6 for $120 – April 20th, 2012

Hello and Happy Friday!

I’m excited to announce the release of the newest “6 for $120-Something” Sampler! The concept is simple; in the course of my tastings each month, I put together a mix of what I think are the best wines I’ve tasted in that $20-ish dollar range.  It is true that I used to simply call this the “6 for $120,” but in the interest of me having more flexibility, I’ve decided to not be so exact.

All of these wines are available by the bottle as well as the case, but the idea here is to give you a selection of wines that you will want to have stocked in your wine rack at home!

So email me to order your sampler, and pick it up at your convenience.  They are in stock and ready to go!

In other  news – please pardon the dust outside of my store.  I have no clue what the city is doing, but they may be ripping up a part of the sidewalk.  If you have a problem getting into the store, now or anytime in the future, I’m happy to provide “curbside service.”  Call ahead of time with payment, and honk or call me from your cell phone and you won’t have to even leave your car!  It is the closest I can get to a drive-through window!

Have a great weekend,


I’m thrilled to be able to offer this outstanding Italian red from the hills of Friuli.

I Clivi is one of the most important estates in the region, a historic property purchased by Ferdinando Zanusso in the early 90’s.  He purchased two ancient vineyards, planted on steep hillsides, with very old-vines.  After carefully nurturing these back to health, I Clivi began producing its first wine to instant acclaim.

“Galea” is a magnificent vineyard, primarily planted with the white grape varietals of Friulano and Verduzzo. A small part of the vineyard contains Merlot averaging 60 years old.  Merlot has been planted in this region for over 150 years, and is well suited to the climate and soil.  Comparisons to Pomerol and Saint-Émilion are often mentioned.

I’m really excited for you to try this outstanding red.  It is rich and deep with dark cherry, mineral and spice notes.  It can be paired with game birds or beef.  It is drinking well now, but also has the potential to age for another 5 years. Only 3,000 bottles are produced per vintage, and only during the best vintages.

I special-ordered the “Galea” Rosso from the winery, as very little is ever shipped to the United States.  I am the only retailer in the State of Illinois to offer this, and in order to fit it into this sampler I am running it for a limited time at the special price of $28.  It will return to its normal price of $31.99 after one month.  Get it while it lasts!


It’s that time of the year when celebrations take center stage.  Whether it is a school graduation or a wedding, many of us celebrate with sparkling wine.

With that in mind, I wanted to offer this excellent sparkling wine from the Canavese region of Northwest Italy.  Luigi Ferrando is a legendary producer in this distinct part of Piedmont.  Well-known for his red wines from the appellation of Carema, this sparkling wine is the hidden gem in his portfolio.

Hidden because he only makes 2000 bottles of this sparkling, produced in the same exacting manner as Champagne.  Erbaluce is the grape varietal used in this sparkling, an ancient variety that can only be found in the rolling hills around Caluso.  It is aged on its lees for over 18 months, gaining complexity and richness.

This is a real crowd-pleasing style of sparkling wine.  Aromatic notes of both stone and orchard fruits lead into a bright, refreshing, and long finish on the palate.  There is enough fruit here to keep it delicious, but it finishes dry with complex mineral and spice notes.

Let this become part of your next celebration, or if you like to drink sparkling on a more regular basis, this is a great value to become part of your “everyday” arsenal.

$23.00 BTL. / $138.00 SIX-PACK CASE

Long-time Perman Wine Selections fans will instantly recognize the name of Acústic Celler.  Albert Jané, a good friend of mine for over a decade, started his winery in the Montsant region, beginning with the 2004 vintage.  Albert grew up around wine, as his family owns Jané Ventura in Penedès.  His family had always focused primarily around local varieties, eschewing the fashion of growing international varieties and transforming them in to a style that could have come from anywhere.

Spain is a country that has incredible terroir.  This is often ignored as importers have been known to direct their wineries to produce a wine in a certain style, which does great disservice to the whole concept of terroir and the identity of the winery.  This is done to make “American-ized” wines.

It is important to support winemakers of integrity, like Albert, that continue the history and identity of a region, and aren’t looking to make “designed, perfect wines” rather making “the best quality from the area using only the old vineyards, indigenous varieties.”

