, according to proprietor Gary Fisch. Gina Trippi, co-proprietor of Metro Wines in Asheville, N.C., features wine in cans and wine in boxes near her cash register, as well as dog toys made from old T-shirts. (The dog-friendly proprietors feature photos of favorite canines all over their store.)




Entire Article HERE!

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Election Night Sangria

Autumn Sangria

Plums, Brandy, Orange Juice: check. But what wine?

GULP/HABLO Trademark of T Edward Wines, LTD - Registration Number 5698991 -  Serial Number 87790040 :: Justia Trademarks

Hand picked grapes. Vegan. Biodynamic. Stainless Steel, 12%ALC
from Castilla La Mancha

This proverbial kitchen sink blend, with 16 different varietals;
Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Verdejo, Moscatel de Alejandra,
Moscatel de grano pequeo, Macabeo, Chardonnay, Tempranillo, Graciano,
Merlot, Monastrell, Syrah, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc,
and last but not least Garnacha. It's an easy drinking, light bodied wine
with flavors of red fruits and fresh herbs.

The 2019 LITRE Bottle is $14.99 @MetroWines.

More of Spain? Velazquez!

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Latitude 50 Sparkling German Wine

In Memoriam

Tab | Soda Pop Wiki | Fandom

Coca Cola is retiring Tab, a pop culture icon in the 1970s,
as part of a culling effort in response to the COVED pandemic.
In this rare situation, we suggest you celebrate the demise!
Truth be told, this thing needed to take a header decades ago.

Celebrate THIS and Other Occasions with...
Imported by Savio Suarez Selections, this German Sparkling Wine was sourced
from organic Rheinhessen Muller-Thurgau and Pinot Blanc varietals
harvested to insure higher acids and lower sugar grapes. DRY. 11% ALC

Not Everywhere in Country: $16.99

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Domaine Fichet and Beyond Politics

Beyond Politics

Shakespeare Folio Sold at Auction for $10million
Even now, the battles rages on whether the guy
we think of as Shakespear is really Shakespeare. Worth it?

Mercury is in Retrograde! Discuss.
OK, I admit I thought this must be woo woo talk.
But it's in the Framers Almanac so it has to be true, right?

Stan is back in the News
Stan is the TRex that sold for $32million at auction.
We questioned the efficacy of allowing a private buyer to have Stan.
We were right. There is a family feud and Stan is in the middle. Revisit.

Delays and chaos predicted to increase as parcel companies
try to keep up with holiday sales vastly increased by the the COVID effect.
Traffic, pollution, hits across the board to the local economy.

Class UP the Conversation

"Established in 1976, Domaine Fichet started when Francis Fichet (Olivier's father)
withdrew from the town co-op and began to make wines from his estate vineyards.
In their youth, Oliver and his brother Pierre-Yves worked side-by-side with their father;
tending to the vines and land that they own today. In 1990 the brothers took full control
of the winery and began to broaden the Domaine's holdings. 

and Stay Sharp with only 12.5% ALC $22

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Big RED is UpHold Zinfandel

Big RED of The Week
Out of Stock with Importer for Months.
But now, It's baaaaaaaaaack!

Uphold 2019 Uphold Zinfandel  for The People from Ryme Winery:
Fruit forward red wine with ripe flavors and great structure on the palate.
100% of net profits from this wine will be donated towards people's equality.
The Ryme Story:

$19.99 in Chapel Hill
but $16.99 @MetroWines
(No wonder they drive over here!)

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Lorraine Bracco $1 House in Sicily and Grillo

Ever Wonder What Goes On
with Those Buy a House for a Dollar Deals?

Sopranos star Lorraine Bracco will renovate a 200-year-old home she  purchased for one euro | Daily Mail Online

Follow Lorraine Bracco in Sicily!
Your Watch It With Wine: 100% Grillo from Sicily. $13.99

Vinaccio Vino da Tavola Bianco - Barrel & VineWinemaker Tim Manning, left the UK in 1998 to chase his dream of becoming
a winemaker in Italy. While working in Tuscany, Tim decided to use
innovative te
chniques on old varietals while maintaining natural winemaking.
Tim says Sicily is one of the most underrated and undervalued wine regions on the planet. 
With Vinaccio Bianco, Tim takes us on a journey to Sicily, like Lorraine!, 
via a classic grape, Grillo. The juice will make you think you picked
a bunch of fresh fruit like peaches, apricots, lemon, and grapefruit. Fruit-forward. 

Meanwhile, what's the Covid plan at restaurants in Italy?

