Hello and Happy Friday!
My holiday gift to you is the single best 6 for $120-Something Sampler I have ever released.
It’s the end of the year and that means there are a few deals to be had. One of my strengths as a taster and buyer is to sort through list of wines that are available, often at ridiculous prices. I wouldn’t touch the majority of closeouts, but at times like today, I’m able to find some gems.
This 6 for $120-Something Sampler features some really exciting new arrivals as well as some of those delicious and incredibly-priced wines.
For those unfamiliar, 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 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!
As a reminder, because of the holiday rush, I will be open for the next two Mondays. My full holiday hours are as follows:
Friday, December 21st: 12 to 8 pm
Saturday, December 22nd – 10am to 7 pm
Sunday, December 23rd – CLOSED
Monday, December 24th – 11am to 5pm
Tuesday, December 25th – CLOSED
Wednesday, December 26th – 12pm to 8 pm
Thursday, December 27th – 12pm to 8 pm
Friday, December 28th – 12pm to 8 pm
Saturday, December 29th – 11am to 7pm
Sunday, December 30th – CLOSED
Monday, December 31st – 11 am to 5 pm
Tuesday, January 1st – CLOSED
2008 Hudelot-Noellat Bourgogne Rouge
Stop what you are doing!
Fans of Red Burgundy always struggle with the fact that they crave the stuff, but don’t want to open a $50-$100 bottle on a Tuesday night. It doesn’t happen often, but I’ve got a solution for you – Alain Hudelot-Noellat’s Bourgogne Rouge!
Yes, this was surprisingly collecting some dust in a warehouse and now it is headed straight to your Burgundy-loving stomach!
This terrific Chambolle-Musigny-based producer also holds vineyards in Vosne-Romanée, Nuits-St-Georges, and Vougeot. This is a hard-working family domaine that is now in the hands of Charles van Canneyt (Alain’s grandson) and enologist Vincent Meunier.
Great attention to detail can be seen and then tasted with this domaine. Only natural yeasts are used, some pre-fermentation cold maceration is practiced and the appropriate amount of oak is used as well.
This great value Bourgogne Rouge offers the bright, black cherry notes that can be found in so many of his 2008’s, with a soft texture, pure fruit, and nice freshness. This won’t change your life or make you talk about terroir, but it will provide plenty of “yums” and as my friend Bill says, “happys.”
I only received 15 cases of this and it won’t last – so stock up today!
2009 Celler Pardas “Negre Franc”
There is a reason why I go to great lengths to direct import Celler Pardas. Ramon Parrera and his wife Monti represent all that is good with the Spanish wine scene. Impassioned, resolute in their mission and proud of where they come from.
They were fortunate enough to purchase a very special piece of the Penèdes region in their estate called Finca Can Comas. Over the first few years, they have developed a reputation as the leader in quality with the white grape Xarel.lo, which in the region, is typically blended into Cava. In the hands of Ramon and partner Jordi Arnan, it becomes a world-class white wine, on par with the best wines of Spain.
Yet, this old river valley also provides the base to grow Cabernet Franc and Sumoll of excellent quality. When I visited in September, Monti picked me up from the train station in Sant Sadurní d’Anoia, epicenter of the Cava trade. A quick drive to the winery allowed us to catch up. Upon arrival, we headed to the winery where Ramon was working hard, receiving Cabernet Franc from the 2012 harvest. A quick hello was followed by a change of t-shirts and promptly, I was helping sort Cabernet Franc on the sorting table. Very little had to be tossed out, a result of hard work and selection in the vineyard.
Eventually, our work was done and we headed to lunch in their home, first tasting through the new vintages of wine. It was there that I got a chance to taste the new vintage of one of their flagship wines, “Negre Franc.”
The 2009 is a blend of 66% Cabernet Franc, 23% Cabernet Sauvignon and 11% Sumoll sourced from 5 different vineyards. It is fermented in a mixture of concrete tanks and barrels, then aged in French oak of different sizes and ages.
Truly gorgeous, with young aromatics of cherries, currants, and licorice spice. Medium-bodied yet wonderfully balanced, with a dark and red fruits on the palate and Mediterranean spices and herbs. A truly complex bottle that keeps getting better sip after sip.
Do not miss this truly special Spanish red! Only 180 bottles imported into the US and only at Perman Wine Selections.
$24.00 BTL. / $144.00 SIX-PACK
2011 Palacios de Fefiñanes Albariño
I’m picky when it comes to Albariño!
Of all the Spanish white grape varietals, Albariño has probably become the most well-known. Unfortunately most of the examples that you see by the glass at restaurants throughout the US might as well be lighter fluid.
The department of Galicia in the Northwest of Spain is home to the varietal. At its best, it is an aromatic grape varietal, whose fruit profile range from citrus to tropical notes. It can develop an amazing mineral component depending on the producers’ vineyard holdings. At its lighter-fluid-worst, it can be overcropped, insipid, and basically devoid of anything interesting to say. That’s what happens when a varietal becomes popular and corporations take over the winemaking duty.
