Friday Feature 09/05/14: The Wines of Massican.

Massican Wines-Napa Valley, California

Dan Petroski started his winemaking career at the famed Russian River Estate Dumol. Despite having little experience, he showed prodigious talent, and was quickly tapped to be the winemaker at Larkmead, one of Napa’s oldest estates. And while he has kept his “day” job at Larkmead, since 2009 he has been making some extraordinarily delicious white wines under the Massican label.

One of the most fortuitous trends of the last five years has been a small group of Napa producers who have collectively taken their feet off the roaring throttle that defines the region’s style: big, in your face, wines that sometimes can be just a little too much. Petroski, along with others like Steve Matthiasson & Matthew Rorick have decided to prove that mineral-driven, crisp whites with structure and balance ARE possible in Napa Valley.

Only a handful of accounts were offered these wines, and we are pleased to be among them. As with many of the newsletter wines, the quantities are limited.


2013 Massican “Annia”

This is an absolutely love white blend inspired by the mysterious and thirst quenching white wines of Friuli, Italy. It’s varietal composition is 44 % Friuliano, 36% Ribolla Gialla & 20% Chardonnay. The Friuliano comes from a 63+ year old vineyard plot in Chiles Valley, and the Ribolla Gialla comes from the late George Vare’s famous plantings. These two grapes add a bracing mineral component to the wine, which clocks in at a manageable 12.5% alcohol.




2013 Massican Sauvignon Blanc

We have all had a less-than-inspiring Sauvignon Blanc from California, and we all know how fresh and wonderful they can be (Hello Sancerre!). Two stand-out Sauvignons from the region have always been Spottswoode and Araujo, and Massican’s version rivals both. Sweet citrus and classic, tart herbaceous flavors co-mingle in the glass.




2013 Massican “Gemina”

Although in previous vintages this has been a blend, in 2013 this is 100% glorious Chardonnay from Hyde Vineyard in Carneros, a very famous spot for this Burgundian variety.

This Chardonnay offers the warm baked apple and pear flavors one would expect, coupled with a fine, crisp underpinning, owed to its not being pushed through a malolactic conversion.




Posted in Friday Feature, Friday Features/Newsletters, Newsletter

Friday feature 08/29/14: The New 6 for $60-Something Sampler!

Hello and Happy Friday!


We just wanted to announce that we have a few spots left for our Iberian tasting on Friday, September 26th, 2014. The tasting is an informal, walk-around and taste at your own pace type of affair. There will be some great wines being poured, and you can stop by anytime between 6:00 & 7:30pm. Tickets are $35/Person.


To sign up, please call the shop at 312-666-4417


Also, we will be CLOSED Monday, September 1st, for the Labor Day holiday. So stock up today (Friday) or Saturday for all your picnic/BBQ wine beer and booze needs.


It is the last Friday of the month, and that means time to unveil another Six for $60-Something sampler!

The 6 for $60-Something is Chicago (and the world’s) best monthly value wine sampler!

This month’s sampler is comprised of some very delicious wines and will be our last sampler to feature rosé for the year. We have been reading alarming reports about the Hamptons being out of rosé; do not let this happen to you!

All of these selections are available by the bottle and the case, but there is no better way to learn wine than by trying a variety of new wines.

If interested in a sampler, simply stop by the store, or send us an email and we can coordinate delivery or shipping.

Craig & Sheb




6 for $60-Something Sampler


Matteo Correggia “Solo” Piemonte, Italy N.V.
Matteo Correggia is a high quality producer who works in the Roero, in the northeastern corner of the Cuneo province. All the expected Piemontese varieties grow here, especially Nebbiolo and Arneis.
The “Solo” bottling is not a wine normally produced by Correggia, but 2013 was kind and brought them a little extra fruit. So they decided to combine a few tanks of Nebbiolo, Barbera and Brachetto and the end product was this delightful red blend.
Admittedly, Brachetto on its own can be a little floral, but combined with the nobility of Nebbiolo and the charm of Barbera, the resulting wine is a fresh juicy but not-without-structure affair, perfect for the last lingering days..
$12.00/BTL.-$144.00/CASE OF 12



2013 Casa de Saima Rosé- Bairrada, Portugal
Oh does it pain us to say it, but summer is winding down.
This summer we saw an insane (in a good way) amount of requests for dry Rosé from all over the world.  Most of those folks saw it as the ultimate summer drink.
We here at Perman Wine Selections view it as a year-round adult beverage, so even though we expect a slow in sales of the pink stuff, we are giving it another placement our our monthly 6 for $60-Something sampler.
This Rosé, handpicked by Craig, on a recent trip to Portugal, is a clear winner.
Casa de Saima is a name you will see a lot here in the shop because in our estimation, it is one of the Bairrada region’s best producers.  They also offer great value.  So the best of the best, and at crazy prices, how could one go wrong?
The truly, special indigenous varietal of the Bairrada is called Baga.  It forms the basis of this excellent Rosé, 80% to be exact, with the other 20% coming from perhaps Portugal’s most famous red varietal, Touriga Nacional.
They do it old-school at Casa de Saima, with a brief crushing and maceration in stone lagares (open top cement tanks, used to crush grapes by foot).  The fermentation process happens in stainless steel tanks, and after a brief resting it is bottled and sent to all the Rosé fans around the world.  Ok, actually Casa de Saima is only in 2 markets in the United States, Boston and the market called Perman Wine Selections.
So get it here, and come quick because with a dry Rosé as delicious and juicy is this, it’s going to keep the party going.
$12.00/BTL.-$144.00/CASE of 12


 montgras2010 MontGras “200” Reserva Cabernet-Central Valley, Chile
Chile has always been a fascinating place for wine and historically very important. It is easy to dismiss the whole of the country as a source for cheap n’easy vino, but we should not.


