9/15/17 Burgundy from Jean-Yves Devevey

Hello & Happy Friday!
First a bit of store news…
Regrettably, our new store on Howe St has not opened yet. We hope to open in the next couple weeks, and we will keep you posted as to its opening.
Thanks for your support and patience!
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As many of you know, each year Craig travels to France in April to visit Burgundy. This year the goal was to taste the upcoming 2015 vintage. This much-hyped vintage produced fantastic wines, and for the producer featured today, some of the best wines we’ve ever tried from him.
We decided to try something a little new with this newsletter. Since we feel that any Burgundy fan needs to try the new releases from our featured producer, we have decided to open all the wines up for you to try at an informal walk around tasting.
WHEN: Thursday, October 5th from 6:00-8:00PM (you can arrive at any point in that window of time)
WHERE: 1167 N Howe Street
WHAT: Taste the line up of 2015 Jean-Yves Devevey
COST: $25 per person
SIGN UP: Tickets are $25/Person. This is a informal walk-around tasting and limited to approximately 30 people. Attendees can stop in to taste anytime between 6 – 8 PM. Tickets are fully refundable with 72 hours and must be secured with payment. 312-666-4417.
Have a great weekend,
Craig, Jamie & Evie
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Jean-Yves Devevey
I met Jean-Yves through a mutual friend of mine who lives in Montreal and works in the business. We were actually in a bar in Beaune, when we ran into Jean-Yves who was there to get a beer after a long day of work. The two had met several times before, and soon after seeing each other, we were invited for a tasting at the cellar. I was immediately hooked on the wines.
Jean-Yves’s cellar is in the small hamlet of Demigny, which sits just on the Northern border of the Saône-et-Loire department in Southern Burgundy.
This is a small domaine, which manages 8 hectares of vines, 4 of which are owned by the family. Maybe its an overused statement, but Jean-Yves is truly a man of the vineyard. His journey in the wine business gave him the fundamental belief that working as naturally as possible, without the usage of chemicals in the vineyard is crucial to producing great fruit.
He is one of the most self-effacing winemakers I have ever met in 20 years in the business.
It is an important point because, I can tell you, virtually no one in the business knows about these wines. Possibly, In part because of the self-effacement, but also because of the size of the domaine. I can relate to Jean-Yves as a business owner. When you are hands on, and spend most of your time trying to do something to the best of your abilities, you often have little time for promotion.
WHY THESE ARE MUST BUYS: It’s hard to believe, but each year these wines keep getting better and better! The white wines at Devevey have always been terrific and incredible values, but in 2015 Jean-Yves produced his best red wines to do. Such purity and finesse, while at the same time have stuffing and length. THESE ARE WINES YOU WILL WANT TO DRINK EVERY DAY!
About the Hautes-Côtes de Beaune & Rully:
The Hautes-Côtes de Beaune is a large appellation, a series of non contiguous vineyards that start at Pernand -Vergelesses and continue down through Maranges, flanking the western side of the famous villages that lie between these two borders. Rully is in the Côte Chalonnaise and encompasses the villages of Rully & Chagny. The Hautes-Côtes produces an accessible, often nervy style of Burgundy and can be quite stylish and complex, especially when made under the deft eye of a producer like Devevey. Those of you who prefer a more lush and nutty style of Burgundy will be more attracted to Rully.
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The White Wines
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2015 Devevey Hautes-Côtes de Beaune Blanc “Champs Perdrix”
This vineyard, whose name refers to pheasants and to stones (Burgundians really love their rocks and birds) is a very stony plot underneath which are shallow, clay soils. This is a well-managed site and pruned very meticulously. The result is a concentrated, yet bright Chardonnay. Incredible value.
$31.99 BTL / $383.99 CASE
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2015 Devevey Hautes-Côtes de Beaune Blanc “Les Chagnots 18 Lunes”
Les Chagnots is a particular plot located at the bottom of “Champs Perdrix”. Fewer stones are evident here, but the exposure is excellent. Jean-Yves extends the elevage of this wine to 18 months (thus the nickname “18 moons”). Of all the whites we are offering, this one offers the most nervy character, and those of you who prefer Chablis or mineral-driven Chassagnes will be sure to love it.
$36.99 BTL / $443.88 CASE
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2015 Devevey Rully Blanc “Les Thivaux”
 
The lieux dit of Les Thivaux is in the western part of Rully and Devevey’s vines are planted on mostly clay, imparting a Meursault-like richness to the wine, at a fraction of the price. This wine is lush but maintains a snappy acidity. A beauty.
$38.99 BTL / $467.88 CASE
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2015 Devevey Rully Blanc “La Chaume”
La Chaume is a 1.25 hectare plot of 28 year-old Chardonnay vines, planted on marl in the commune of Rully. La Chaume presents a gorgeous nose of apples and hazelnut and is bright and structured on the palate. A truly outstanding wine, drinking well now and aging well for a decade in the cellar.
$41.99 BTL / $503.88 CASE
 
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The Red Wines
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2015 Devevey Hautes-Côtes de Beaune Rouge
A very pure and thoughtful expression of Pinot Noir, with red cherry and cranberry notes, earth and mineral. This is a lovely wine that begs to be drunk when young, but also has the ability to age. We recommend mid-term cellaring for this 3-5 years.
$32.99 BTL / $395.88 CASE
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2015 Devevey Rully Rouge “La Chaume”

Rully is more well-known for its white wines than red, but from that 1.25 hectare plot, the vineyard of “La Chaume” has produced a magnificent 2015 red. A combination of red and dark fruits, forest floor, and that classic mineral streak running through it. Truly exceptional value. Drink now, but this can be held through 2023.

$39.99 BTL / $479.88 CASE
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2015 Devevey Volnay
As many of you Burgundy fans know, Volnay has been decimated by weather related issues over the past handful of vintages. Luckily 2015 in Volnay was almost a return to normal. Devevey produced a wine that is exactly what you want from Volnay, pretty red fruit, finesse, purity and an exceptionally long finish. We just drank a bottle this week. Its delicious, but will gain in complexity through 2025.
$61.99 BTL / $743.88 CASE
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2015 Devevey Beaune “Pertuisots” 1er Cru
 
This has always been the top red from Devevey, and the 2015 is spectacular. Beaune is home to the most extensive vineyard in the Côte de Beaune. “Pertuisots” is one of 36 Premier Cru’s in the village. The soil is calcerous and clay, rich of sediments with excellent drainage. This is a wonderfully aromatic red with more dark than red fruit, spice and good structure. You can drink now, but it will be at its best between 2020-203.
 
$69.99 BTL / $839.88 CASE
 
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Posted in Friday Feature

9/8/17 Maison Blanche Bordeaux

Hello & Happy Friday!
We are starting off this newsletter with the announcement of an upcoming wine tasting! It’ll be the first tasting we host at the new Perman Wine Selections location and we’re very excited. Space will be limited and tickets must be secured in advance.
WHEN: Friday, September 29th from 5:30-7:00PM (you can arrive at any point in that window of time)
WHERE: 1167 N Howe Street
WHAT: Sample the wines of Cantina della Volta
COST: $10
SIGN UP: Secure your spot by calling the store with your payment information. Even though this is not a sit down tasting, space (and wine) is limited and must be reserved ahead of time. Call 312.666.4417 to sign up.
This will be an informal, walk-around tasting led by Beverly Malen of Imports Inc. She is pouring and talking about Cantina della Volta, one of our favorite producers in Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region. Looking to elevate Lambrusco, Cantina della Volta uses the Champagne-method for their sparkling wines and also makes a delicious still Chardonnay. Emilia-Romagna is known as Italy’s food capital, and nothing pairs with nutty Parmigiano-Reggiano and salty Prosciutto di Parma better than a well made Lambrusco.
Tickets are $10.00/Person. This is a walk-around tasting and limited to approximately 30 people. Tickets are fully refundable with 72 hours and must be secured with payment. 312-666-4417.
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This week’s newsletter focuses our attention on a region that generally doesn’t find itself in the spotlight at Perman Wine Selections. There are many reasons why we often avoid Bordeaux, but in the case of Maison Blanche, we will always put our differences aside.
This is a fantastic producer dedicated to quality over quantity. The property is certified organic and biodynamic, and not only do the wines speak to a sense of place, they are balanced, elegant and age-worthy. Definitely worth trying now or laying down for a treat later.
Have a great weekend,
Craig, Jamie & Evie
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Maison Blanche
 
