2009 Remelluri Rioja “Lindes de Remelluri”
You are about to witness a change. A change in the way that we talk about Rioja.
In my dream world, gone will be the days that we simply say, “oh, this wine is a Crianza, that wine a Reserva, and wow, you gotta try a Gran Reserva.” No mention will be made of modern vs. traditional based on whether the winery uses French or American oak. These concepts say nothing about the wine, nothing about the place, and ultimately leads to a kind of dull, commercialized description about one of the greatest wine regions in the entire world!
One winery looking to change the old way in which we talk about Rioja is that of Remelluri. This is one of the Rioja Alta sub-regions most prestigious properties. The history of the estate dates back to the 14th century, where it was used by the Toloño monks as a farm and sanctuary.
The modern history starts with the purchase of the estate in 1967 by Jaime Rodríguez. Today, famed winemaker Telmo Rodríguez is guiding the future direction of the winery.
The wine “Lindes de Remelluri” means “Borders of Remelluri.” The fruit comes from the villages of La Bastida and San Vincente. The vineyards are exceptionally high altitude, and the soil is composed of calcareous clay, which produced the most complex and nuanced grapes in the region.
Next year, Telmo will focus on wines exclusively from these villages, as many wine growers and wineries look to show the varied “terruños” of the many villages.
The 2009 “Lindes de Remelluri” is a really fantastic Rioja. Made primarily of Tempranillo, it also includes Garnacha, Graciano and the white varietal, Viura. The average vine age of these vineyards is 40 years-old.
I tasted this wine with a friend this week, and he remarked that it was “the type of wine he loves to drink in winter.” Beautiful red fruits, hints at forest floor and leather, as well as some spice from the year in French and American oak.
A truly exceptional value, and a great wine to pair with a classic roasted lamb dish, or a dish based on wild mushrooms.
$27.00 BTL. / $324.00 CASE
2008 Domaine La Madura Saint-Chinian “Classic” Rouge
There is always that search for the perfect table wine, that vin ordinaire you had whilst sitting under a Pernot emblazoned café umbrella, staring out into a milky Provençal sky, an Occitane languor surrounding you.
You drained the slightly chiled pichet as an orange sun melted into the horizon. You returned home, and commenced an exhaustive search for this wine that you had at the roadside, only to learn it doesn’t exist.
It may exist.
Craig introduced me to the La Madura Saint-Chinian Rouge “Classic” last year it became my house wine.
My very emphatic notes read, in part, “Domaine La Madura Saint-Chinian Classic- an exasperatingly perfect combination of silky textures and rough, rustic Languedoc spices. A blend of Carignan, Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvèdre.” It’s reliable and constant, all the while delicious and complex.
It’s as close as you are going to get to that hazy memory of a gentle afternoon in the South of France.
$15.00 BTL. / $180.00 CASE
2011 Le Rocher des Violettes Côt, Vieilles Vignes
Côt (pronounced kōh), is better known as Malbec, but this old-vines Côt from Le Rocher des Violettes is nothing like the ubiquitous, juicy, simple Malbecs from Argentina that dominate the category.
Malbec was born in in the Lot Department of France, in the Southwest where it most famously makes the dark, intense wines of Cahors. It made its way up through Bordeaux, where it is used as a blending grape, and then into the Loire.
Xavier Weisskopf, the winemaker and owner of the domaine, has 1.4 acres of extremely old vines Côt the oldest parcel of which was planted in 1891. Fermentation is whole cluster and the resulting wine spends six months in barrel.
There is a beautiful intersection where a soily-y, humus driven earth and the lushest of flowers converge. Peonies, spray roses and violets hum along happily with musty plums and a hint of dirty French-ness. Or Loire-ness.
A nice decant will improve the mood of this wine quickly.
$25.00 BTL. / $300.00 CASE
2011 Renato Ratti Barbera d’Alba
You can’t talk Piedmont without mentioning one of it’s most influential wineries, Renato Ratti. Located in the beautiful village of La Morra, Pietro Ratti is at the helm of a winery built on the reputation and hard work of his late father Renato. Respected by all in the region, Renato was influential in many ways, one of which was his tireless effort to show the uniqueness of the different villages and to highlights its most prestigious vineyards. Pietro’s work hasn’t gone unnoticed as he continues to this day to produce some of the most world-class examples of varietals such as Dolcetto, Barbera and Nebbiolo.