And What About Barolo?

Teaching Moment: John Kerr of The Asheville School of Wine says: 
This article discusses the 2016 vintage of Barolo. With climate change, a great vintage
is becoming more and more difficult to produce. 2016 needs about a decade before drinking.

Nebbiolo is an old grape dating back to the 13th century and the name derives
from the Italian word, nebbia, for fog. The best Nebbiolo vineyards are those sited above
the fog that hangs in the valley. It is fragile in the sense that Nebbiolo is very climate specific.
If rain arrives too early, grapes mature too quickly not allowing time for balance.
If rain comes too late, just before harvest, mildew forms affecting quality.
The goal is fruit that does not ripen so quickly that acid is lost.

In the shop, we have Barolos and Brunellos that were built to age
and are ready to be uncorked. If you want to try a perfectly aged bottle from 2010,
another great vintage, call (828) 575-8525 and ask for John.

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Wine in The White House

Good Time to review this article from four years ago for The Laurel of Asheville


Wine in the White House

The Grape Vine: A Brief History of Wine in the White House

By Gina Trippi

Wine in the White House dates back to Thomas Jefferson who, having become accustomed to French wine on his diplomatic missions to France, built a wine cellar under the West Wing to store up to 20,000 bottles! Ordering wine by the barrel from Italy, France, Spain, and Portugal and serving four to six wines with dinner daily, he racked up a $10,000 bill for his eight years in the White House (1801–1809).

After Jefferson’s administration, the cellar hit hard times. Hard liquor was the alcoholic beverage of choice for decades. By the time Franklin Roosevelt took office in 1933, with his preference for martinis, Jefferson’s cellar had been repurposed and wine was stored in the pantry.

Through the Kennedy administration, French wines were still served at official dinners. The menu for a 1961 luncheon to honor Princess Grace included Dom Pérignon and Puligny-Montrachet. It was Lyndon Johnson, according to Bloomberg News, who decreed only American wines should be served in the White House. By the time Richard Nixon took office in 1969, the California wine industry was taking off. While only serving American wines at official dinners, Nixon preferred Bordeaux when dining with family. He started his own tradition, serving Schramsberg’s Blanc de Blanc for his “Toast to Peace” in 1972 with China’s Premier Zhou Enlai. Schramsberg sparkling wines have been served at official state functions by every president since.

Just before Jimmy Carter took office in 1977, Chateau Montelena from California won a tasting in Paris, putting Napa Valley forever on the wine making map. Few knew that Carter was a winemaker himself! Wine Spectator reports that his grandfather had worked 15 acres of grapes in Georgia and Carter had been making wine from the family recipe for years.

When Ronald Reagan became president in 1981, the tradition of serving American wines was “rigorously enforced” according to Daniel Shanks, a sommelier from Napa Valley later hired to be Usher of Food and Beverage for President Bill Clinton, a position Daniel still holds. During the Reagan administration, the White House cellar grew to include California wines, like those from Grgich Hills and Stag’s Leap.

Most Americans, however, still considered European wines to be the standard when Clinton became president. Daniel says Clinton—who served Gruet and Roderer Estate, wines that are still in rotation at the White House today—was determined to promote the quality of American wines.

Today the White House plans themed dinners that connect foreign dignitaries and guests with the American experience. Daniel said the White House recently served a Greek Delegation wines from Topolos and Lolonis, California wineries started by Greek immigrants.

And it’s not just California wines on the table. Daniel says he has served wines from “19 or 20 states, Idaho to Pennsylvania, North Carolina to Massachusetts”—including Biltmore’s Blanc de Blanc.

But as much as we focus on the wines at the White House, Daniel says the guests are really focused “on one thing—the President.”

Gina Trippi is the co-owner of Metro Wines, 169 Charlotte Street in Asheville. Committed to the community, Metro Wines offers big-shop selection with small-shop service. Gina can be reached at or 828.575.9525.



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Mediterranean Food and Wine

Big LOVE Cooking

From the MetroWines Book Suggestion Department

From Joey Campanaro, the lovable chef and owner
of popular Little Owl restaurant in New York City!

Big Love Cooking features 75 accessible recipes infused
with Mediterranean flavors inspired by Joey's Italian-American family.

This is simple, authentic food, shareable meals.
Includes stories from the restaurant, historical NYC photographs, and advice.
Dishes include recipes ranging from Ricotta Cavatelli 
to Brioche French Toast with Stewed Strawberries. 
So, here we need a wine that can go solo and one that is versatile enough
to pair with the myriad of Mediterranean flavors featured in this book....