Albert’s range of wines is stunning.  Soon, his new white and red Priorats will land on our shores, a surefire bet to find shelf space in my store.

To get to know this winery, it is important to start with his flagship wine, “Acústic.”  It is a blend of Garnacha and Samsó (a synonym for Carignan) from vines between 30 and 80 years of age.  Aged for 10 months in first and second use 225-liter French oak.

The 2009 Acústic is spectacular, and a must for any Rhône varietal fans.  A very fragrant nose with notes of ripe red berries and spice.  Medium-bodied, with great impact of flavor, but finishes with great clarity, length and balance.

Enjoy this with lamb or beef.  This is an outstanding value!

$19.00 BTL. /$228.00 CASE

After a short absence from the market, I’m thrilled that Edmunds St. John’s wines are back in Chicago, and while limited, available for wine fans like yourself.  So excited, that this is the second straight month I’ve offered one of his wines on the sampler.

Since I spoke about the winery last month, I won’t go into great detail.  The “Cliff’s Notes” version is that Steve Edmunds is a brilliant winemaker dedicated to producing wines with a sense of place.  For over 25 years, he has produced a range of wines from places like El Dorado County, San Luis Obispo County, Napa, and Mendocino.

“Bone-Jolly” Gamay is the type of wine I like to drink on an everyday basis.  Steve works with Ron Mansfield who owns Witters Vineyard in El Dorado County.  This vineyards sits at 3,400 feet of elevation and is composed of north-facing volcanic clay-loam soil.

The 2009 “Bone-Jolly” is so aromatic, with notes of raspberry, flowers and pepper spice.  True to the varietal, it offers a wonderful, soft texture on the palate, with more red fruits, refreshing acidity and good length.


Gamay is one of the greatest varietals we have for pairing with food.  Salmon, chicken, spicy Indian cuisine, the matches are endless.  Stock up this for your summer drinking!  With less than 300 cases produced, it goes quick!

$19.00 BTL. / $228.00 CASE


Austrian white wines continue to impress virtually everyone who comes in contact with them.  Let me tell you a little secret – the Austrians don’t need us!  It is actually kind of a hobby for most producers to sell around the world.  The fact is, Austria doesn’t produce THAT much wine.  The locals have a large appetite for the current vintage wines, and drink the majority of the annual production.

Luckily for us, we have many importers that go to great lengths to do a little pleading with Austrian producers on our behalf.   I’m glad they do because otherwise we wouldn’t have great wines like this delicious Grüner Veltliner from Kurt Angerer.

Based in the Kamptal region of Austria, Angerer is a family business that dates back to the the mid-1800’s.  The focus of the winery is on site-specific wines.  Grüner Veltliner, one of the most delicious varietals known to man, is very site-specific.  This bottling from Angerer comes from the Kies Vineyard, which is composed of red gravel and soil over bed rock.  It is fermented and aged all in stainless steel tank.

The result is a beautiful wine, with hints of apple and pear, along with spice and mineral.  This has enough texture to work with a wide range of foods.  In my humble opinion, you can’t have Spring without having Grüner Veltliner.  All those Spring vegetables will sing with this wine.  Just make sure you have a second bottle on hand because this goes down easily!

$19.00 BTL. / $228.00 CASE

Delicious, delicious Rosé – how could I ignore you this month?

Rosé comes in all shapes and sizes, and the influence of the varietal can have a dramatic impact on the aromas, flavors and body of the wine.  In an effort to make you an authoritative figure on Rosé I bring you one that almost no one you know will have tried before.

This Rosado, as the Spanish like to call it, is comprised entirely of the grape varietal called Mencía.  On last month’s sampler, you tasted a Mencía made in the region of Ribeira Sacra.  Here you travel farther northeast, to the warmer climate of Bierzo.  Home to many old vines, and a beautiful landscape, Bierzo is distinctly the bigger, brooding brother to Ribeira Sacra.

Bodegas Peique is a terrific, family-run producer located in the heart of the appellation.  The style of their Rosado is very fresh, fun and fruit-driven, with notes of wild strawberry, raspberry and a hint of herbs.

I implore you to not be a Rosé-hater, and give this delicious wine a try.  It can be drunk on its own, but also works well with grilled foods, fish, chicken or even beef.

$14.00 BTL. / $168.00 CASE

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