Geographically, Chile affords nearly perfect environments for premium grape growing: geologically appropriate soils, and mountains that protect grapes from extreme temperatures and the ravages of oceanic proximity.
Colhagua is one of those places and a particularly great spot for Bordeaux varieties. The Bicentennial bottling from MontGras is a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Carmenère. It offers an opulent texture, and a complex array of fruit. There is a nuanced herbal quality courtesy of the Carmènere. All in all, a lot of wine for not too many pesos!


$11.00/BTL.-$132.00/CASE OF 12



2011 Domaine des Dorices Muscadet Sèvre Et Maine “Cuvée Choisie”- Loire Valley, France
It is no secret, we do enjoy a Muscadet or two here at Perman Wine Selections, and we were happy to find a stash of “choice blend” from Domaine Dorices at a very nice price.
Although you may be used to consuming Muscadet in it’s infancy, because of the lees aging required by the appellation, Muscadet ages extremely well. Sèvre et Maine bottlings require that the wine stay in contact with its lees (yeast left over from the fermentation process) for at least nine months.
The other thing that gets a little confusing with Muscadet is that it has nothing to do with Muscat or Moscato, so please do not expect a sweet wine here. Muscadet is just the region, the grape is a sibling of Chardonnay called Melon de Bourgogne, or the Melon of Burgundy. Clearly the Burgundians do not care very much for melons; this grape was banned from Burgundy hundreds of years ago. Thankfully, the denizens of the Atlantic Loire love melons, and there it stayed!
This is in an absolutely lovely place right now; while still citric and mineral driven, there is a mellow, almost honeyed quality, a nice result of being in the bottle for a few years.
$11.00/BTL.-$132.00/CASE OF 12



2011 Château d’Oupia Minervois Tradition-Languedoc, France

We often feature wines from the Languedoc on our 6 for $60 something sampler, it is such a diverse area and absolutely tremendous for delicious, value-driven wines.
MInervois is one of those places, 15 miles inland from the Meditteranean sea, situated directly between the cities of Narbonne and Carcassone, dotted with gravelly rocks and green hills alike. It is quite large, almost 5000 hectares of vines find themselves within the appellation spanning two departments: the Hérault and the Aude.
Château D’Oupia, a 12th century castle located in the village of Oupia, in the heart of the appellation, has been producing reliable, tasty wines for quite a while now. Andre Iche was first winemaker in the village to break from the co-op and make wine indecently; he is survived by his daughter who is now in charge.
The Minervois Tradition is a blend 50% Carignan (from vineyards up to 100 years old), 30% Syrah and 20% Grenache. It is aromatic, full and densely colored, with a long finish of dark fruits. Astonishingly, this is a wine you could put away for 5 years, if you wanted, but life is short so feel free to drink it all now.
$11.00/BTL.-$132.00/CASE OF 12


2013 Errazuriz Sauvignon Blanc “Estate Series”- Valle de Aconcagua, Chile

In our estimation, Chile still remains the go to place for $10-ish a bottle Sauvignon Blanc.

Take this example from Errazuriz in Chile, one of the countries most iconic estates, located in the Aconcagua Valley in the North.

This wine over-delivers for its price point, displaying bright citrus, apple and herb notes on the nose.  The acidity, and it is real acidity, not added, is well-balanced and refreshing.

The fruit for this wine is sourced from the Aconcagua Costa Region, close to the Pacific Ocean, it is the right climate for a grape such as Sauvignon Blanc.

It’s more and more difficult to find high quality Sauvignon Blanc, and even wine in general for $10-ish dollars these days, and luckily we have the folks at Errazuriz to help keep hope alive.

Great as an apéritif, but also the type of wine that works with a spicier shellfish dish and some Thai curry dishes.

$12.00 BTL. / $144.00 CASE OF 12

Posted in 6 for $60-Something, Friday Feature, Friday Features/Newsletters, Newsletter

The Wine Wire: The Son of Txakolina




By now, most of you are familiar with the dry, slightly sparkling wine that hails from the Basque region of Spain called “Txakolina”. It’s easy to drink and difficult to say. One of our favorite producers, Ameztoi, in Gertaria, has also begun making a “Metodo Tradicional” Rosé, which he calls, “Hijo”, or son in the Basque language. This is a fully sparkling, secondary-fermentation-in-the-bottle rosé of Txakolina, and very delicious. Like all these types of things, it is limited too.

2012 Hijo de Rubentis Txakolina $27.99/BTL.


2012 Hijo de Rubentis MAGNUM $55.99/BTL.


Posted in The Wine Wire, Uncategorized

Friday Feature 08/22/14: The New 6 For $120 Something Sampler!