Your Read it With and Serve it With Wine
2018 Envínate Albahra | Wine Info
Albahra (Castilian for “small sea”) is named for the vineyard area
in the Almansa region close to the town of Albacete, at the southeastern tip
of Castilla-La Mancha. A blend of 70% Garnacha Tintorera and 30% Moravia Agria. The Garnacha Tintorera, aka Alicante Bouschet, a red-juiced grape, is from
a vineyard on clay/calcareous soils. The Moravia Agria, a high-acid, low alcohol grape, is from a vineyard on sandy clay-calcareous soils in neighboring Manchuela, pruned to get more yield since there are very few vineyards left!
The Garnacha Tintorera is foot-trodden, then  fermented in concrete for 8 months, the Moravia Agria ages in French barriques for 8 months
and then this organic wine is blended and bottled unfined, unfiltered.
This wine offers a pure high-toned nose, floral red fruit, hints of spice
and bursting minerality. An extremely versatile food wine,
especially with Mediterranean meats and seafood. 

This 2019 from Jose Pastor Selections
is $28 @MetroWines

Ask Brett about other wines from The Canary Islands from this importer.

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Beyond Politics and Vouvray

Beyond Politics


WSJ reports that "the mini manbag" is finally here!
Should it be?
A giant Amazon center is slated for construction in the Rhone.
Is this a step too far?
Apps can help you speed-read. They say clear that pile of books!
But is this why you brought them?
Italians plan to 3-D print an exact copy of the 17 foot statue
of David by Michelangelo at the Galleria dell'Accademia in Florence.
The US - China Trade War Gets wrapped up in twist ties.
That metal twist thing has convinced us that we can't tie a knot anymore!
Is it time to just deep six the metal thing? Is it worth a trade war?

*** Your Discuss it ALL Over Wine ***

Vouvray Sec 2018
Chenin Blanc, Loire Valley, $18.99

Domaine de la Robinière - Raimbault Bel-Air Vouvray Sec | Wine Info
The Producer says: Vin de bonne maturité aux senteurs de fleurs blanches
avec des notes vanillées. Frais et ample aux arômes fruités de pêches,
d'abricots et de miel. 

Google Translate says: Good maturity wine with scents of white flowers
with hints of vanilla. Fresh and ample with fruity aromas of peaches,
apricots and honey. 

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Peirano Cabernet!

Big DEAL of the Week

2017 Peirano Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Lodi

The Online Wine Store at Peirano Estate Winery & Vineyards
From 50 year old vines. 13.8 ALC

Silver Medal in 2019 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.
The rich, dark color of this wine catches you from the first pour.
It exhibits a rich, deep burgundy hue with perfect clarity. The aromas are a compendium of cinnamon-spiced baked plums, black pepper, ripe raspberries, coriander & nutmeg. The first initial sip fills the mouth with spicy cran-raspberry, spiced bing cherry, black pepper, applewood and more black pepper, all the while maintaining absolute dryness with firm, round, yet supple, mouth filling tannins.

** $13.99 **
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Lettie Teague and Hourglass

*** From The MetroWines Holiday Gifting Desk ***
Lettie Teague Talks Hourglass Winery and Coping with The Fires


Hourglass Vineyard - Napa Valley Wineries -
Hourglass produces premium Napa wines.
We have placed Hourglass Wines in the cellars of customers
who, like you, demand the best for the buck.

If we have learned anything this year, 
it's "what are you waiting for?"

Call (828) 575-9525 and ask for Brett

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Dante Cabernet is Big Red Weekend Wine

Big DEAL and Big Red of The WEEK!
Dante 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon, California

Dante Cabernet Sauvignon

Michael Pozzan proudly presents Dante, named after his eldest son,
and inspired by wines savored during travels through the Italian countryside.
The style of his hearty yet approachable wines are reminiscent of that in your
favorite Italian trattoria. This full-bodied soft and ripe tannic,
Cabernet Sauvignon bursts with flavors of black cherry, plums,
sweet spices of star anise and cedar. Enjoy Dante’s heavy character, 
balanced personality, and a rounded out seamless finish. 

*** 13.5% ALC $10.99 ***

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Divina Fig spread at Metro North

Consumables Make Great Wedding Gifts!