It’s not often we feature a Bordeaux producer, so you know this is one we really believe is make extraordinary wine. Unlike a lot of the “modern” Bordeaux producers, Nicolas Despagne, of Maison Blanche is making classic, age-worthy wines.
Maison Blanche holds both organic and biodynamic certifications, quite a noteworthy feat in Bordeaux. With the determination to produce wines of quality and authenticity, as well as preserve the environment, Nicolas worked tirelessly to make it happen. It’s not just Nicolas’s determination and passion that makes him such a great winemaker, it’s also in his blood – the Despagne family roots in Bordeaux go back three centuries.
The family inherited the vineyards in Montagne in 1972, as well as those in Saint Emilion, Pomerol and Libourne. The actual estate dates back to 1875 under the Constant-Pineau family, handed later to Louis Rapin. Rapin replanted many of the vines between 1938 and 1964 and the holdings were expanded upon by the Despagne family to their current 32 hectares.
Vineyards are situated on gentle slopes of clay-based soils, comprised of Merlot and Cabernet Franc vines with an average age of 45 years. These soils provide the best raw material to make that classic and age-worthy style of Bordeaux that we know and love. Nicolas goes to great measures to ensure the essence of this pristine fruit is maintained, so all harvesting is done strictly by hand.
The vinification process involves minimal intervention, allowing only native yeasts to carry out fermentation and very little sulfur is added throughout the entire process. To maintain the character of the fruit, fermentation takes place first in stainless steel, then is racked into a combination of new and used French oak barrels. For this particular cuvée, the wine rests for 18 months before bottling.
This is without a doubt the flagship wine of the estate. A blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc with extremely low yields to produce wines with amazing concentration and complexity. All of the vintages we’re featuring have enough structure to hold up in your cellar for some time, yet aren’t too heavy for a taste now… We understand it can be hard to wait for such great wines.
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2013 Maison Blanche Montagne Saint-Émilion
Still in its youth, this wine has an ethereal character on the nose, with layers of fruit, mineral and spice. If you can wait, this wine has the ability to age for 20 more years.
$38.99 BTL / VERY LIMITED
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2010 Maison Blanche Montagne Saint-Émilion
This wine can be enjoyed now for its strength and character, or laid down for 10 to 20 years to really appreciate its finesse. Available in 1.5L format only.
$81.99 1.5L MAG / VERY LIMITED
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2008 Maison Blanche Montagne Saint-Émilion
Excellent structure with a beautiful balance of powerful, fleshy fruit and lively acidity. Certainly one you could also cellar to enjoy in its maturity.
$39.99 BTL / VERY LIMITED
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2000 Maison Blanche Montagne Saint-Émilion
This vintage offers aromas of plum, blueberry, cedar and leather that opens up to beautiful floral aromatics. The tannins have certainly softened giving way to an elegant and smooth mouthfeel with fruit notes still present along with earth, mineral and spice.
$68.99 BTL / VERY LIMITED
 
*3 LITER ALSO AVAILABLE / $314.99
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1999 Maison Blanche Montagne Saint-Émilion
Surprisingly still bursting with blackcurrant, raspberry and blueberry aromas, yet mature notes of cedar, smoke and coffee also come through. This wine is polished and has great acidity with a long, insanely delicious finish.
$68.99 BTL / VERY LIMITED
*3 LITER ALSO AVAILABLE / $283.99
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Posted in Friday Feature, Friday Feature

9/1/17 – French Odds & Ends

Hello and Happy Friday!
 
First things first, Perman Wine Selections will be closed on Monday, September 4th in observance of Labor Day. We will resume normal hours on Tuesday and we hope everyone enjoys the holiday weekend!
But before the weekend arrives, we’ve got some tasty wines to entice you…Every once in a while we write a newsletter where we highlight a wide array of recent arrivals, including many rare and allocated wines. This is one of those times.
Very limited offerings from some of our favorite producers in Burgundy, Jura and Chinon have recently been made available to us and we’re excited to have them in the store for you! Whether you want to experience them for yourself, add them to your cellar or give them as a special gift, these wines will not disappoint.
Due to the extremely limited quantity of these featured wines, we will confirm all orders individually and might not be able to fulfill all requests. And as always, we are happy to deliver wines to you if you aren’t able to make it to the store.
Have a great holiday weekend,
Craig, Jamie & Evie
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French Odds & Ends
 
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Domaine Fourrier
The Domaine Fourrier (previously known as Pernot-Fourrier) has a history in Gevrey Chambertin that extends over four generations. The estate was founded by Fernand Pernot during the 1930s and 1940s. Unmarried and childless, he enlisted the aid of his nephew, Jean-Claude Fourrier, who took over the Domaine in 1969.
Domaine Fourrier owns 9 hectares of vineyards spread amongst the communes of Gevrey-Chambertin, Morey-St.-Denis, Chambolle-Musigny and Vougeot. The holdings are scattered up and down the slopes and range from village to Grand Cru level. The impeccably tended vineyards are composed of vines of an average age between 50 and 70 years old.
Jean-Claude’s son, Jean-Marie now oversees the estate. Working with Mother Nature, intervening as little as possible in order to allow the vines, the terroir and the vintage to express themselves, is the basis of Jean Marie’s winemaking philosophy.  Sélection massale (use of cuttings from their own vines) is the only method used to replace missing or failing vines. Respect for terroir is a paramount principle. Chemical fertilizers are not used and treatments to combat fungus and insects are applied only when absolutely necessary. To capture the individual, unique expression of terroir in his wines, Jean-Marie vinifies each vineyard separately, not only the Premier and Grand Cru sites.
What ends up in the glass is a pure expression of terroir with as little interference as possible by the winemaker. Domaine Fourrier’s wines possess superb balance, enchanting elegance, finesse and complexity.
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2015 Domaine Fourrier Vieilles Vignes

This special bottling is sourced from vines with an average age of 80 years, many of which were planted as far back as 1929.

$105.99 BTL / EXTREMELY LIMITED

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2015 Domaine Fourrier “Aux Echezeaux”
 
Fourrier owns 0.47 hectare in this vineyard which is on the southern side of Gevrey, immediately on the border with Morey-St-Denis. Because of its location, it is a more tender and elegant wine, less tannic and more silky than the other Gevrey village wine produced at the domaine.
$105.99 BTL / EXTREMELY LIMITED
 
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2015 Domaine Fourrier Chambolle-Musigny
The Fourrier family has a series of small holdings within Chambolle Musigny. The village parcel covers .39 hectare and the vines were planted in 1936. Fourrier’s style marries particularly well to the finesse that is so critical to the proper expression of the Chambolle terroir.
$105.99 BTL / EXTREMELY LIMITED
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2015 Domaine Fourrier 1er Cru “Les Gruenchers”

In Chambolle, Fourrier has two separate 1er Crus. The more important (in terms of quantity) is the Les Gruenchers where the family owns .29 hectare. The vines were planted in 1928.

$216.99 BTL / EXTREMELY LIMITED
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Domaine Jean-François Ganevat
The landscape of the Jura is a sight to behold, and the perfect picture of how a mountainous region nestled between Burgundy and Switzerland should look. The Jura is home to 40 different grape varieties with styles so different that they easily overwhelm anyone unfamiliar with the region.
In the charming hamlet of La Combe, Jean-François Ganevat is making barrels and barrels of his diverse yet traditional wines. He comes from a long family history in wine, dating as far back as 1650, although the family supplemented their grape growing with a dairy that produced milk destined for the local cheese, Comté, until 1976.
After working both for his father and for the prestigious Domaine Jean-Marc Morey in Chassagne-Montrachet, Jean-François returned to the Jura in 1998 to take over the family domaine. With only 8.5 hectares under vine, the family had seventeen different local red and white varieties planted – a dizzying variation considering the small size of the vineyards.
Jean-François converted the domaine to biodynamic practices and creates a stunning number of cuvées, ranging between thirty-five and forty every year! All of his wines are de-stemmed by hand. He is also committed to minute doses of sulfur, so low in fact, that many fear it hurting the wines during transport. He curbs this issue by aging many of his whites on the lees for extended periods of time, anywhere from two to eleven years!  Jean-François Ganevat is truly a master of his craft.
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NV Domaine Ganevat “La Combe” Cremant du Jura
Champagne method sparkling made from 100% Chardonnay.