Hello and Happy Friday

It is is that time again, the second to last Friday of the month, when we introduce our latest Six for $120-Something Sampler.


This month’s box contains a couple of great selections from our continuing obsession with Portugal, some wonderful Frenchies and a stunning red from Greece, all ready for your drinking pleasure.


Keep in mind that while a few of this month’s selections are a bit limited in quantity, you are welcome to choose some of the wine à la carte, but who are you kidding, just do the whole sampler, you can drink it this month if you really try! We know you can do it.


So what are you waiting for, come on down today to pick yours up!




Craig & Sheb


6 for $120-Something
2012 Casal Figueira “António” Branco- Lisboa, Portugal
Casal Figueira was born out of the passion of António Carvalho. He is someone that I never had the chance to meet, but I can relate to the type of passion he had.
While I strongly believe that there is no more exciting “emerging” wine country than Portugal, it must also be noted that being a small, quality-first producer within Portugal is a downright daunting task.  The local Portuguese market for small-production, obscure wines has an almost nonexistent customer base.
So imagine a passionate winemaker like António Carvalho working with just a few hectares of vines, vinifying them, and then trying to sell them in a market that rarely values the type of wines he produced.
Marta Soares, an artist from Lisbon, rented a small studio space in the countryside north of Lisbon.  Located within the same space as António’s winery, she noticed the same passion and devotion that I spoke about.  It was one of the attributes she fell in love with, and soon the couple was married.  Marta began assisting António, her first endeavor into the wine business.
Fast forward to a tragic day during the harvest of 2009 when António was treading Castelão grapes in a lagar with a co-worker.  As the co-worker took a quick break and António continued, he had a heart attack and passed away.
Marta has carried on with António’s work. Channeling the same passion, she produces what is one of Portugal’s best white wines, made from the local and very obscure Vital grape.  I spent a good portion of the day with Marta on my recent trip, and had an opportunity to see these old-vines nestled in the hills of the Montejunto mountain, meeting some of the owners of these vineyards, and reflecting on what it is to be truly passionate about what you do for a living.
The 2012 Casal Figueira “António” is stunning.  Aromatic notes of citrus peel, wild herbs and almond.  Medium-weight on the palate, with lemon, orange and mineral.  Incredibly lengthy and superbly complex.
Pay careful attention to the serving temperature of this wine, as it must not be too cold.  Think of it as a fine Premier Cru Meursault, serving at a similar temperature and pouring it into a Burgundy glass. It was fantastic paired with some local clams that day, and is an ideal pairing to seafood.
I’m really proud to have this wine in my store, and I hope that each and everyone of you will get a chance to try it.
$29.00 BTL. / $174 SIX-PACK CASE



2009 Domaine Karydas Naoussa- Macedonia, Greece

I will admit that several years ago, I often passed on the opportunity to taste or explore wines from Greece. My history with these wines had been cheap commercial bottlings that  offered very little charm. But things have changed, and as of late we have been sampling many great wines, offering not only charm, but often high quality levels coupled with tremendous value.
It is the spirit of the above paragraph that we feature a fantastic red from Domaine Karydas. This wine is made from 100% Xinomavro. For the trivia lovers among you, this is one of three grapes that begins with the letter “X”. Xinomavro, when farmed correctly, often draws comparisons to Nebbiolo, in color, structure and acidity. This, along with Agiorgitiko, is the dominant grape of northern Greece.
While Xinomavro is often blended with other grapes, Domaine Karydas has identified a plot called Ano Gastro, hillside vineyards composed of sand, clay and limestone (wine friendly soils!!). The site is small, only 6 acres, and the vines are carefully tended. Upon harvesting, the wine spends about 2 years in barriques, 50% of which are new.
Now at 6 years of age, there is really nice integration between wood and fruit. The wine is accomplished and generous. If I were blind tasting this, it would be very, very difficult not to make conclusions that pointed to a 2004 Barolo. There is an elegant nobility to this wine, dried cherries, tobacco, earth and firm tannins. Eaters of lamb will rejoice!





2013 Domaine Lupin Roussette de Savoie Frangy- Savoie, France

If you are in the mood for a delicate, mineral-driven, cool-climate white, you have come to the right place.
Over the last 10 years, there has been an exponential rise in interest in the sleepy and hardly-mentioned regions of the Savoie. The Savoie is responsible for a host of light, frothy red wines, delightful sparklers and the kind of white described above.
Roussette de Savoie is one of three wine zones, and works solely with the grape Altesse (which, confusingly enough, is also called Roussette). Altesse shares genealogical traits with the more widely planted Swiss variety, Chasselas.
Frangy is a recognized Cru of Roussette de Savoie, and consists of a smattering of small vineyards all within the Vallée des Usses. Lupin works with only 5 hectares on a hillside called Les Aricoques. Most of the vines are about 25 years old, with the exception of a 60+ years old parcel which is bottled separately under the name “Cuvêe du Pépe”. The fermentation  and aging for both wines is done in stainless steel.
Fans of cheese, this is your wine. Its lemon-y, citric nature, aforementioned minerality, and freshness naturally cut through the richness of alpine cheeses such as the glorious Comté, the effusive Tomme de Savoie, and the earthy, salty goodness of Raclette and Emmenthal.
$19.00/BTL.-$228.00/CASE OF 12