*** Divina Fig Spread ***

at Metro North in Reynolds Village

Divina Fig Spread 9 oz. (255g)

Crafted from Aegean figs, classic Mediterranean Fig Spread from Divina
is rich and complex with notes of sweet honey and caramel. Use this Fig Spread
to add some flair to your pancakes or toast and can even be incorporated
it into savory recipes. Try combining Divina Fig Spread with oil, garlic,
salt and pepper for a marinade or sauce

Perfect with our Manchego Cheese!
Internet Competitive at $5.99

And pick up a bottle of Ciro! We talked about Ciro last week,
but this wine, moved to the best seller shelves at Metro North,
Made in Calabria from 100% Greco Bianco, Ciro is the perfect partner to Divina.
Ciro presents brilliant lemon-green in color, aromas of peaches
and citrus fruits complement undertones of herbs and flowers.
On the palate, zesty acidity and a long finish showcase this wine's
subtle hints of toasted almonds and macadamia nuts.
vendita online miglior prezzo Cirò bianco DOC Segno di Librandi
17.99 @Vivino and $13.99 at
*** $10.99 @MetroWines ***
on Charlotte and Metro North!

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Chinon les granges

*** International Notes ***

Lettie Teague says step outside your comfort Zone with 
2018 Bernard Baudry Chinon

Our buyer Brett Watson says "We have Baudry Chinon Les Granges.
Very Limited. We have some bottles left from allocation."
 (at 9:06am Saturday)
Read: If you want to it, come and get it! Call (828) 575-9525.

Bernard Baudry Les Granges Chinon | Wine Info
100% Cabernet Franc. The Granges vines are an 8-hectare alluvial site along the Vienne Riverin Cravant, very near the winery, planted in 1985 and 1988 and farmed organically like the rest of the estate.

The soil is all sand and pebbles, with little to no clay, so it drains well and yields a light, fresh style of Chinon. The fruit is hand-harvested, destemmed and moved by gravity into unlined cement vats. Fermentation with native yeasts and without sulfur or temperature control lasts from two weeks to two months.

The wine is aged nine to ten months in cement before being bottled without filtration.

It is the first red of any vintage to be released.

Cellar Master John Kerr says "drinkable now." $24

*** Points ***
Let's talk about it. Sure, rumors continue that some wineries pay off critics
for good reviews, that is, points. And yes, some of the best wineries are too small
to distribute nationwide and cannot submit their wines for review. And, of course,
it is easy to say a wine like Vega Sicilia made the hot list!

All true, but our buyer, Brett Watson, has been reaching for the lesser known,
hidden gems. And while points may or may not indicate good price to quality ratio, recognition is still appreciated. And Brett picked a winner with Big Salt by Ovum!
OVUM was chosen as one of the Top 100 Wineries of the Year by Wine&Spirits 
and Big Salt snagged 91 Points. Step outside your comfort zone with confidence!

And some of our other favorites were also in the top 100 including but not limited to: Saint Cosme, Dr. Loosen, G.D Vajra, Tenuta, Tosca and Garzon.

Shop LocalLY. Talk to the Buyer. Tell us what you want!

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Beyond Politics and Pittnauer

From The MetroWines BEYOND POLITICS Desk


"Playboy" is going public. Are they still around?
Should they still be around?

"Subway" bread fails sugar test in Ireland.
The amount of sugar used in the dough in heated sandwiches
exceeds the maximum level for sugar content
for bread under Irish Law.

"Ruby Tuesday" files for bankruptcy protection.
Remember the peanuts?

The Smithsonian asks: Are Humans Naturally Good or Bad?

Your Discuss It ALL Over Wine:
Pittnauer Pitti | Wine Info

2018 Osterreich, Austria 12.5ALC
SavioSuares Selections


Wine made from grapes grown without synthetic pesticides,
fertilizers or herbicides in the vineyard. Austria's answer to Beaujolais,
this is a red wine that's full of juicy dark-berried fruit and meant to be enjoyed
with or without food or, as one critic said, "wishful thinking." Perfect. 
Winemaker Gerhardt Pittnauer took over his father's estate in the 1980s
and learned through the decades that less is more when it comes
to not only growing vines but vinifying in the cellar as well.

This is an impressive wine from an impressive importer.
And It's a Lou Pick!

Out of Stock at Astor in NYC
$19.00 at Vivino
$17.99 @MetroWines

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Blind Tasting League on Facebook

*** Blind Tasting League ***
on Facebook LIVE with Andy Hale

Video from September 16th Episode

Image may contain: text

Join us for BTL on Wednesday, October 21st at 5:30 
Go here:

And if you want to taste along with Andy, you can purchase the wines
in cleverly concealed brown bags @MetroWines. Call (828) 575-9525
No Peaking! I'm Serious.