$49.99 BTL / EXTREMELY LIMITED

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2006 Domaine Ganevat Cuvée Prestige

Made from Savagnin planted on clay and marl soils.

$83.99 BTL / EXTREMELY LIMITED
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2014 Domaine Ganevat “Le Montceau” Blanc

A wine made by both Jean-François and his sister Anne. 100% Chardonnay.

$49.99 BTL / EXTREMELY LIMITED
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2008 Domaine Ganevat “Le Cuvée du Pépé”

Made from 70 year old Chardonnay vines.

$151.99 BTL / EXTREMELY LIMITED
 
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NV Domaine Ganevat “Le Jaja du Ben”

A unique joint project with his sister, Anne, made from 50% – 60% Gamay grapes from Beaujolais blended with 40% – 50% indigenous Jura varieties with an average vine age of 80 years.

$38.99 BTL / EXTREMELY LIMITED
 
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2013 Domaine Ganevat “Les Chalasses Vieilles Vignes”
100% Chardonnay vines planted in 1902 on gray marl soil.


$78.99 BTL / EXTREMELY LIMITED
 
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2006 Domaine Ganevat Vin Jaune

Made from 100% Savagnin vines planted in 1948.


$86.99 375ML BTL / EXTREMELY LIMITED
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Domaine Olga Raffault
Since Olga’s death a few years ago, Domaine Olga Raffault has been run by her granddaughter Sylvie.
The winemaking is most traditional. The grapes are handpicked and fermented in stainless-steel. The wines are then aged in larger, neutral oak and sometimes chestnut barrels traditional in the region. Wines from “les Picasses” spend two to three years in oak, to soften the tannins, and is usually released about 4 years after the vintage.

Raffault’s ‘les Picasses’ often has a light garnet color belying the depth of fruit flavor and complexity. Its style is rustic, quite earthy, with hints of orange zest and deep, dark cherry flavor. The tannins are soft, but present, and the mineral complexity in the finish is superb.

The estate also makes two more red cuvées, “les Barnabés” and “les Peuilles”, and a limited-quantity white wine from the Chenin grape, Chinon Blanc le Champ-Chenin.

We are excited to offer you some library vintages released by the domaine. If you want to explore aged Cabernet Franc from Chinon, or if you need a special occasion gift, these incredibly limited bottles are perfect for just that. Make sure to decant just shortly before serving.
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1977 Olga Raffault “les Picasses” Chinon
$91.99 BTL / EXTREMELY LIMITED
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1978 Olga Raffault “les Picasses” Chinon
$86.99 BTL / EXTREMELY LIMITED
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1979 Olga Raffault “les Picasses” Chinon
$91.99 BTL / EXTREMELY LIMITED
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1983 Olga Raffault “les Picasses” Chinon
$69.99 BTL / EXTREMELY LIMITED
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1985 Olga Raffault “les Picasses” Chinon
$61.99 BTL / EXTREMELY LIMITED
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1989 Olga Raffault “les Picasses” Chinon
$61.99 BTL / EXTREMELY LIMITED
Posted in Friday Feature, Friday Feature

8/25/17 – The 6 for “Everyday” Wine Club $15 and Under Edition

Hello & Happy Friday!
It’s the last Friday of the month, which means today’s newsletter announces the release of the new “6 for ‘Everyday’ – $15 and Under” wine club.
This month we evened it out with 3 whites and 3 reds. A couple of wines are new vintages of old favorites from Spain and Portugal; we’ve got a tasty every day Rhône red, and delightful little Soave from northern Italy. This month we’re also heading to the New World with a Malbec from Argentina and a California Sauvignon Blanc – both great expressions of popular grapes.
The wines are always available for pick up, and as a reminder we do have local delivery and shipping options available if you can’t make it into the store.
Have a great weekend,
Craig, Jamie & Evie
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6 for “Everyday” Wine Club – the $15 & under Edition
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2015 Château de Campuget “Tradition”
Costières de Nîmes, France
Château de Campuget is the adventure of a Northern family who came to settle not far from the Mediterranean, on the slopes of the Costières de Nîmes, during the war. Since 1942, the aim of the Dalle family has been to produce great expressions of Rhône Valley wines that respect the heritage of our soil and our identity. The round Rhône stones, the Southern sun, the Mistral winds and the Syrah and Grenache grapes are the basic elements which form the identity of Campuget.
Their vineyards are situated just south of Nîmes near the village of Manduel, right in the heart of the Costières de Nîmes AOC. The soil is primarily formed of ‘gress’, an accumulation of rounded pebbles that have been rolled by many overflows of the Rhône river thousands of years ago.
These pebbles permit the vines to grow in the best possible conditions and naturally filter the vineyard.
The vines, averaging 25 years of age, also benefit from the Mediterranean sunshine, which bring the grapes to perfect maturity and allows them to be picked at maximum phenolic maturity. The main varieties of grape are Syrah and Grenache for the reds and rosés and White Grenache, Roussane and Viognier for the whites, as are the most renowned vineyards in the Rhône Valley.
“Tradition” Rouge is a blend of 65% Syrah, 30% Grenache and 5% Mourvèdre. It is fermented in stainless steel to preserve fruit and freshness, then rests in barrels before being bottled at the Château. Garnet-red in the glass with aromas of black currants, hints of spices and pepper.
$15.00 BTL / $180.00 CASE
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2016 I Stefanini “Il Selese” Soave
Veneto, Italy
The Stefanini winery was established in 2003 by the Tessari family, however, the family’s history in grape growing dates back centuries. In fact, the winery was named after a distant ancestor, Stefano Tessari, who began experimenting with agriculture and grape cultivation in the 1800s!
Today I Stefanini has 20 hectares of vines in the cool-climate region of Valle d’Alpone near the east end of Soave. Father and son team Valentino and Francesco Tessari oversee every aspect of the winemaking process from the vineyard to the winery.
In the vineyards, they make sure to cultivate the vines while respecting the land and exalting the quality of the fruit. They also uphold the traditional winemaking techniques of Soave, which means refraining from oak barrel aging, and instead using stainless steel. This ensures a fresh and fruity style of wine.
“Il Selese”, made from 100% Garganega, displays ripe peach, apricot, white flowers and that hallmark almond note you get with the Garganega variety on the nose. The texture is smooth and medium-bodied with plenty of acidity and a delightfully long mineral finish.
$15.00 BTL / $180.00 CASE
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2015 Teira Wines “Woods Vineyard” Sauvignon Blanc
Dry Creek Valley, California
 