2012 Casa de Saima Espumante Bruto Reserva-Bairrada, Portugal
Finding great sparkling for under $20 has become a big challenge these days, particularly those made in the Champagne method.
When I traveled to Portugal for the first time in 2013, I knew that some sparkling was produced, particularly in the Bairrada region, but I didn’t have a full understanding of both the potential and the tradition around it.
Bairrada is an Atlantic influenced region located in Northern Portugal, about 35 kilometers north of Coimbra.
In Portugal it is widely known for its sparkling wine, typically made from a blend, with the star varietals being Maria Gomes (a.k.a. Fernão Pires) and Bical.  In a typical producers range of wines, they also will make a sparkling based around the red varietal, Baga.  This grape, which is widely known to make sturdy, tannic, long-lived red wines, can produce good sparkling, usually with just a very short contact of juice to skin so that it does not pick up tannin.
Over the coming months I plan on introducing you to the full range of excellent wines from a very small Bairrada producer called Casa de Saima.  Since I will talk in detail about the winery over the coming months, I just want to focus today’s writings on their sparkling wines.
This Espumante Bruto Reserva is truly one of the best sparkling wine values you will find anywhere in the world!
It is made from Bical, Maria Gomes and Chardonnay, with secondary fermentation in bottle.
This is a style of sparkling that will appeal to the masses. It has the complexity and freshness to appeal to the sparkling wine fanatic, as well as the clean, fruit-driven style that makes it oh-so-easy to drink.
One of the great culinary traditions of Bairrada is Leitão assado, aka, Roasted Baby Pig.  Walk into a restaurant that specializes in this delicacy and you will see the room filled with people enjoy bottles of Espumante with baby pig and, to my surprise, segments of fresh orange.  It is a phenomenal pairing, and just about as fun of a meal as you can possibly have.
This sparkling wine will be a new Perman Wine staple, and as such you can count on us to have good supply for all your sparkling wine needs.  At this price point, you can pour it for large gatherings, or like us, just have a bottle always chilling in the refrigerator for that daily glass (ok, glasses) of bubbly goodness!
$15.00 / $180.00 CASE


2010 Domaine Montirius Vacqueyras “Les Clos”-Southern Rhône Valley, France

Vacqueyras often gets mentioned in the same breath as Gigondas. They are neighboring appellations, and the vineyards lie at the foothills of the Dentelles de Montmirail. Both were once part of the more general Côtes du Rhône Villages, but Gigondas got it’s upgrade in 1972 and Vacqueyras followed in 1990.
You can think of Vacqueyras as a super-charged Côtes du Rhône; always a Grenache based blend with red and black fruit, white pepper and silky, but firm tannins.
Domaine Montirius is a biodynamic producer who farm 58 hectares total, all with an obviously ecologically conscious touch. The single vineyard, “Les Clos” is composed of complex blue marl and clay, and planted with Grenache & Syrah. These clay based soils impart a richer, more textured character to the wines, and you will be pleased, we are sure, by the balance of fruit and spice of this wine. The wine is aged in cement vats, and therefore a very pure, expression of this Mediterranean paradise.
We are also offering the wine at a tremendous price. And, as these things go, when it is gone, it  is gone.




2013 Clos Roche Blanche Touraine Rouge “Cuvée Pif”-Loire Valley, France

In the small village of Mareuil Sur Cher, in the Touraine region of the Loire Valley, the rather wild looking Didier Barrouillet does, and has been doing, his thing for many years now. Like any good French hippie, he farms without the use of chemicals, and relies upon other plant life and beneficial animals to take care of insects and disease. He produces small amounts of Sauvignon Blanc, Gamay, Côt (Malbec) and Cabernet Franc.
The Cuvée  Pif is a blend of Côt and Cabernet Franc, Pif roughly translates to red nose, and is slang cheap drinking wine, although this wine certainly doesn’t taste cheap.
Didier comes from the non-interventionist school of winemaking; but in that all of winemaking involves some intervention, this term is somewhat meaningless. However,
if you are a lover of earthy, cool climate red from the Loire Valley and have had success with wines like Chinon and Bourgeuil, this is a wine that should be on your radar. Didier is somewhat famous in certain circles, so there is not any available outside the sampler. This too, is a wine that can age gracefully, for several years to come.
$18.00/ BTL.


Posted in 6 for $120-Something, Friday Feature, Friday Features/Newsletters, Newsletter

The Wine Wire: Luneau-Papin Muscadet Sèvre et Maine “Butte de la Roche”

Just five days ago, Eric Asimov, in a New York Times article , bemoaned the lack of enthusiasm for Muscadet, even though the appellation is at an all-time high for quality bottlings. We are happy that our savvy customers have always drunk the stuff with and have been early adopters of, what a friend of mine always calls, “somm-crack”.

