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The Italian Connection

In this email:

In this email:

Oregonians loves Italian wine. Winelovers in Oregon have one of the best selections of small, artisan made Italian wines in the country, at killer prices. Some highly regarded small Italian wineries, whose production might be too small for the big importers, are directly imported by committed, dynamic individuals of the Oregon wine industry. They seek out the gems in the rural countryside of Italy, finding many stellar wines missed by the big boys. Just like Avalon finds the best of the Oregon and Washington "Indie" wines and delivers them to you!

You might be asking, "Why is Avalon writing me about Italian wines?" While we specialize in NW wines online, we have a deep enthusiasm for italian wines in our Corvallis store.

Barolo and Barbaresco, the king and queen of wines from Italy's Piedmont, have a similar allure to that of Oregon Pinot noir. They have complexity and intrigue - certain qualities that are simply hard to put into words. Perfect partners for food.

Ca del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2004 $32.95/$29.66
"Three Glasses" Top Rating
from Gambero Rosso

Suggested retail $52

The 04 Valgrande embodies everything I love about Barbaresco. Complex aromas of spiced vanilla, sweet fruit, leather, tar, and cedar with a gorgeously pure core of sappy cherry fruit with blueberry and plum accents. Plush fruit shows on the entry, with excellent grip on the lingeringfinish. This is truly an "utterly tempting" Barbaresco that can be enjoyed upon release (we've gone through a six pack at home already!) although it is built to age for more than a decade.

The 04 Valgrande received the highest honor in Italian wine, a Three Glasses (Tre Bicchieri) rating from Gambero Rosso 2008 Guide to Italian Wines. The signifiance of the Three Glasses rating cannot be overstated; the selection process is rigorous. From nearly 25,000 wines, just 1500 are selected for the Three Glasses taste offs. All tasting are blind.
Only 305 of the 25,000 wines were given the Three Glasses rating, of which the Ca del Baio was one!

Gambero Rosso writes: "The 2004 vintage saw (winegrower) Giulio produce three superlative selections, each with its owen well-defined personality... Three Glasses went to Ca' del Baio for an utterly tempting, admirably distinctive Barbaresco destined for significant evolution."

Vineyard helpers At Podere Ruggeri Corsini, after a busy day harvesting Barbera
Avalon Wine visit September 13, 2007

Podere Ruggeri Corsini Barolo 2004 $44.95/40.46
Five Stars- Top Rating, Decanter Magazine

Seductive aromas of licorice, red berries, rose petals, spice, and resin. The scents from a glass of Barolo are hypnotic and ethereal--there are few wines like it. Maybe the best thing is realizing the aromatics will only improve with time!

The palate offers loads of macerated cherry and blueberry that sweetens on the finish, picking up blackberry, then mingling with cedary spice and subtle dark coca on the structured yet refined finish. This is outstanding value Barolo that will provide years of enjoyment in the cellar--you could buy a case and drink a bottle each year for the next twelve and find an evolving masterpiece. Best to have this with food for near term drinking, like hearty meat dishes (braised short ribs would be perfect), from a decanter.

Ruggeri Corsini is the husband and wife team of Nicola Argamante (vineyard manager) and Loredana Addari (winemaker). Nicola is a prominent viticulturalist who has consulted for some of the biggest names in Italian wine. Together they produce a spectacular portfolio of wine. For fans of Barbera, try the Corsini "Armujan" Barbera 05.

Sunset over the village of Barbaresco, Sept. 2007


Ca del Baio
Barbaresco Asili 2004 $36.95/$33.26

Suggested retail $55

Gambero Rosso says: "Asili shows powerful, generous, deep and harmonious, with fleshy fruit and character to spare."

Robert Parker
Wine Advocate Rating 93 Points
Parker says: "The 2004 Barbareso Asili is awesome. It presents superb depth and precision in the notes of rose petals, red cherries, licorice and tar that flow effortlessly from the glass. A touch of well-used oak adds an additional layer of sweetness on the finish. Thisbeautiful, elegant Barbaresco is not to be missed. Anticipated maturity:2008-2019. Suggested retail $55."

Follow that sign for awesome wines! Alba, 2007

Ca del Baio Barbaresco Marcarini 04 $36.95
Suggested Retail $56

Gambero Rosso says: "Marcarini has lenghty development and fairly explodes with fruit, its fine balance and elegance making it already quite likeable."

Robert Parker Wine Advocate 92 Points
"Parker says: "The estate's 2004 Barbaresco Marcarini, from a vineyard in Treiso, offers a distinctly more masculine personality in its expression of dark fruit, spices, menthol and minerals. A tightly coiled, structured Barbaresco, it will require another year or two in bottle before offering its most rewarding drinking. It is another strong effort from Ca' del Baio. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2018. Suggested retail $56."

Wine Advocate says of the 2004 Ca del Baio wines: "These 2004 Barbarescos are by far the finest wines I have tasted from Ca del Baio. Hopefully they represent a level of quality the estate will be able to maintain going forward because the wines are terrific. Ca del Baio is located in Treiso, but has holdings across the Barbaresco zone, including a plot in the prestigious Asili vineyard. The estate favors a soft, fruit-driven style of Barbaresco that seems best suited to mid-term drinking."

Prime vineyard land just outside of the village of Barolo.

15% Off - Save $34.50 from $230 retail
Six Pack Sampler

2-Podere Ruggeri Corsini Barolo 2004 $44.95

2- Ca del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2004 $32.95

1- Ca del Baio Barbaresco Asili 2004 $36.95

1- Ca del Baio Barbaresco Marcarini 04 $36.95


Big clusters of Nebbiolo in Ovello Vineyard, Barbaresco

See our Current List of all
Oregon and Washington
Wine Advocate & Wine Spectator
Highest Rated Wines with Tasting Notes

We're available by phone at 752-7418
from 8 AM Pacific time until 6 PM Pacific time,
Monday through Saturday,
and we answer email on Sundays.

Avalon WineMarcus, Kevin, Wendy,
Cedar, and Jean

Avalon Wine
201 SW 2nd Street
Corvallis OR 97333

Marcus Looze
VP Marketing & Sales

Kevin Hanscom
Shipping Manager

Wendy Brown
Bookkeeper & Gourmet Sales

Jean Yates
541-424-8004 (direct line)

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