Teira Wines is a small, family-owned and operated producer located in the Dry Creek Valley of Sonoma County. Founded in 1974 by Dan and Alexis Donahoe, whose roots in the wine business go very deep. Dan’s passion for wine was actually sparked by Julia Child, his Grandmother’s best friend. Alexis’s father, Frank Woods, founded Clos du Bois Winery and their vineyard manager Duff Bevill farms for some of the best, including the notable Merry Edwards in Dry Creek.
Named after Dan & Alexis’ daughters, Thea & Keira, Teira is a loose play on the term “Terrior,” and highlights the family’s dedication to their sustainable farming practices in Dry Creek Valley.
Their “Woods Vineyard” estate vineyard is located in Healdsburg, only one mile from the border with the Russian River Valley AVA. It is planted to 20 acres of Sauvignon Blanc, 4 acres of Zinfandel and 32 acres of Merlot. Located on rich, clay loam soil right on the Dry Creek watershed, the vineyard gets characteristic hot days and cool nights, which gives balance to and fruit to the Sauvignon Blanc.
Unlike some of the grassy versions you can find in California or New Zealand, Teira has found a balance between new world and old world style on the nose and palate. Classic Sancerre-like minerality on the nose, with hints of pineapple, pear and white peach. Light and crisp on the palate with flavors of spicy grapefruit, tangerine and lemon zest.
$15.00 BTL / $180.00 CASE
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2014 Luminis Allamand Malbec
Valle de Uco, Argentina
Cristian Allamand has over 20 years of grape growing and winemaking experience in Argentina. He even studied viticulture not just in college, but as early as high school. After some time gaining experience at other wineries, Cristian, along with the help from his long time rugby friend Martin Castro, decided to dedicate himself to producing terroir driven wines with fruit that comes exclusively from vineyards owned and managed by him.
Cristian now has 50 hectares of vines amongst two different distinctive areas, Lujan de Cuyo and Valle de Uco. The Allamand line of wines specifically expresses the uniqueness and finesse of their vineyards in the Valle de Uco region.
Located at more than 3,000 ft above sea level, and being at the foot of the Andes range, Valle de Uco is the birth place of some of the most refined and elegant Malbecs in Argentina. This is a far cry from some of the overripe and flabby Malbecs that are out there!
Cristian makes sure to use proper management of the key viticultural variables such as irrigation, fertilization, canopy management, and soil management. This, along with their vines having deep root systems, translates to fruit with complexity, intensity, and natural acidity, resulting in balanced and harmonious wines.
The 2014 Valle de Uco is deep purple in color with violets, peppercorn and black cherry notes on the nose. On the palate there are plenty of red fruit notes along with black pepper and a hint of green herbs. Definitely a full bodied wine, yet with that naturally refreshing acidity you get with Malbecs from Valle de Uco.
$13.00 BTL / $156.00 CASE 
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2016 Quinta do Ameal Loureiro
Vinho Verde, Portugal
This is a wine many of you loved in the past, and we are excited to bring in the newest vintage.
In fact, it isn’t just our customers, and us, who fell in love with the wines of Ameal, multiple wine publications including The Wine Advocate recognized the 2015 vintage as one of the great wines of Vinho Verde.
The 2016 Loureiro certainly matches the quality and deliciousness of the last vintage. This is due in large part to the continued passion and dedication of owner, Pedro Araujo. Pedro believes the Loureiro grape is a noble variety, behaving similarly to a great Riesling. It has beauty and freshness in its youth, but with age, it begins to put on weight and increase in complexity.
However, it’s important to mention one huge difference between a great Riesling and the wines of Ameal, you pay significantly less for a great bottle of Ameal. It’s simply one of the best value white wines you’ll find out there!
Made entirely from the Loureiro variety, grown on the granite soils of the Ponte de Lima sub-region. This wine possesses the perfect balance of floral and citrus fruit aromas. Lemon peel, grapefruit, orange blossom, along with some mineral notes all appear on the nose. And unlike most wine from Vinho Verde, this has some body to it with a smooth texture, yet also a crisp quality and a complex, persistent finish.
For those of you who haven’t tried the wines of Ameal yet, we strongly encourage you to take advantage of this incredible wine at an insane value.
$15.00 BTL / $180.00 CASE
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2016 Vendrell Rived “Seré” 
Montsant, Spain
Josep M. Vendrell-Rived is one of a handful of small Catalan producers we have fallen in love with over the years, Craig having been introduced to the wines by the dynamic Albert Jané of Acustic Cellers.
The Vendrell family had long produced grapes, selling them to producers in Catalunya. They still do sell grapes today, but some of their finest plots are kept for their own wines, under names like L’Alleu, Miloca, and the Seré we’re featuring in our set of 6 today.
We started bringing in these wines about five years ago. This is one of, if not the best, under $15 values in Montsant. A Garnaxta and Cariñena blend, give this a little air, as it really opens up with notes of wild strawberry, blackberry, and spice notes.  It is medium-bodied, complex and really manages to stay fresh and easy to drink. Excellent with lamb and dishes with North African spices.
$15.00 BTL / $180.00 CASE
Posted in 6 for "Everyday" Wine Club

8/18/17 – The 6 for “Everyday” Wine Club – $30 and under Edition

 

Hello & Happy Friday!
It’s that time again, we’re back with another release of “The 6 for Everyday – $30 & Under” wines. If you’ve been downtown, you’ve probably heard the roar of fighter jets overhead practicing for the Air and Water show. Many a Chicago resident begrudgingly looks at this weekend’s festivities as a signal that summer’s end is near.
But don’t worry – we’re sure there are plenty of warm days to come, so we picked out some great wines that will still allow you to enjoy the summer and also stay prepared for any cooler days that might be hiding around the corner.
Get ready to travel the globe with every glass. We’re showcasing Italy, Australia, Spain, Portugal, France and Austria in the line up and can’t wait for you to try all of them!
The wines are here for pick up at the store, and we also have local delivery and shipping options available.
Have a great weekend,
Craig, Jamie & Evie
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6 for “Everyday” Wine Club – The $30 & under Edition
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2015 Paolo Scavino Barbera d’Alba “Affinato in Carati”
Piemonte, Italy
Those of you who know us are well aware that we are huge fans of Paolo Scavino wines. We have always tried to offer our customers a handful of the top growers from Piemonte, and the Scavino wines are consistently on that list.
Now in its fourth generation under sisters Elisa and Enrica Scavino, this is a special estate that owns 23 hectares of vines in 19 Barolo Crus (vineyards). Dedicated to their vineyards and grapes, Elisa’s father is also a great innovator in the winery, even designing tanks that allow the cap to be totally submerged, a process that is more gentle, and just one example of the thought process that goes into making the most beautiful wines and letting the terroir shine through.
This unique Barbera is no exception to the Scavino philosophy. First made in 1988, it comes from the oldest Barbera vines on the estate. Elegant and with remarkable aging potential, it is vinified in stainless steel and then aged for about a year in neutral oak (“affinato in carati” translates to “aged in barrels” in Italian) to let the wine evolve, and to bring out the complexity of the Barbera grape.
Silky and concentrated with intense notes of black cherry, blackberry, cinnamon and licorice.
$25.00 BTL / $300.00 CASE
 
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2016 Leeuwin Estate “Art Series” Riesling
Margaret River, Australia
 
The Leeuwin estate is one of the five founding wineries of the now world renowned Margaret River wine region. Family-run, alongside highly skilled winemakers of the region, Leeuwin continuously produces some of the world’s finest wines.
It was in 1972 that Denis and Tricia Horgan transformed their cattle farm into the Leeuwin Estate, under the mentorship of Robert Mondavi. Soon after, they began to receive numerous accolades from the wine industry and continue to receive international praise today.
Due to their hard work and continued success, the estate now has several labels they release. The “Art Series” represents Leeuwin’s most opulent and age-worthy wines and paintings from leading contemporary Australian artists adorn the labels.
Not only is the label a work of art, the wine itself is also a beautiful expression of Riesling that will certainly enlighten the tastebuds.
Lifted and bright, with definite minerality and great clarity. The nose opens with elements of lemon and lime and hints of kaffir, jasmine, sesame seed and wet stone. This wine has a finely structured palate with a delicate texture and flavors of lemon pith, lime and cardamom.
$21.00 BTL / $252.00 CASE
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2016 Schloss Gobelsburg “Cistercien” Zweigelt Rosé
Kamptal, Austria
A Cicstercian monastic estate that dates back to 1171, making it one of the oldest wineries in the Austrian Danube region. Willi Bründlmayer and Michael Moosbrugger are the current owners of the estate, and uphold the organic and sustainable farming methods that the monks practiced for decades.
The estate is comprised of some of the finest vineyards in all of Austria, located near the town of Langenlois and the village of Gobelsburg. And though one of the most important grape varieties for the estate is Grüner Veltliner, cool climate red varieties also do very well in this area.
Zweigelt, St. Laurent and Pinot Noir are all grown in the cooler vineyard sites of Gobelsburg and Langenlois. These vineyards are made up of pebbles and gravel with a top soil consisting of black and loamy soil and loess. All three grapes are used in the Cistercien rosé.
The grapes are hand harvested and the vinification process really emphasizes the fine fruity character of the grapes as well as retains the natural acidity that gives the wine a streamlined elegance.
There are aromas of nougat and honey on the nose, with wild cherry and fresh berry notes on the palate. A lean and fresh style of rosé and an optimal food companion.
$16.00 BTL / $192.00 CASE
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2014 Viña Mein Tinto Atlantico 
Ribeiro, Spain
Javier Alen, founder of Viña Mein, played a major role in revitalizing Ribeiro’s traditional viticultural practices reestablishing the ancient varieties of the region. Known primarily for white grapes, Javier also decided to plant red Galician grapes that include Caíno, Mencía and Ferrón. This started as a purely experimental side project, but sparked a passion for viticultural exploration.
The grapes for the Tinto Atlantico come from a relatively new parcel of land which sits on an east facing hillside, made of granite soils. This red showcases the Atlantic nature of Ribeiro and the great possibilities for red wine in the region.
A blend of 33% Caíno, 33% Brancellao and 33% Souson from vines with an average age of 20 years grown sustainably and biodynamically. The grapes are meticulously selected by hand to ensure the highest quality. Once in the winery, Javier practices minimal intervention and uses old 500 liter oak barrels for fermentation and aging.
This is a light-bodied, elegant wine with red fruit notes and a mineral backbone and fresh acidity throughout. It is very well-balanced and a great red option for warmer summer days or nights.
$29.00 BTL / $348.00 CASE
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2016 Casa de Saima “Vinhas Velhas” Branco
Bairrada, Portugal
Casa de Saima is a small, family run producer in the Portuguese region of Bairrada. They are very passionate about their small home region, which is well-known for producing excellent sparkling and red wines, though their white wines can be equally if not perhaps more impressive.
This Atlantic-influenced region grows the indigenous varieties of Maria Gomes and Bical to make both their sparkling and white wines, and most often use the finicky Baga grape to produce their red wines.
Casa de Saima was founded in 1940 with 18 hectares of vineyards located on small plots of land, situated in the best “terroir” of the region. Winemaker Graça Miranda of Casa de Saima runs this small family winery in Sangalhos in Bairrada and is dedicated to showcasing the potential of these indigenous grapes that can be difficult to grow, but produce amazing wines.
If you are a fan of Muscadet from the Loire Valley, this briny, complex white is something you must try. A blend of 70% Bical, 20% Maria Gomes and 10% Cercial makes for a beautifully complex and balanced white that can age for up to two decades! The grapes for this wine were hand-selected and allowed to ferment with natural yeasts. A little time on the lees also adds to the complexity and brings out notes of flint, mineral, citrus, orange blossom and salty sea air.
$18.00 BTL / $216.00 CASE 
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2016 Martin Texier “Brézème” Côtes du Rhône
Rhône Valley, France
Martin Texier is the son of the the now famous northern Rhône natural wine producer, Eric Texier. Martin began making wine in 2014, once he realized his calling.
Before wine, he studied economics, ventured into music (he is an accomplished DJ) and also spent time in New York City learning about the wine trade. It was after his time in New York that he decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and return to the vines.