The region of Muscadet is gorgeous to drive through, just a half an hour outside the city of Nantes in the western part of the Loire Valley. The main grape we talk about here is Melon de Bourgogne, a 16th century outcast from the Burgundy region and sibling of Chardonnay. It eventually made its way up to the French Atlantic, where it found a home in the Pays Nantais (Nantes Country). In Muscadet, Melon makes a dry, crisp fresh and lees-y wine, a great alternative to Chablis.



2012 Luneau-Papin “Butte de la Roche” Muscadet Sèvre & Maine -Pays Nantais, France $27.99/Bottle


Posted in The Wine Wire

Friday Feature 08/15/14: Dry Riesling Galore from Keller, Koehler-Ruprecht & Dönnhoff

Hello & Happy Friday!




Largely ignored by the majority, those in the know understand its stature as one of the most important and complex varietals we have in the wine world.


So today we have decided to focus on it, offering a few exceptional values, as well as some of the most rare selections that Germany has to offer.


Koehler-Ruprecht, Klaus-Peter Keller, and Dönnhoff: We aren’t messing around.


As part of our public service announcement, we must urge those that think all Riesling is sweet that they MUST try one of these DRY Riesling.


The following wines are from wineries that are the equivalent of the DRC Montrachet’s of Burgundy, the Ravenau “Les Clos” of Chablis, Coche-Dury “Corton-Charlemagne” and …


Now that we thinking of it, when we talk about famous, THE most famous white wines of the world, we ONLY talk about Chardonnay, and usually from Burgundy.


The greatest Dry Rieslings (see some these below) are as good as these wines above, if not better.  They are a fraction of the price, and quite frankly, they work better with a myriad of food pairings.


Instead of reducing Riesling to a summer time quaff, lets celebrate it for what it is – one of the greatest grape varietals on earth.


Have a Fantastic Weekend!


Craig & Sheb


Koehler-Ruprecht: Iconic Wines from the Pfalz Region


When we use a world like “icon” we don’t take it lightly.  It is widely known in wine-geekdom that Koehler-Ruprecht, is counted as one of the greatest producers of dry Riesling in Germany and the world.
These are wines that need to be in the glasses of all Riesling fans, and more importantly in the glasses of those curious, as you certainly will be transformed into a fan.
If you have a moment, please check out this video, as it will give you all the background you need to know about the winery.
Today’s offering includes some “everyday” wines for those still learning, as well as some of the rare Reserve wines that I have special ordered directly from the winery.
All wines being offered today are from Koehler-Ruprecht’s top vineyard site called Saumagen.  In an interview with its winemaker Dominik Sona, he told me a little bit about Saumagen.
“The Saumagen vineyard is a south facing slope with a limestone soil. The vineyard is high in elevation and sheltered by the forest from the west winds, which gives the grapes the chance to ripen slow. Even in warm years, we are able to pick late, due to those conditions.
The vineyards was established by the Romans. It used to be a limestone quarry in their time and after no longer using it as such, they planted vines on the slopes or terraces.”
The Reserve wines that come from this vineyard aren’t made every year, only in the best vintages which they believe to have the complexity and potential to age.  The first year produced was 1998, and 2001, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2011 have followed.  Sona suggested that they are getting better ripening in recent years, probably due to global warming.
The Reserve wines are always very, very rare.  From only 500 bottles in 2005 the 2008 vintage where they made a “high” number of 1500 bottles.
One of the great things about an offer like this is that it gives you a rare opportunity to taste wine from a single vineyard, harvested at different ripeness levels.  Seeing a Spätlese Trocken and an Auslese Trocken are quite rare, and here you have the ability to taste both.
Choosing from this list is somewhat difficult and we are happy to provide more information and advice upon request.  Keep in mind that the Reserve wines are from fantastic vintages with slightly different nuances.
These are incredible examples of Dry Riesling from the Pfalz!
Kabinett Trocken
2009 Koehler-Ruprecht Kallstadter Saumagen Riesling Kabinett Trocken

$16.99 BTL. / $203.88 CASE – ONLY 84 BOTTLES AVAILABLE
Spätlese Trocken
2009 Koehler-Ruprecht Kallstadter Saumagen Riesling Spätlese Trocken

$25.99 BTL. / $311.88 CASE – ONLY 42 BOTTLES AVAILABLE
2008 Koehler-Ruprecht Kallstadter Saumagen Riesling Spätlese “Reserve” Trocken

2007 Koehler-Ruprecht Kallstadter Saumagen Riesling Spätlese “Reserve” Trocken

Auslese Trocken
2008 Koehler-Ruprecht Kallstadter Saumagen Riesling Auslese “Reserve” Trocken

2007 Koehler-Ruprecht Kallstadter Saumagen Riesling Auslese “Reserve” Trocken

2004 Koehler-Ruprecht Kallstadter Saumagen Riesling Auslese “Reserve” Trocken


Weingut Keller
Located in Flörsheim-Dalsheim, not far from Frankfurt, the Keller estate is not located in the prime real estate zone of the Rheinhessen, yet Klaus Peter Keller has, along with his Father, changed the way they worked the vineyards and have become, one of the greatest producers in Germany.

Meticulous pruning, along with the adoption of a biodynamic viticultural philosophy and careful winemaking are coupled with a great respect to the individual terroir. All this contributes to the success of the Keller wines, as well as passion and hard work. Their focus on clonal selection also serves them well.

