Nicola Paone, '50s superstar of Italian-American music, and a hugely popular restaurateur.

Vallana

I don’t get too many chances to trot out the photo of Nicola Paone – or more accurately, we don’t get many chances to offer a large collection of old Vallana. The connection? In the mid-1990s, when Paone’s eponymous restaurant was on its last legs, the fantastic cellar was still in place, including lots of 1950s and 1960s Vallana, at prices which hadn’t changed for years. The food was… not so good. A fellow guest wondered if perhaps we could BYOF, and drink from the cellar. But it was worth it to try lots of old Piedmont wine, and it made a thorough Vallana fan out of me. Repeat tastings since then, including 1961 and 1964 Vallana Spanna Campi Raudii just last week, confirmed again that the wines are not just completely alive, but still drink beautifully. Jamie Wolff

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