Martin now has five hectares in and around St.-Julien-en-St.-Alban, planted to classic Rhône varieties. The rainbow of different soil types (clay, limestone, gneiss, schist and granite), allow for a wide range of different styles of wine to be made. Martin’s passion is to revive the local traditions of working the natural way, both in the vineyards and in the cellar (native yeast fermentations, no sulfur). The results he has been getting this early in his career are a clear testament to his skills.

Brézème is an anomaly in the northern Rhône. It is a single slope of rocky, broken down limestone (compared to the granitic soils that are dominant in the area) planted to only 22 hectares of vines, the majority of them farmed by Martin and his father. The grapes for Brézème are sourced from 30-year-old Syrah vines. Half-destemmed, and pressed after a ten-day maceration. Élevage is done in concrete tank with no sulfur added. Very elegant Syrah with a nose of bright red plum, savory herbs, peppercorn and hints of that classic meaty note.
$22.00 BTL / $264.00 CASE
Posted in 6 for "Everyday" Wine Club

8/11/17 Two Terrific Reds

Hello & Happy Friday!
The new store continues to progress, and this week our shelves are being installed by the talented crew of Lagomorph Design. Things are starting to get real. We can’t wait to fill them with our favorites.
And speaking of favorites, this Friday we wanted to talk about two of our most beloved red wines. We know that those of you who prefer red wine are probably tired of hearing about the latest summer whites and rosés, and even though summer is still going strong, we got in some spectacular reds that we wanted to share with everyone.
If you like reds with complexity and a balance of fruit and earth/mineral notes, both of these will excite you as much as they do us. They are great alternatives to older red Burgundy, without the steep hit to your wallet.
Have a great weekend,
Craig, Jamie & Evie
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Passopisciaro
Among Italy’s numerous wine regions, the Mount Etna region in northeastern Sicily seems an unlikely site for producing quality wines. Mount Etna is an active volcano that has erupted from time to time for thousands of years. Nonetheless, it is one of Italy’s most intriguing wine regions and vintners are now scrambling to purchase vineyard property in the area.
Etna’s primary vineyard sites rise up the slopes to an elevation of 3,500 feet and higher – the highest commercial vineyards in the world. The steep slopes and terraced vineyards are difficult to navigate with mechanical equipment so most of the vineyard work and harvest has to be done by hand. Winters at these elevations can also be harsh and the summers hot and dry. You have to be committed, patient and tough to run a winery on Mount Etna.
The vineyards are rich with volcanic nutrients that add to the complexity of the wines. Wine production is mostly dry reds and whites. By regulation reds must have a minimum of 80% Nerello Mascalese, a little-known indigenous variety that is produced only in the Mount Etna region. It is a deeply colored, thick-skinned variety that contributes gritty tannins and vibrant acidity to the Etna Rosso blend. It is often blended with another native grape, Nerello Cappuccio.
Passopisciaro’s Andrea Franchetti arrived on Mt. Etna in 2000 as one of the first of the modern wave of producers drawn to the volcano. There he found 70-100 year-old bush-trained vines across the northern side of the volcano. The old vineyards were situated at optimal sites between 550 and 1000 meters (1800ft – 3300ft) above sea level.
The grapes for his wines are taken from various contrade(crus, much like you see in the region of Barolo) of Malpasso, Guardiola, Santo Spirito, Favazza and Arcuria. Generally, the higher crus are on a more gravelly soil, the lower ones in a deeper powder made with more oxidized, older lavas.
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2014 Passopisciaro “Passorosso” Etna Rosso
Formerly Passopisciaro, “Passorosso” is made from Nerello Mascalese, blending fruit from different contrade of varying altitudes and soil types on the volcano.
This wine is a holistic expression of the breadth of flavors that Etna can produce from its unique growing environment. The wine ages in large, neutral oak barrels and is bottled unfiltered, presenting an interpretation of Nerello Mascalese that is bright, pure, red-fruited, mineral, and herbaceous. With age, it will begin to lose its color and gain exotic aromas of rosemary, sandalwood, and spice. The first vintage of Passopisciaro was in 2001. Starting with this vintage, the newly named “Passorosso” has been designated Etna Rosso DOC.
$35.99 BTL / $431.88 CASE
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R. López de Heredia
It all started with Don Rafael López de Heredia who first discovered the land in Rioja Alta in the 1800s. He knew even then that the area offered the perfect combination of soil and climate to produce world-class wines.
Generation after generation the land has been passed down through a family of artisan winemakers, with María José currently at the helm. For her, everything she does in the vineyard and cellar is rooted in tradition, with a non-conformist and self-critical attitude that enables her to produce unique wines of supreme quality.
In fact they have such conviction of the superiority of their land that since 1877 there has not been a single grape from another wine region ever been used to make any of their wines. In addition to the exceptional site of their vineyards, they uphold viticultural practices that ensure wines of terroir.
Typically, Rioja is not known to produce wines of terroir. However, the wines of López de Heredia very much break the mold. Each of their vineyard sites produce a wine specific to the identity of their soil and microclimate.
The wines of López de Heredia are definitely cult wines with a worldwide demand which inevitably leads to small allocations. So if you have yet to try their wines, you definitely don’t want to miss getting your hands on a bottle.
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2005 R. Lopez de Heredia Viña Bosconia Reserva
 
The Viña Bosconia comes from their 15 ha El Bosque vineyard. It sits next to the river Ebro at an altitude of 465m on south facing foothills of the Sierra Cantabria range. The vines have an average age of 40 years, planted on clay and limestone soils. The grapes that come from this vineyard site always elicit wines that are full-bodied yet elegant, and have great expression and complexity.
Made primarily of Tempranillo and traditionally blended with 15% Garnacha, 3% Graciano and 2% Mazuelo. Bosconia is aged for five years in American oak barrels and then rested in bottle until release. This aging process brings out some incredible aromatics of wild cherries, spice, vanilla and earthy autumnal notes of dried leaves and cedar.
$33.99 BTL / 36 BOTTLES AVAILABLE
Posted in Friday Feature, Friday Feature

8/4/17 Goodfellow Chardonnay new release

Hello and Happy Friday!
 
We have been getting a lot of questions about the new store lately, especially with the giant Perman sign visible from Division Street. Construction and design are coming along well and still on track for a mid-September opening! We can’t wait to welcome you all to the new space and let you explore it on your own.
And as always, we’re still hard at work at 802 W Washington and here to help you with any of your wine and craft spirits needs. This week we’re thrilled to have the new vintage of Goodfellow arriving. It is truly some of the best (and perhaps underrated) Pinot Noir and Chardonnay coming out of Willamette Valley.