There are a few German terms that can be confusing. We are offering a few of things from the Keller Estate in this email, a wonderful dry Riesling (tröcken) that is affordable and made for youthful drinking, although feel free to age it.

Then there is the business of the mixed Grosses Gewächs case. Grosses Gewächs translates to “great growth” and applies to certain vineyard sites (or portions thereof) and to top-level wines made in a dry style.

In the case of Weingut Keller, they work with four Grosses Gewächs total. The mixed 6 pack case we are offering today (and this must be purchased as a 6 pack, we are unable to break adhering to Klaus-Peter’s wishes) is all 2012 Riesling, and will contain 1 bottle each of Abts Erde and Mortsein, two bottles of the incomparable G-Max, a wine so coveted that the Kellers keep the location of the vineyard a locked secret, and 2 bottles each of Hipping, a relatively new vineyard for Keller, purchased from Franz Schmitt, composed of red slate.

Lastly, we have a scant few bottles of 2011 Abts Erde left and will offer those as well, for individual sale. Abts Erde is a particularly compelling wine, imbued with minerality, a honeyed purity and incredible length. As Craig puts it, “this is simply one of the greatest Dry Riesling’s I’ve ever tasted.

2013 Keller Riesling Tröcken

$19.00/BTL.-$228.00/CASE OF 12


2012 Keller Mixed GG Six Pack (1 Abts Erde, 1 Morstein, 2 G-Max & 2 Hipping)
$1176.00/ CASE OF 6

2011 Keller Abts Erde


Weingut Dönnhoff 
This 200 year old estate has been renowned across the world ever since Helmut started making the wines in 1971, and today his son Cornelius stands at the helm, upholding that top level of quality. The Dönnhoffs are located in the upper Nahe, and their vineyards, steeply terraced and composed of slate and various volcanic soils, contain some of the oldest Riesling vineyards in the region.


Today we are featuring two bottles each of three different Grosses Gewachs, all for individual sale. Just to re-cap, a Grosses Gewächs is akin to a Grand Cru vineyard and the Rieslings are fermented dry.


One other small note; although many people buy these Grosses Gewächs (Hermannshöle, Dellchen & Felsenberg) for long-term aging, we just want to also point out that with a solid decanting, these wines are quite pretty and drink beautifully when young. And although we might be considered blasphemous for the previous statement, we are going to stick by it.



2012 Dönhoff Felsenberg

From Schlossböckelheim, very old vines, dry-farmed. Complex with a flinty, slightly smokey character.


2012 Dönnhoff Dellchen

Wet stones, lemon and yellow apples dominate. A wine of great depth and lovely spice.



2012 Dönnhoff Hermannshöle

Intense and citric, with peach skin and mineral. Stony elegance and incomparable length.





Posted in Friday Feature, Friday Features/Newsletters, Newsletter

The Wine Wire: Orphan Barrel Rhetoric Bourbon

Orphan Barrel has recently released, culled from 20 year old barrels at Stizel-Weller, a new 90 proof Bourbon, distilled at Bernheim and bottled at George Dickel in Tullahoma, TN. Do you love rare, old and oaky?  This is your jam.

Orphan Barrel Rhetoric $96.99/BTL.


Posted in The Wine Wire

The Wine Wire: Domaine Tempier Rosé-Not a Lot of It Either.

They do not make enough to slake the world’s thirst, so we have a whole 5 bottles to offer you this year. First come, first to drink the magical pink elixir of love.


2013 Domaine Tempier Rosé-Bandol, France $42.99/Bottle


Posted in The Wine Wire

Friday Feature August 8th, 2014: Quinta Vale D. Maria

Hello and Happy Friday!


In Perman news this week, on Wednesday we released our schedule of tastings an events through the remainder of 2014.


In typical fashion, we have sold out three tastings, France Vs. The Rest Of The World (Oct. 23), Piedmont (Nov. 6), and Champagne (Dec. 5).  We just have one spot remaining for the Annual Champagne Extravaganza on Thursday, December 4th.  Despite this, we ask that you still request to be on the wait list, as spots often open up.


Speaking of events, one event that we have plenty of availability, is our Iberia tasting on Friday, September 26th.  We are really excited about this tasting and will have an outstanding and diverse selection of wines to taste.  This is an informal tasting, and we designed it so that you could stop in anytime between 6 and 8 pm, and still leave plenty of time to grab dinner afterwards.  We hope to see you there!




As many of you know, Craig travels to different wine regions throughout the world, researching and tasting, so that we can offer you only the best.


Today’s newsletter is a long time in the making.  Almost 2 years ago, when Craig’s friends Abraham Conlon and Adrienne Lo opened the acclaimed restaurant Fat Rice, they asked him to help build a great wine list.  With the restaurant’s connection to Portugal, they wanted to build a mainly Portuguese wine list.


Craig accepted but with one caveat – get on a plane to Portugal to research and find the small artisan producers.  The type of producers that rarely existed in the current import portfolios of American importers.  In June of 2013, Craig, Abraham and Adrienne took off for a two week wine and food adventure.


