Friday Feature 05/13/16: Domaine Les Poëte-Loire Valley

Domaine Les Poëte
Before we get started telling you about Domaine Les Poëte we have to apologize.  Life is super busy right now, and for this write-up, we are going to use the importer’s notes. They are well written, and help introduce you to this wonderful Domaine.  You will see quotes around text from the importer and then a couple of glowing, motivational words from yours truly.
“Guillaume Sorbe is the Loire Valley’s newest young star. In 2007, he began his domaine in the Cher producing white, rosé, and red wines from the Touraine, Quincy, and Reuilly appellations. 
Guillaume comes from a family of viticulturalists and his father had vineyards in Quincy and Reuilly, but after it became apparent that his sons had no interest in continuuing the family domaine, he sold the vineyards in 2001. It was during this time that Guillaume was working in some of France’s finest restaurants both as a cook and a sommelier, but eventually he says “the soul of a winemaker awoke in me”. He went to Beaune to study viticulture and oenology determined to return to the Loire valley and piece together a domaine of his own. 
In 2007 after completing his studies he began to look for vineyards and soon found a plot of very old gamay vines on the right bank of the Cher river. He began here and has slowly patched together a tiny domaine today of more than 25 single plots that he farms himself biodynamically. Only 4.5 hectares total are put into production here so quantities are extremely small. 
Precision, freshness, and delicacy are the pursuit here and Guillaume believes that terroir is the most important thing, often citing his motto “moins mais mieux” – “less but better”. Each of his 25 parcels is vinified separately and an assemblage is done before bottling. Working this way is much more labor-intensive, but it allows Guillaume greater control over the final blend where he can create an expressive palette using just the “colors” he desires.”
Our big take away from tasting the wines, is their intensity and density, while at the same time displaying the freshness that you desire from the wines of the Touraine region. They are really fantastic!
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2013 Domaine Les Poëte Reuilly Blanc
Reuilly is an underrated appellation for Sauvignon Blanc.
Guillaume’s Sauvignon vineyards are on the left bank of the Cher river in the villages of Reuilly, Chéry, and Preuilly.  Because he works with various plots, there is great diversity in the soils including clay, limestone, limon and gravel.
“After being harvested by hand, the grapes are pressed and fermentation is carried out in stainless steel tank. After fermentation, 1/3 of the wine is aged in neutral 600 liter barrels while the remaining 2/3 is aged in stainless steel. After 12 months, the wine is blended and stays in tank another 2 months before bottling.”
It is also important to note that this comes from grapes cropped at 30 to 35 hl/ha. While that may not mean much to the layperson, they are the type of yields you would find from the world’s finest, and most expensive wines.  As a comparison, take the yields of Sancerre which can often run up to 60 to 65 hl/ha.
Beautiful aromatics of citrus peel and mineral, this Sauvignon has weight and some structure that many of you won’t have ever had in a Sauvignon.  This is fruit and mineral driven, with no green notes, and a really pure, lengthy finish.
This outstanding Sauvignon is going to challenge your preconceived notions of the variety.  And that is a good thing.
$24.99 BTL. / $299.88 CASE OF 12

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2013 Domaine Les Poëte Reuilly Rouge

Do not miss this absolutely outstanding Pinot Noir from Reuilly.  Probably the best we’ve ever had.
Like the Sauvignon, this comes from various plots in the aforementioned villages.  The Pinot Noir is planted in a mixture of clay and limestone with rocky topsoil.
“All the Pinot Noir is hand harvested and sorted by hand. In 2013 Guillaume elected to de-stem 100%, but in some years he will utilize some percentage of whole clusters. It is macerated for 8 days with no punching down. The only form of extraction is gentle pump overs. Only natural yeasts are allowed here and fermentation is carried out in stainless steel tank. After fermentation, 2/3 of the wine is aged in neutral 600 liter barrels while the remaining 1/3 is aged in stainless steel.” 
Cropped at an astounding 25 hl/ha, that is a full 10 hl/ha less then the minimum allowed for Grand Cru Red Burgundy.  We are certainly not comparing this in style to those, but just take note when looking at this price that the cropping equivalent is 5 to 30+ times more expensive in Burgundy.
This is really pure and beautiful Pinot Noir.  It sports a pale, delicate color, and offers hints of cherry skin, flowers and mineral on the nose.  Wonderfully balanced on the palate, it is silky and light, but yet with a great core of fruit and baking spice.  This is the type of wine we could drink all day.
Easily one of our new favorite Pinot Noir.  An incredible value!
$26.99 BTL. / $323.88 CASE
Posted in Friday Feature, Friday Features/Newsletters, Newsletter

Friday Feature 05/06/16: 2014 Releases from Thomas Pico and Domaine Pattes Loup

Domaine Pattes Loup
Thomas Pico is a great example of the younger generation of Chablis and its impact on the region and how it is perceived.  Thomas grew up in the wine business, but started on his own in 2005.  His initial vineyards are located in Courgis, on the outskirts of the appellation. Over the years he has grown his domaine slowly, which now includes over 15 hectares of vineyards.  Thomas works organically in the vineyard, only uses natural yeast, and uses stainless steel and oak depending on the cuvée.
This all leads back to my first statement about the younger generation and their impact on the perception of the region.  Producers like Thomas, like Athénaïs from Château de Béru, and a few others have proved to the consumer that great Chablis can be produced throughout the region and not just in the vineyards with the names we all know.  The world is shifting in this region, and there has never been a better time to drink Chablis.
Don’t miss these 2014s from Pattes Loup!