Up until the 2010 vintage, Ratti produced a Barbera called “Torriglione.” That name has been eliminated from the label starting in 2011, as a new appellation rule will only allow that name for Barolo DOCG. Although that change has been made, the wine has remained the same, with grapes coming from Torriglione situated on the outer edges of La Morra. This high altitude vineyard produces a very fresh, but complex style of Barbera.
It is fermented in stainless steel tank and aged for just six months in French oak barrels. Such pretty aromas of plum, cherries and spice. Texturally silky, but not lacking in concentration, this lip smacking Barbera is so easy to drink, and such a great foil for braised beef dishes.
I’ve worked out a deal with Ratti’s national importer that will allow me to sell this in 2013 for such a truly incredible price. You will not find a better Barbera deal than this, and it is one of the greatest values in my store. I’m so happy to offer a Barbera of this quality, at this price, that can be served like it was meant to be, at your dinner table each and every night.
$15.00 BTL. / $180.00 CASE
2008 Mills Reef Merlot / Malbec Reserve
I was looking for something different for this month’s “Six for $120-Something” and recalled how in the past I’ve really enjoyed many of the reds from New Zealand producer Mills Reef. So I called my local rep and asked if he had some, and his replied, made me chuckle. “You’re the first person that has asked for that in 5 years.” He was kidding, but not really.
A wine such as this gets utterly lost in the wine world. In some respects the average consumer simply knows New Zealand wine in two regards – cheap, innocuous Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough , and world-class, but pricy Pinot Noir from Central Otago. While that is an extreme overgeneralization, it’s kind of true. That makes me sad, although generalizations usually do. So it is my job to change that.
Mills Reef is an extremely well-respected producer located in the Hawkes Bay region on the Northern Island of New Zealand. Producing their first label in 1989, the winery was completed in Tauranga in 1995. Winemakers Tim Preston and Paul Dawick make a wide range of white and red wine. My recommendation is to start with their Reserve line, with the highlights coming from their Bordeaux varietals planted in the prized area of the Gimblett Gravels. These stony vineyards are perfectly suited for grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Malbec.
This wine is a blend 55% Merlot and 45% Malbec from the Plateau Vineyard and the top vineyard of the region called Mere Road. The wine was fermented in stainless steel tanks before spending a year in oak, a combination of mainly French oak and a little American oak. Very pretty aromas of blackcurrant, violets, and hints at cocoa. Medium-bodied with well-defined dark fruit, spice, and a just a hint of tannin. This would be delicious with some New Zealand lamb chops.
$19.00 BTL. / $228.00 CASE
2007 Londer Vineyards Chardonnay “Kent Ritchie Vineyard,” Sonoma Coast
There is a reason why you shop at Perman Wine Selections – you know we got your back! For instance, California Chardonnay when done right, from a great vineyard, and a winemaker who knows how to balance it all, can really be good. One problem, it never is an inexpensive proposition to get a great bottle, from a top vineyard – and rightfully so. So as a little bonus to buying this sampler, you are going to get to taste one of those, a wine that should retail for almost $40 bottles, but because of a change in distribution, I can sell the last cases of this wine to Perman fans for only $21.
Kent and Shirlee Londer founded Londer Vineyards in 2000, establishing a winery in the Anderson Valley of California. Along with consulting winemaker, Eric Stern they produce an array of delicious white wines from Chardonnay and Gewürtztraminer and some really good Pinot Noir’s. The Londer’s work with the famed vineyard owned by Kent Ritchie. Other names who make or have made a Ritchie Vineyard are Aubert, Palmeyer, Ramey, Swan, etc. This is known as a cool-climate vineyard bring in breezes through the Petaluma wind gap from the ocean.
This wine is really singing right now. Beautiful aromatics of apricot and honey, lead into textured, layered notes of orange, peach and spice. The finish is quite long, and ultimately well-balanced. Even at $40 this is an excellent value, but given its price, it is just another example of we got your back!
$21.00 BTL. / ONLY AVAILABLE THROUGH SAMPLER, REQUESTS FOR ADDITIONAL BOTTLES WILL BE TAKEN AND FILLED AT COMPLETION OF THE SAMPLER