The result was finding some outstanding, world-class wines.  It took a year to do, but now some of these wines are available in limited quantities at Perman Wine and at Fat Rice.


While we received many of these wines a couple months ago, we didn’t want to bombard you with tons of Portuguese information.  That brings us to our newsletter today.




Many of our competitors write newsletters with the sole information being scores and tasting notes from publications. We try and educate and provide a source of information from someone that you know, have met, and can ask questions to.


So you will have to excuse us on this occasion because we are going to tell you a little bit about the current issue of Wine Spectator that has an article entitled “Douro Masterpiece.”  While the focus is on the 2011 vintage of the Douro region of Portugal, it is a significant piece because it shows that there is more of an interest now than ever in the wines of Portugal, and it puts the great wines of the Douro on a world stage.


One of the producers featured in the article, Quinta Vale D. Maria is one that we visited last June (and Craig visited again just a few weeks ago) and proudly are the only retailer of these wines in the State of Illinois.  Of the top 17 wines recommended by Kim Marcus of The Wine Spectator, 4 came from Quinta Vale D. Maria.  An impressive showing.


The wines of Quinta Vale D. Maria are world class wines, and as such these wines don’t fall into the “value category.” But given their stature, and our belief that they are some of the best wines in the Iberian Peninsula, they are well worth the price tag.


We hope you enjoy the newsletter.



Craig & Sheb


Friday Feature
Quinta Vale D. Maria


Having visited the estate twice, I can tell you that Quinta Vale D. Maria ranks as one of the most beautiful vineyards I have ever visited, as well as one of the most torturous to farm and work in.  The Douro Valley is a UNESCO World Heritage site for a reason, the twists and turns of the valley, the incredible steep, terraced hillside, all along the Douro river are a sight to be seen.

Beauty unfortunately doesn’t make great wine.   The terroir and those that carefully farm, harvest, and make the wine are responsible.

Located on the opposite side of the Douro river, and just a quick drive away from the village of Pinhão, the current history of the property starts in 1996, when it was acquired by Cristiano Van Zeller and his wife Joana.  The property had been in Joana’s family for many years.   A huge restoration of the property needed to take place, as well as increasing of vineyards through new plantings and long-term leases.

Today, Quinta Vale D. Maria has 31 hectares of vineyards. 16 hectares, which are fully-owned are 60-80 years-old.  10 hectares which have a long lease are between 25 and 80 years, and new plantings of 5 hectares occurred in 2004 and 2007.

The team behind Quinta Vale D. Maria is an impressive one.  The Van Zeller’s have been involved in the Douro and Port trade since the late 1700’s.  They owned Quinta do Noval, till it was sold in 1993.  Cristiano Van Zeller was the manager of Noval till that point.  His other team members include famed consulting winemaker Sandra Tavares da Silva (owner of Pintas), and full-time winemaker Joana Pinhão.

A range of wines is made at Quinta Vale D. Maria, from their value range called “Rufo” to the estate red, Curriculum Vitae, two single vineyards, and of course Port.

These are very limited wines, and to my knowledge I’m the only one in the US currently offering the three top wines of the estate, of which 24 bottles of each were imported.

We urge you not to miss these!



2011 Quinta Vale D. Maria Tinto, Douro

This is the flagship wine of the house, and the wine that you will see in the finest restaurants of Portugal.

There are over 40 different traditional grape varieties blended in this wine, with an average vine age of 60-years-old.  The vineyards are co-planted with these indigenous varietals and harvested together.  Some of the names include Tinta Amarela, Rufete, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Francisca, Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional and Sousão.

When the grapes are harvested they are foot trodden in traditional lagares, or open top stone tanks, with this process typically lasting 1 to 3 days.  There is temperature controlled lining in the lagares to ensure a fermentation range in the 22 to 27 degree Celsius.  Malolactic fermentation takes place in oak casks, two different sizes, and then aged for 21 months in barriques (75% new, 25% 1 year).

There is no doubt that these are full-bodied reds, but there is a particular balance to the wines that doesn’t exist in very many wines of the region.  The 2011 is really special, combining lots of richness, without being jammy, lots of red and black fruit, spice, mineral and an incredibly long finish.  A rare combination of power and balance.

Fans of fuller-bodied reds, wherever they are from, must not miss this!




2011 CV – Curriculum Vitae, Douro

Before Cristiano decided to make his two single vineyard wines, Curriculum Vitae was considered the top wine of the house.  Today, it is one of the top three, but still one of the most impressive wines made in Portugal.

The grapes are grown in one of their vineyards along the river Torto.  It is a North facing vineyard, very old vines, with more than 80 years of age.

The grapes are foot trodden at Quinta Vale D. Maria for 2 days at a cool temperature between 16 and 18 degrees Celsius.  50% of that juice is fermented in the same lagares, and the other 50% in stainless steel vats.  Aging is done in barrique, 75% new and 25% one-year barrels.  Production is only about 6,400 bottles in total.

The 2011 has really come to form since I first tasted it in 2013.  It is a magnificently rich, but still balanced and lengthy red, that offers notes of plum, black cherry, baking spices and cocoa.  There is no doubt that this is built for the long haul, and I would urge any serious collector to stash this away, trying a bottle first of course, but drinking between 2018-2030.