Luckily, there are producers like Palacio de Fefiñanes, who care about representing the best of Galicia, the best of Rías Baixas, and their own heritage which dates back to 1904. Since there aren’t many large estate vineyards, producers like Fefiñanes must purchase fruit, and in their case, from growers that they have had long term contracts with.
This Albariño is fermented and aged on its lees in stainless steel tanks. It offers a fresh and vibrant look at the grape. This is textbook Albariño and has been praised by virtually every major wine publication, and for good reason.
“Ripe orange, pear and nectarine aromas are complicated by notes of white pepper, herbs and honeysuckle. Pliant, expansive orchard and citrus fruit flavors show very good depth and energy, with a late note of bitter quinine adding grip. Finishes firm and long, with lingering spiciness and tangy minerality. 92 Points, Josh Raynolds, International Wine Cellar.”
Fans of Albariño, do not miss this!
$23.00 BTL. / $276.00 CASE
2005 Domaine de Piaugier Sablet “Les Briguières”
First I almost fainted, then I did a back flip over the fact that this beautiful wine was still available, and at a reduced price?!
Jean-Marc Autran is one of the truly great producers of the Southern Rhône, and his work in the Sablet appellation is admired by virtually everyone that loves great Rhône wines. Sablet is such a special terroir, offering wines that combine power and finesse.
Since I’ve offered many wines from the Autran family before on these pages, I’ll focus my energy on explaining what makes this particular wine so special.
“Les Briguières” is one of the top wines of the estate, from 45+ year-old vines in Sablet. The soil is diverse with clay, limestone and sand. This is a blend of Grenache and Mourvèdre, destemmed, fermented in tank and aged in small French oak barrels of different ages.
Going back in time, 2005 was a terrific vintage in the Southern Rhône Valley, and this wine is showing superbly, definitely at its peak. Spiced red berries, cracked pepper, red licorice, and other earthy aromatics and flavors, make this an incredibly complex wine.
Rhône-heads, please buy some of this and pair it with your favorite recipe of roasted beef tenderloin or leg of lamb. A flat out steal!
NV Fournier Crémant de Bourgogne “Cuvée F”
Another absolute “gift” of an offering on this 6 for $120-Something.
There are many regions in France outside of Champagne that produce excellent quality sparkling wines. For instance, Alsace with their Pinot Blanc-based sparkling called Crémant d’Alsace. The Loire Valley is the second largest producing region outside of Champagne with their Crémant de Loire, often based on Chenin Blanc. Then, there is Burgundy. Working with 2 of the 3 major Champagne grapes, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, this region and its Crémant de Bourgogne may offer the most similarity to Champagne.
Thierry and Muriel Fournier know how to make great sparkling wine! Hailing from the Champagne region, they own 11 hectares of vines near Epernay. As expansion within the Champagne region is often difficult for small producers because of the incredible expense in purchasing vineyard, the Fournier’s decided to expand their sparkling wine production to outside of the appellation.
They expanded to the Southern part of Burgundy, purchasing grapes namely in Rully, Mercurey, Volnay and Pommard. From these vines they make “Cuvée F,” a blend of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay from 40+ year-old vines. Fermented in tank using natural yeasts, it undergoes malolactic fermentation, and the secondary dosage is 6 g/l, leaving a dry, mineral and citrus-laden sparkling.
This is a spectacular deal on a great bottle of Crémant, as it normally retails for $19 a bottle. A great option for large holiday gatherings!
2007 Gorelli “Le Potazzine” Rosso di Montalcino
Tuscany produces a lot of Sangiovese of varying quality levels. Even within appellations such as Chianti Classico and Montalcino, there are poor to mediocre producers. That is where I come in, to introduce you to some of the top producers of their respective region.
A couple months ago, I featured an amazing Rosso di Montalcino from the estate Poderi Salicutti. This time I get to introduce you to a rising star in the region, Giuseppe Gorelli of “Le Pottazine.” This isn’t the oldest estate in Montalcino, producing its first vintage in 1988, yet in just over 20 years it has emerged as a star. Two vineyards in Montalcino, one at high elevation produce ripe grapes, with good balance and acidity. The wines are fermented using indigenous yeasts and only larger barrels are used.
2007 was an excellent vintage for Montalcino and this Rosso is absolutely singing right now. Check out the glowing review from Ian D’Agata of the International Wine Cellar. After you’ve checked it out, make sure you stock up on some. I only received 132 bottles and they should go quick— especially since this is normally at $30 retail.
“Bright medium ruby. Ripe, scented nose is redolent of red cherry, raspberry syrup, sandalwood and sweet spice. Dense and juicy, this alluringly ripe, fruity midweight tastes sweet and lush but has excellent flavor definition thanks to bright acids that lift its red berry, cherry and mineral flavors. Finishes almost fat, with sophisticated tannins and a creamy quality to its lingering aftertaste. Absolutely superb Rosso. Though they could make as many as 38,000 bottles of Brunello, this estate prefers to declassify part of its Brunello in order to make this excellent Rosso. Incidentally, the Gorelli family also runs the Le Potazzine restaurant/wine bar and wine shop in downtown Montalcino, where wine lovers can taste virtually every Rosso and Brunello made in the area. 91 points”