2010 Vallana "Cuvee Bernardo Vallana" Spanna Colline Novaresi

SKU #1131659

When I first got into this business (farther back than I want to think about), I was exposed to some 'old' wines from the 1950s and 1960s with the appellation of 'Spanna'. The rustic labels foretold the character of the wine. These wines had soul, and the flavors that poured out of them were pure, powerful, and made me feel at home. Antonio Vallana created this wine with the 'Camino' label in homage to his father Bernardo, who loved to sit by the fireplace ('camino' means fireplace in Italian) with his friends and drink wine. The camaraderie, warmth and friendship of this idea truly warms my heart. Antonio's great-grandson, Francis Fogarty (yes, he's Italian!) carries on the family business now. One proviso: to really get the most from their Nebbiolo-based wines, use a Burgundy glass. I also recommend decanting, while you’re getting the fire going. If you are in San Francisco, there's no better month to have a roaring fire on a cold, cold night than the month of July! If you’re in warmer climates, a campfire will do the trick. I hope you try these wines and let them warm your heart as they do mine. Vallana Spanna wines from the 1950s and 1960s are still drinking well today! (Greg St. Clair, K&L Italian Buyer)

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Price: $13.99
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Staff Image By: Greg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/26/2013 | Send Email
100% Nebbiolo. 2010 was a superb vintage for this area and you can almost feel the sun’s rays fleshing out this wine’s rich, full body. Though drinkable now, this wine has a pedigree for long aging. Decant for an hour or two and enjoy by the fire!

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- Tar and roses are the two descriptors most associated with this red grape grown, almost solely, in Italy's Piedmont, where it has achieved fame under the guises of the incredibly and age-worthy wines of Barolo and Barbaresco. Characterized by chewy tannins, high acidity, high-tone cherry and raspberry fruit and truffle aromas and flavors, Nebbiolo has rightfully earned its reputation. Sadly the late-ripening varietal is quite delicate and is prone to disease as well as damage by hail that frequently pelts the region. Outside of Barolo and Barbaresco, Nebbiolo is grown in the DOCs of Gattinara, Spanna and Ghemme. The Nebbiolos of the Nebbiolo d'Alba DOC in the southeastern part of Piedmont are generally lighter and more immediately approachable versions of the grape, aged for less time than Barolo and Barbaresco, which also makes them less expensive. Langhe Nebbiolos are generally made from declassified fruit from the aforementioned regions of Barolo, Barbaresco and Nebbiolo d'Alba.


- Once named Enotria for its abundant vineyards, Italy (thanks to the ancient Greeks and Romans) has had an enormous impact on the wine world. From the shores of Italy, the Romans brought grapes and their winemaking techniques to North Africa, Spain and Portugal, Germany, France, the Danube Valley, the Middle East and even England. Modern Italy, which didn't actually exist as a country until the 1870s, once produced mainly simple, everyday wine. It wasn't until the 1970s that Italy began the change toward quality. The 1980s showed incredible efforts and a lot of experimentation. The 1990s marked the real jump in consistent quality, including excellence in many Region that had been indistinct for ages. The entire Italian peninsula is seeing a winemaking revolution and is now one of the most exciting wine Region in the world. For our entire Italian wine selection, click here. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of Italy.


- Piedmont is in the Northwestern region of Italy, bordering France and Switzerland. Piedmont is predominantly a plain where the water flows from the Swiss and French Alps to form the headwaters of the Po river. The major wine producing areas are in the southern portion of the region in the hills known as the "Langhe". Here the people speak a dialect that is 1/3 French and 2/3 Italian that portrays their historical roots. Their cuisine is one of the most creative and interesting in Italy. Nebbiolo is the King grape here, producing Barolo and Barbaresco. In addition, the Barbera and Dolcetto are the workhorse grapes that produce the largest quantity of wine. Piedmont is predominantly a red wine producing area. There are a few whites made in Piedmont, and the Moscato grape produces a large volume of sweet, semi-sweet and sparkling wines as well.