Have a great weekend,
Craig, Jamie & Evie
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Goodfellow Family Cellars
We tried the newest release of the Goodfellow wines at the store with Marcus Goodfellow in June. It was at that moment all three of us fell in love with his Chardonnay and couldn’t get over how amazing it was. Then just this past week, I took a trip to Oregon and met up with Marcus at his winery.
We looked at his sorting tables and barrels (which he labels as old tv crime shows or comic book authors to keep track of). He also showed us his cement egg fermenter and he poetically explained the physics behind it and the benefit it has on the wine. In summary, the circular momentum creates a more balanced, well-rounded wine.
Then it was onto tasting… Once again I was blown away with how Burgundian-like his Chardonnay was, as well as his Pinot Noir. It is worth highlighting his Chardonnay because it is a grape that has not always done well in Oregon. Many Oregon winegrowers used to blame the clone that they were using, but as Marcus pointed out, it’s really the viticulture and vinification practices that make the difference.
Marcus, and co-owner Gaironn Poole, work directly with their farmers to develop a close connection to the vines. Each vineyard that they source their grapes from are non-irrigated, pesticide free and looked after scrupulously.  They find that this gentle farming and connection to the vine helps them produce wines with a sense of place.
That philosophy continues in the cellar: minimal intervention, letting the desire to express the true nature of the grape dictate their winemaking style. They compare their vinification practices to performing a tango, letting the grape take the lead and moving to its rhythm so that the “dancers” become one singular expression.
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2014 Goodfellow Willamette Valley Chardonnay
For the Willamette Valley Chardonnay the whole cluster fruit is slowly pressed and fermented with indigenous yeasts at cool temperatures, as well as on it’s lees to produce a wine with texture and depth. The complexity of this wine starts in the vineyard – the Chardonnay vines are strategically planted below the Pinot Noir in order to benefit from the incoming northwest winds that thicken the skins, resulting in great flavor complexity.
These are wines you can cellar, like any great white Burgundy. Marcus and Gaironn feel that their wines are very much Oregonian, yet steeped in Old World traditions. They make their wines for those who have a discerning palate, an appreciation for nuance, and a desire to drink absolutely delicious wine.

This wine has aromas of ripe yellow pear, toasted almonds and faint baking spice that open up to white flowers and a hint of banana. The palate offers a velvety texture with a stony-mineral backbone and lengthy finish you wish would never end. Goodfellow wines consistently offer a transparent feeling and character of place, and this Chardonnay is no different!

$24.99 BTL / $149.94 SIX PACK CASE
Posted in Friday Feature

7/28/17 – The New 6 for “Everyday” Wine Club – The $15 and Under Edition

Hello & Happy Friday!
It’s the last Friday of the month, which means today’s newsletter announces the release of the new “6 for ‘Everyday’ – $15 and Under” wine club.
This month we bring you a fun global mix from Italy, Portugal, South Africa and Germany. Our focus was to pair the wines with the summer weather, so you’ll get a couple of lighter reds, whites and a picnic-friendly rosé.
The wines are always available for pick up, and as a reminder we do have local delivery and shipping options available if you can’t make it into the store.
Have a great weekend,
Craig, Jamie & Evie
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6 for “Everyday” Wine Club – the $15 & under Edition
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2014 Le Monde Pinot Bianco
Friuli, Italy
Le Monde is located in Grave del Friuli which extends from the foothills of the Alps to the Adriatic Sea. The estate has been in this famous region since the early 1700’s, making it the only rural house from this period still operational in the area.
Proximity to the Adriatic brings in cooling breezes, combined with bright sunshine and the calcareous clay soils, give the grapes of Le Monde complexity, richness and enhance the longevity of the wines.
Owner and winemaker Alex Maccan believes in letting the great terroir speak for itself. Additionally, when it comes to viticulture, Alex is of the opinion that responsible farming and high quality wines go hand-in-hand. Thus, he lets mother nature do the talking, practicing minimal intervention when it comes to the winemaking.
Alex’s Pinot Bianco is smooth and robust on the palate, and has both balance and richness with flavors of orchard fruit and a pure minerality. On the nose aromatics of exotic fruit, white peach and hints of sweet spices jump out of the glass. Try this with grilled fish or given its body, it can even be paired with white meat and pork dishes.
$15.00 BTL / $180.00 CASE
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2016 Quinta de Porrais Branco
Douro Valley, Portugal
The new vintage of one of our favorite Portuguese whites just landed and this year it is even better than before!
Quinta de Porrais was once the property of Dona Antónia, or Ferreirinha as she was called, a 19th century winemaking pioneer.  It is located in the Douro Superior, an area well documented for producing high quality white grapes, as well as refined red wines.
The Porrais Branco is a blend of two local varieties, 55% of Códega do Larinho and 45% of Rabigato.  In the Douro Superior and at Quinta de Porrais they have high elevation vineyards, in this case with 600 meters of altitude and planted in shale soils. The altitude is an important factor in the freshness of this white wine.
Reminiscent of some of our favorite aromatic whites from Alsace, this wine opens with beautiful aromas that hint at citrus, lime zest, melon, and spice. Fresh and zesty on the palate, we think it is brighter and more vibrant than in previous years.
Drink it as an apéritif, but this versatile wine will pair with a variety of seafood dishes, and even simply prepared pork. And if you’re heading to Fat Rice any time soon, this would be a great selection to pair with the menu.
$15.00 BTL / $180.00 CASE
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2016 De Meye Shiraz Rosé
Stellenbosch, South Africa
 
De Meye estate is situated in South Africa’s most prestigious wine making area of Stellenbosch, in the sub-region of Greater Simonsberg. The estate is named after the De Meye River in Holland, where Jan Myburgh’s relatives lived before sailing for South Africa in 1665. Jan and his son Philip currently grow some of the best grapes in the region.
With the help of talented winemaker Marcus Milner, who has strong beliefs against high-alcohol and over-extracted wines, the estate reflects an “Old World” style of winemaking. They also adhere to strict environmentally-friendly practices both in the vineyard and in the cellar. In fact, they’ve been certified by the EuroGAP and are members of the Cape Organic Producers Association.
Grapes for this Shiraz rosé were hand picked and whole-bunch pressed, with only 30 minutes of skin contact, then fermented in stainless steel tanks to ensure freshness and purity of fruit.
On the nose it displays aromas of watermelon, strawberry and toffee apple. While on the palate there are plenty of spice and herbal notes that integrate nicely with the core of red fruit flavors. This rosé has some weight to it, along with a good amount of acidity and crisp finish.
$15.00 BTL / $180.00 CASE
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2015 Richard Böcking “Devon” Riesling
Mosel, Germany
Richard Böcking has 17 acres of vineyards in Traben-Trarbach which sits in the famed Mosel River Valley, one of the finest growing regions for Riesling in the world. There is a new generation of Böckings who run the estate with the goal to produce the finest wines from the aged slopes of Trarbach.
Böcking has five very steep-sloped, blue Devonian slate rich vineyards, all of which are sustainably farmed. The fruit for the “Devon” comes from four of their five single cru vineyards which include: Burgberg, Ungsberg, Schlossberg and Taubenhaus.
The fruit is picked relatively early in the season and sorted by hand which allows only the best grapes to be used in the cuvée. After harvest, grapes are fermented at cold temperatures in 100% stainless steel tanks. This process, along with early picking, produces a fresh style of Riesling with balanced acidity and a bright mineral quality.
As the most popular wine of the estate, “Devon” is dry, crisp and lean. It shows delicate notes of stone fruits and white flowers, along with a fine minerality. This is a wine that can accompany a myriad of foods as well as excellent to drink on its own.
$15.00 BTL / $180.00 CASE 
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2013 Massolino Dolcetto d’Alba
Piemonte, Italy
Last week we featured the Massolino Langhe Nebbiolo, and this week, we’re excited to have another of this great producer’s reds: Dolcetto.
The Massolino winery, located in the village of Serralunga d’Alba is one of Italy’s greatest wine treasures. This historic producer began in 1896 under the leadership of Giovanni Massolino, and continues today under the watchful eyes of Franco and Roberto Massolino.
The Massolino Dolcetto receives the same care and attention to detail as their Nebbiolo, especially since Dolcetto is the “everyday” red of Piemonte. Langa tradition proclaims Dolcetto to be ideal with all courses of a meal, and we couldn’t agree more! It is perfect for snacks of cured meats and cheeses, or at the beginning of a meal, served with appetizers (other than fish). Main courses like pasta, rice, soup and red meats, particularly when grilled, enhance the body and fruit characteristics of the grape. (hungry yet?)
Expect bright cherry, raspberry and cocoa on the nose, layered with hints of almond and peppercorn. The palate is soft with plenty of acidity, but not as much as you get with Nebbiolo. You can even drink it with a light chill if you want red in the summer.
$15.00 BTL / $180.00 CASE
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2014 Casa de Saima “Colheita” Tinto
Bairrada, Portugal
Casa de Saima was founded in 1940 with 18 hectares of vineyards located on small plots of land, situated in the best “terroir” of the region of Bairrada. This Atlantic-influenced region is well-known for producing excellent sparkling and red wines, though their white wines can also be quite impressive.
Winemaker Graça Miranda of Casa de Saima runs this small family winery in Sangalhos and is dedicated to showcasing the potential of the indigenous grapes that can be difficult to grow, but produce amazing wines. Baga is one such grape variety – a speciality to the coastal Bairrada region and once nearly extinct, a group of diligent producers have tirelessly begun to reclaim older vineyards and promote the variety, despite a lack of local interest in it.