Epic stuff.




2011 Quinta Vale D. Maria “Vinha da Francisca,” Douro

A single plot on the Quinta Vale D. Maria estate, the vines for Vinha da Francisca were planted in 2004.  The 4.5 hectare vineyard is planted with Tinta Francisca (an old varietal introduced in the Douro in 1756), Touriga Franca, Sousão, Rufete and Touriga Nacional.

Like the others, the grapes are foot trodden in lagares, but also fermented in those lagares.  The wine was racked into Allier oak, undergoing malolactic fermentation in those barrels and aging.

We tasted this wine at my store with Francisca Van Zeller a couple months ago, and it was my current favorite of the bunch in terms of drinkability.  The aromas have this insane fresh blackberry, boysenberry note, and the texture is pure silk.  It does finish with some power on the end, but the length, acid and overall purity lead me to tell you that this is the elegant one of the bunch.

With only 5,675 bottles produced, it is a special wine, and to my knowledge, I’m the only one in the United States that imported it.

For those that want to drink sooner than later, this is special!




2011 Quinta Vale D. Maria “Vinha do Rio,” Douro

The amazing thing about the Quinta Vale D. Maria estate is that every plot is identified and many vinified on their own.

It was this knowledge of their different terroir within the property that led Cristiano Van Zeller to decide to make a special wine from his oldest parcel on the property.  Called Vinha do Rio (River Vineyard) it sits at lower altitude, very close to the river.  The vines were planted 100 years ago.

The wine is fermented and aged in the same manner as Vinha da Francisca, but the flavors and identity are completely different.

Compared alongside the Vinha da Francisca, the aromas introduce a dark cherry, red currant note alongside darker berries, notes of mineral and cocoa.  Texturally, this is much richer and full-bodied than Vinha da Francisca, but again with that hallmark balance and complexity.

One of the longest finishes on a wine from Portugal that I’ve tasted.

With only 1908 bottles produced, this is very rare stuff indeed, and the only place you will see it on the shelves in the US.  This is always the wine that sells out the quickest from the winery.

A perfect gift to yourself, or someone else!



2011 Quinta Vale D. Maria Vintage Port

Port is one of the great wines of the world.  Regardless of whether you like sweet wine, fortified wine, there is no challenging the history and the specialness of the product.

It is a historic wine, with the Douro being the first legally demarcated wine region in the world, some 258 years ago.

Until 1986 all Port could only be exported from Vila Nova de Gaia, a city that sits across the river from Porto.  Historically ships called “barcos rabbles” would carry the wine downriver from the Douro region to Vila Nova de Gaia.  After the building of a few hydroelectric power dams, this changed.

With the changing of the law, there is now an opportunity for producers in the Douro region to do all their shipping and aging from their own estates.

I believe that one of the greatest myths out in the Portuguese wine scene is that only the big bottler / shippers in Vila Nova de Gaia can make great Port.  I think there is an incredible future in the Ports from single Quinta’s in the Douro, and those myths will be difficult to overcome given the marketing force behind the big bottler / shippers.

I am so impressed with this fantastic Vintage Port, and I want my Port-loving customers to know that they have to stock up on this while available.

There has been a ton of hype, and rightfully so about Vintage Port from 2011.  This is a good example why.

A quick primer on how its made, since it is always good to know these things.  More than 25 different grapes have been combined to make this wine, from vines in the 25 to 60 year-old range.

At Quinta Vale D. Maria the grapes are foot trodden in stone lagres with 15% of the total Brandy added at that point.  This allows them to macerate the grapes at cooler temperatures and for a longer period before fermentation.  As the fermentation process takes place, the remainder of the brandy is added all at one moment to stop the fermentation.  They still keep it in the lagar for two to four days for some more treading before moving the wine to large, 100+ year-old oak and chestnut wood Port casks, as well as stainless steel vats.  The Port is aged for around 18 months before bottling. Only 6400 bottles were made.

One common misconception about Vintage Port is that you have to age it.  “Have to” is a strange term because as someone that really loves Port, I had a bottle of this wine earlier this week and enjoyed it immensely.

The reality is, a greatly balanced Port like this tastes great young, but of course it can age for eternity.

While I was in Portugal I had a chance to sample a Port from 1900, that was insanely delicious, and still had the ability to age further.

Buying Port is an investment into your future, and fans of Port should buy 6 to 12 bottles of this and taste it over the course of your lifetime.

This truly fantastic Port from Quinta Vale D. Maria is one that you should stock up on!

And if you have a child born in 2011, this is the perfect gift to give them as they can drink it when they or 21 or when they are 80.

Lastly, I am offering this at a special price through the month of August, so please stock up now!


Posted in Friday Feature, Friday Features/Newsletters, Newsletter

The Wine Wire: Avinyo Petillant-Going Going Gone….

Remember this wine? Dry, slightly effervescent, the eternal harbinger of summer? Well, we have a bit of bad news.  There are about 30 bottles left and then it’s over for this year. If you love it,  we suggest hoarding a few bottles.


Going Going Gone…

2013 Avinyo Petillant “Vi D’Agulla”-Penedès, Spain $13/BTL.

Posted in The Wine Wire