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Navaherreros Garnacha

Navaherreros 2017


2017 Bernabeleva
This is as elegant and varietally correct Garnacha. Catalan Winemaker Marc Isart Pinos
takes old vines, applies excellent viticultural work, ferments in foudre
with some whole clusters, and long maceration on skins for complexity and elegance, 
Bottlied with a minimum of sulphur to create this beautiful, expressive wine.
A good bit more tangy, racy and serious than most Grenache at this price,
the Camino de Navaherreros is sure to please those who prefer layered nuance
and energetic flavors. Critics say Great Value.


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Cooking Wine?

By Gina Trippi for 50 Plus Living



Customer comes into our shop and asks for a wine to put into her Beef Bourguignon that she can also enjoy while cooking or at the table. The request for cooking wine for various recipes is fairly common.

First, what’s the difference in table wine and what we call cooking wine? Mainly, quality.

A successful match is simple. Avoid bottles labeled “cooking wine.” This is just a concoction of sugar, salt and preservatives that is nothing you would want in your dish. Notice “cooking wine” is usually shelved in the grocery store next to vinegar!

Julia Child summed it up this way:  "If you do not have a good wine to use, it is far better to omit it, for a poor one can spoil a simple dish and utterly debase a noble one." 

A good guide is to only cook with wine you would drink. That does not mean you need a high priced bottle. Because the subtle nuances of the wine will burn off in cooking, you would do best with a well made, reasonably priced wine, that complements not overwhelms your flavors.  You can easily find an appropriate dual purpose wine for the dish and your table for under $15.

Why do recipes call for wine? Usually, to bring up the acidity in the dish which works to tenderize meats as well as to stabilize more delicate ingredients. As the wine cooks down and concentrates, it brings a richness or slight sweetness to the dish. Cooks generally recommend avoiding sweet wines like Moscato. And chose an un-oaked wine as oak aging can impart a bitterness when heated. If you select a wine that you can also serve with the dish, you continue the flavor profile through the meal! 

Saving a wine to use in cooking presents real problems. The wine will likely oxidize. This results in musty, nutty, sherry like flavors. Such an addition might be right for your recipe but, if so, choose a wine that has been intentionally oxidized such as a dry Madiera or Marsala. Because wines become sweeter as reduced, unless you are working with a sweet dish, chose a dry wine. Remember the golden rule: use only wines that you would drink.

OK. But you want it all! A solid wine that makes a dish sing, sits nicely on a table and is a palate pleaser. We suggest Capitelles 2016 Pinot Noir and 2016 Chardonnay from Languedoc Roussillon, both $8.99.

This 2016 unoaked Chardonnay is well-balanced and structured on the palate making it a safe and solid addition to a dish. And the 2016 Pinot Noirhas a well-rounded body, with an expressive nose and palate of cherries and spices.

Choosing a wine to add to your dish is not a DIY project. Let us help.




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Move Beyond Politics with Murrieta's Well Big Red of Week

From the MetroWines Beyond Politics Department
Discuss Amoung Yourselves

* The Conan Doyle Estate has sued Netflix over the new film, "Enola Holmes,"
claiming for intricate legal reasons that copyright has been violated
by depicting Sherlock Holmes as having emotions.

*Amazon is offering small drones that fly above houses filming inside,
as NYT says, "ostensibly for security purposes." NYT asks "Is this good?"

Flights to Nowhere. Literally. Don't get me started on this one!

Your Discuss CIVILLY Among Yourselves Wine

*** is The Big Red of The Week ***

Murrieta's Well The Spur Red | Total Wine & More

The Spur 2017 is crafted from blending the classic Bordeaux varietals with Petite Sirah,
which offers a distinctively California expression. Each varietal is farmed, harvested,
and handcrafted to achieve the greatest expression prior to assembling the final blend. 

The 2017 vintage provides an aromatic profile of spiced cranberry, blueberry and clove
with complementary notes of graham cracker and ripe blackberry. The dark fruit aromas carry through to the palate framed by fine tannins, and a rich, lasting, and elegant mouthfeel.

$26.97 at Wine Chateau
Same Price at Total Wine

** $24 @MetroWines! **


If you are a fan of California wines, you should be aware that the recent fires
may cancel many 2020 releases and the prices of those that survive will likely rise.
Support your wineries of choice. And consider buying sooner rather than later.

Check our stock @MetroWines. Call (828) 575-9525

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