A lot like young Nebbiolo, wines made with Baga can range from serious and age worthy (like the Grande Reserva we introduced in last month’s “6 for $30 & Under”) to fresh, bright and perfect for every day drinking.
The Colheita belongs in the latter category and is an excellent introduction to the Baga variety for anyone who has yet to venture into native Portuguese reds. Though it is a blended wine, adding a tiny bit of Merlot and Touriga Nacional to the Baga, the wine is soft, bright and incredibly food friendly!
$14.00 BTL / $168.00 CASE
Posted in 6 for "Everyday" Wine Club

7/21/17 – The 6 for “Everyday” Wine Club – $30 and under Edition

Hello & Happy Friday!
We just wrapped up our summer wine tastings with a great exploration of Galicia, Spain last night. Big thanks to Steven Alexander from De Maison Selections for our guided tour of the region’s best wines! Once the new store is up and running we’ll release a fall tasting schedule.
In the meantime, if you love the Chicago food & wine scene and are looking for a fun summer event, we have a great recommendation! Details below:
WHEN: Sunday, August 20th at 6:30pm
WHERE: Biograph Theater, 2433 N Lincoln Avenue
WHAT: Michael Muser (Grace Restaurant, Jean Banchet Awards) hosts 5 of Chicago’s greatest chefs for an evening of untold, crazy, jaw-dropping funny stories that most people outside of the restaurant industry never hear about. Uncensored and no holds barred, you’ll be up close and personal with Sarah Grueneberg, Abe Conlon, Rick Bayless, Carrie Nahabedian, and Curtis Duffy.
COST: $50 General Admission, $100 VIP (gets you backstage after the show to meet the chefs and sip on some bubbles)

*All ticket pricing includes Champagne reception

*Proceeds go to support the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and are tax deductible.
SIGN UP: Tickets can be purchased here.

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And it’s that time again, we’re back with another release of “The 6 for ‘Everyday’ – $30 & Under” wine club. We have some exciting and unusual wines for you this month, including 3 reds, a natural rosé and 2 whites that couldn’t be more perfect for this summer heat. You’ll be exploring Spain, Italy, France, Austria, South Africa and Portugal.
The wines are here for pick up at the store, and we also have local delivery and shipping options available.
Have a great weekend,
Craig, Jamie & Evie
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6 for “Everyday” Wine Club –
The $30 & under Edition
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2016 Morgadío Albariño
Rias Baixas, Spain
Founded in 1984, Morgadío is the easternmost inland estate in the D.O. Rías Baixas, located within Spain’s northwestern Galicia region.
Until the late 1980s Galicia’s legendary Albariño grape was known for its high quality and extreme scarcity. It was Spain’s most expensive wine grape, which caused producers to often blend it with other, less costly varieties. Authentic examples were produced in extremely small quantities which never made it outside the region.
In 1988 the D.O. Rías Baixas was established. Refocusing attention on a superior microclimate and fuller style, Morgadío (“only son” in Gallego) set new standards upon its release. Their southern exposure and brilliantly-reflective granite soils serve to maximize the Albariño’s concentration and characteristic aromas and flavors of pear, stone fruit and wet stone. The wine finishes with the classic hint of Atlantic salinity that makes this a pairing for shellfish, fresh oysters and sushi.
$19.00 BTL / $228.00 CASE
 
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2014 Juris Blaufränkisch “Selection”
Burgenland, Austria
 
The Juris winery is located in the city of Gols, a place where wine has been the primary source of income dating back to the 6th century. Gols is located within the larger Burgenland region, one of Austria’s southernmost growing areas.
Burgenland is a narrow strip of land that starts at the Danube River and runs south down to the Steiermark region. To the east of Burgenland is Hungary, and the region actually has more in common with Hungary topographically than it does with Austria. Just to the west of Burgenland are the foothills of the Alps, which has a lot influence on the terroir of the region.
The Juris estate has 18 hectares of vines, two-thirds of which are planted to red grapes on gravel and sandy soils that produce wines with great complexity and balance.
Blaufränkisch, along with Zweigelt, is an important red grape in the region. The 2014 bottling opens with a dark ruby color and aromas of dark forest berries, sweet baking spices and balanced tannins. Great with earthy grilled vegetables, mushrooms, and alpine cheeses, this wine can easily be enjoyed now or stored for up to 5 years.
$20.00 BTL / $240.00 CASE
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2015 Vuurberg White
Stellenbosch, South Africa
Vuurberg is owned by Sebastiaan Klaassen, a Dutchman who went to South Africa on holiday to kite surf, and became entranced by the country and eventually decided make it his home and produce wine.
His farm is stunningly situated against a mountain along the Helshoogte Pass, on soil that is big, red and clay-like; a composition that led them to plant Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, and Cabernet Franc, as well as Chenin Blanc and Viognier at the top of the property. Inspired by the Helshoogte (“Hell’s Heights”) location and the imposing mountain backdrop, the name Vuurberg (“Fire Mountain”) was aptly chosen for the property.
Donovan Rall, owner and winemaker of Rall Wines and a favorite of ours in the store, joined Sebastiaan in 2010 to take on the winemaking leadership, and together they have enjoyed continuing success with both the white and red bottlings from the property.
This white is a blend of just about everything (39% old vine Chenin Blanc, Semillon, Viognier, Verdelho, Roussanne, Grenache Blanc and a teeny bit of Chardonnay), all fermented wild and matured in a French oak combination of barrique and 400 litre barrels (25% new). It goes through full malolactic and then gets blended after 9 months on the lees without stirring.
It has a beautiful nose and palate of yellow plums, lemons, and peach, with hints of white flower blossoms and white pepper. Donovan is a pro at retaining acidity in these rich grape varieties without compromising balance. Great with grilled seafood, poultry or lighter pasta dishes in the summer.
$25.00 BTL / $300.00 CASE
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2011 Massolino Langhe Nebbiolo 
Piemonte, Italy
The Massolino family has a long history in winemaking, dating back to 1896 when Giovanni Massolino founded the estate in Serralunga d’Alba. The village of Serralunga d’Alba is well known as a commune with many incredible vineyards and Massolino is a Serralunga specialist.
Now with Franco and Roberto Massolino at the helm as the new generation, they continue to produce wines that beautifully express the terroir of Serralunga.
The grapes for this wine come from some of their younger vineyards, harvested by hand, and once in the winery the utmost attention is paid to every detail in order to produce a young Nebbiolo with smoothness and elegance.
Notes of dark cherry, raspberry and violet appear on the nose with secondary perfumes very similar to those of Barolo. On the palate it’s both light and smooth with well integrated tannins, making for a perfectly harmonious wine.
Unlike their Barolo which benefit from time in the cellar, this Langhe Nebbiolo is ready to be enjoyed now. Pair this with rich meaty pastas, roasted red meat dishes or even soft blue cheeses.
$26.00 BTL / $312.00 CASE
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2016 Frantz Saumon “Vin de Frantz” Rosé
Loire Valley, France
The cleverly named “Vin de Frantz” comes from producer Frantz Saumon in Montlouis-sur-Loire. Frantz established his domaine in Touraine in 2002, previously working with Christian Chaussard of Domaine le Briseau, an influential voice in the natural wine world.
Frantz practices organic and biodynamic agriculture in his own 6 hectares of vines that average between 20 and 50 years old. These practices continue in the winery where all of the wines are fermented naturally, even his sparkling wines are strictly pétillant naturel.
For his rosé he uses a blend of Gamay and Grolleau. The resulting wine has aromas of maraschino cherry and citrus notes that jump out of the glass with mineral undertones. This is a weightier rosé on the palate, yet it also has ample acidity to give it balance and freshness. Frantz himself recommends serving it well-chilled.
$19.00 BTL / $228.00 CASE 
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2012 Quinta de Porrais Douro Tinto, Portugal
When one talks about pioneers in Portugal, one has to speak of Dona Antónia Adelaide Ferreira.
A successful 19th century businesswoman, she is known as a pioneer in the Port wine business, the Douro, as well as an innovator in winemaking.  She is remembered as a strong advocate for the working class, always fighting for their best interests.  She inherited vineyards from her family, but also added vineyards during her career.  When she passed in 1896, she left behind a more successful wine business in Portugal, as well as many great vineyards.
Quinta de Porrais was once the property of Dona Antónia, or Ferreirinha as she was called.  It is located in the Douro Superior, an area well documented for producing high quality white grapes, as well as refined red wines.
Porrais Tinto is a truly great value made from the red grapes of Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Sousão, and Tinta Barroca.  The soil type these grapes are grown in is that classic shale of the Douro.
Francisco Olazabal, one of the truly great winemakers of Portugal, known best for his work with Quinta do Vale do Meão, is a direct descendant of Ferreirinha. His Douro red is deep in color, with light cinnamon, cedar and clove on the nose. Rich plum and juicy blackberry are enriched by good acidity and very soft tannins.
$19.00 BTL / $228.00 CASE
Posted in 6 for "Everyday" Wine Club

7/14/17 – Champagne Offers from Bérêche and R. Pouillon

Hello & Happy Friday!
Happy Bastille Day!
Today we celebrate alongside our French friends, la Fête Nationale.
What better way to celebrate than to offer you some very rare and truly exceptional Champagne from two stellar, artisan producers.
As many of you know, we go to great lengths to offer the truly best Champagne from the best small growers.
Both Bérêche and Pouillon are two producers that are at the top of their game. We had the pleasure of traveling to Champagne this April and tasting their new releases.
Read on to hear about some of their exceptional and limited production offerings.
You’d better believe we will be drinking some of these today ourselves!
Have a great weekend,
Craig, Jamie & Evie
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Champagne Bérêche & Fils
Bérêche flew under the Champagne radar for way too long. Now we take every opportunity to share these magnificent wines with you.
The domaine was founded in 1847, yet it has been the recent innovative work of Raphaël and Vincent Bérêche that has made this one of the most talked about Champagne houses in recent years.
Building on the strong foundation of traditional Champagne making they learned from their father, Raphaël and Vincent now have a line up that includes an extraordinarily vibrant NV Brut Réserve, as well as several micro-cuvées that express different terroir, vintages and grape varieties.

Bérêche stopped all use of chemical herbicides in 2003 to ensure that the soil and fruit were as healthy and natural as possible. They began manually working their vineyards and are moving toward biodynamic farming of all their parcels. There are about 10 employees who oversee the vineyards.

The vineyards are planted in roughly equal proportions of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier which, combined with the wide variety of terroirs, provides a great range of blending possibilities for Raphaël and Vincent. They use barrel aging and cork closures, rather than crown caps, for the secondary fermentation, which highlight the uniqueness of grape variety and terroir.
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NV Bérêche & Fils “Campania Remensis” Rosé
Extra Brut
The Bérêche “Campania Remensis” rosé uses the Roman name for the countryside around Reims. It also comes from a single terroir, the village of Ormes, just west of Reims in the Petite Montagne. It is a Champagne of unusual originality and elegance.
The 2012 base in this bottling is 65% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay, and 5% still red wine. Delicate salmon pink color in the glass with a nose of wild strawberry, blood orange zest, vanilla bean, raspberry, and ginger. We just featured this as part of the line-up for our Summer Sparkling tastings and were mesmerized by how many layers there were to this wine. Hands down one of the best bottles of Champagne we’ve opened this year – and at special pricing it’s about $20 less than normal retail. Under 6000 bottles produced.
$68.99 BTL / $413.94 SIX PACK CASE
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Champagne R. Pouillon & Fils
The Pouillon family has been growing grapes in Champagne for over a century, but it wasn’t until 1947 when Fabrice’s grandfather, Roger Pouillon, decided to produce wine from his holdings along with the help of his wife, Bernedette, and his uncle, Louis Baulant, a well-known winemaker and consultant in the region.
Fabrice joined his father in 1998 after finishing degrees in business and oenology, and by then the vineyard holdings had increased to roughly 6 hectares – 3 planted to Pinot Noir, 2 planted to Chardonnay and 1 planted to Pinot Meunier. Working in the grand cru of Aÿ and throughout the Vallée de la Marne and the Montagne de Reims, Fabrice is aiming to create expressive, terroir-driven wines with vibrant aromatics.
Like Bérêche, the energy and health the Pouillon vineyards is of utmost importance to Fabrice. In 2003, he began the work of conversion to organic viticulture and today he also incorporates several biodynamic principles into his work.
The grapes are all hand harvested and the wines are aged in a combination of stainless steel and older oak barriques where everything undergoes full malolactic fermention. Reserve wines are aged for up to 18 months and there is also a stainless-steel “solera” with wines dating back to the late 90’s.
Fabrice’s wines are exciting and terroir-driven with layered aromatics, fresh acidity, and incredible depth. Recently, Champagne Pouillon has introduced single parcel cuvées, much like we see with Bouchard, including the tête de cuvée Chemin du Bois, which is featured below.
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2008 R. Pouillon Grand Cru “Les Valnons” Extra Brut
 
This 100% Chardonnay cuvée is named after the famous hill “Les Valnons Froid Cul” in the Aÿ. This is one of the most ideally situated slopes in the area known primarily for its Pinot Noir. Pouillon goes against the grain with this rare and unique blanc de blanc from the famous slope in the Grand Cru village. It is an incredible Champagne that delivers a nervy mineral character with a distinctive richness on the palate. Ample notes of citrus and spice give way to a complex and beautiful finish.
$83.99 / BTL 
12 BOTTLES AVAILABLE
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2009 R. Pouillon 1er Cru “Les Blanchiens” Brut Nature
 
An equal blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the lieu-dit “Blanchiens” located on the slopes of Mareuil-sur-Aÿ in the Vallée de la Marne. This cuvée speaks to the terroir of Mareuil in a powerful yet elegant way. Aromas of orange, spice and a hint of black tea on the nose, with notes of plum, raspberry preserve, honey and brioche that dance on the palate.
$82.99 / BTL
18 BOTTLES AVAILABLE 
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2008 R. Pouillon “Chemin du Bois” Brut
 
There are three steps during the process of making Champagne in which sugar may be added. Fabrice, however, decided to make a bold move of only using the sugars that naturally come from the grapes (rather than from sugar cane) in this cuvée. Made from 100% Pinot Noir from a single parcel in Mareuil-sur-Aÿ, an area where grapes are able to retain a higher level of ripeness, this Champagne showcases what can be achieved from ripe grapes alone. There is no other Champagne quite like this one out there. The “Chemin du Bois” has an unctuous mouthfeel full of dried fruits, ripe raspberries and mirabelle plums. There’s a persistent minerality and acidity that makes for a long delicate finish.
$123.99 / BTL
6 BOTTLES AVAILABLE
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NV R. Pouillon 1er Cru Rosé de Saignée Brut
 
This skin contact rosé is made with Pinot Noir grapes from the Premier Cru vineyard in Mareuil-sur-Aÿ. 20% of the juice in this cuvée comes from the previous year’s wine which stays in neutral barrels for 12 months. This blending balances the tannin it can get from the saignée method and makes for a more smooth and delicate mouthfeel. On the nose this rosé shows notes of musky cherry, red currant and white pepper. More red fruits and subtle spices show on the palate with a focused mineral finish.
$58.99 / BTL
10 BOTTLES AVAILABLE
Posted in Friday Feature, Friday Feature