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2014 Domaine Pattes Loup Chablis “Vent d’Ange”
Simply put this is one of, if not the best value in Chablis right now!
A fantastic introduction to Pico’s clean, sleek style.This particular bottling sells out very quickly every year.
Beautiful purity of fruit, with citrus peel, saline and mineral emerging from the glass.  Weightless in all the best ways, this really wakes up the palate sip after sip.
We received a woefully small amount and this will disappear fast at this price. Chablis everyday? Seems like a good idea to us!
$25.99 BTL. – $311.88/CASE OF 12
LIMITED

 

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2014 Domaine Pattes Loup Chablis “Beauregard” 1er Cru
Not a well-known Premier Cru, Beauregard sits in the village of Courgis on Kimmeridgian soil.
It is a wine that needs evolution in bottle to coax out its beautiful minerality and shy personality.
Once it evolves, it adds weight, and incredible complexity.
This is worth holding on for a few years drinking from 2020 to 2025.
A ridiculous value for this quality.
$42.99 BTL.
VERY LIMITED

 

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2014 Domaine Pattes Loup Chablis “Butteaux” 1er Cru
Butteaux is one of the more well-known Premier Cru, sitting on the West side of the river near Montmains and Forêts. It too is on Kimmeridgian limestone but has a very different feel and personality to the Beauregard.  We find it a bit weightier with lots of citrus, mineral and spice.
This too is worth holding on to, drinking best from 2020-2025+.
Another ridiculous value for this quality.
$42.99 BTL.
VERY LIMITED
Posted in Friday Feature, Friday Features/Newsletters, Newsletter

Friday Feature 04/29/16: The New 6 for $70-Something Sampler

This week’s Friday Feature announces the newest 6 for $70-Something sampler.
For those unfamiliar with our sampler, once a month we put together a group of six bottles with season in mind, a kind of best of the best in value wine. The six bottle assortment always lands in between $76 – $79.  All the wines are available by the bottle, but we encourage you to stock your wine rack up for the month and try the whole sampler.
This month we have a truly spectacular lineup from around the world.  We hope to see you soon!
Have a great weekend,
Craig & Sheb

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6 for $70-Something

2013 “Rufo” Tinto from Quinta Vale D. Maria – Douro, Portugal
People ask us all the time, “can I get a good bottle of wine for $15 and under.”
The answer is of course yes, albeit it is getting more difficult to find. The first way to ensure great wine at a great price is to search for a winery that really cares about what they do.  A true insider tip is to look for some of the leading wineries of their respective regions and seek out the value wine in their range.  Almost every top producer has a great value as a type of “business card” to introduce everyone to what they do as a winery.
The “business card” of Quinta Vale D. Maria, one of Portugal’s truly top wineries is a line of wines called “Rufo.”  While the fruit for the wine may not come entirely from their estate, the Van Zeller family relies on their family network to provide them with good quality grapes from three different sub-regions of the Douro.
We’ve featured previous vintages of “Rufo” Tinto on our newsletter before, and are excited to introduce the excellent 2013 vintage.  It is a blend of Touriga Franca and Touriga Nacional, co-feremented in stainless steel tanks and aged in 2nd, 3rd and 4th use oak barrels for 1 year before resting in tank for an additional year.

A superb vale for a Douro red, this jumps out of the glass with blackberry, plum aromas, a seamless and silky texture, and a long, balanced finish.  Try this alongside some grilled lamb chops.   


$15.00 BTL. / $180.00 CASE


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2015 Fattoria Poggerino “Aurora” Rosato – Tuscany, Italy
We are one of only two accounts in Illinois (and possibly the US) to receive the fantastic Rosé from one of our absolute favorite Chianti Classico producers, Poggerino.
As a recap, Poggerino is located in the village of Radda in Chianti Classico.  One of the key elements to quality at this estate is the location of the property, high elevation, with a large swath of “galestro” the local rock strewn through the carefully farmed vineyards.  Winemaker Piero Lanza is one of the most dedicated farmers we know, and it is important to note that this Rosé is produced with Sangiovese that could very easily be made into a more expensive red wine.
True to form, this Rosé is a labor of love from Piero Lanza, and is very unique in its production.  Half of the grapes are harvested the last week of August / first week of September, a type of green harvest.  Alcoholic fermentation begins with natural yeast and proceeds at a cool temperature.  At the end of September/ early October, when the main harvest begins, the second portion is made as a saignée, bleeding the vat, and then combining it with the ongoing fermentation of the first portion.
This is quickly becoming one of our favorite Rosé.  Hints at watermelon rind, strawberry and orange on the nose.  Medium weight, with a really juicy, fresh fruit component and a long, balanced finish.

This is a Rosé you are going to want to stock up on!  We only received 20 cases, so taste soon and come back for more.  It is a fantastic value! 


$15.00 BTL. / $180.00 CASE


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2013 Weingut Köfererhof Müller-Thurgau – Alto Adige, Italy
For years, the mystery surrounding the origins of this grape have plagued scientists both near and far. Created by a 19th century scientist named Dr. Müller (no surprise there) thought he was crossing Riesling with Sylvaner, but later a theory was put forward that it was a Riesling and Chasselas cross, however, a final, definitive analysis revealed that the grape was indeed, a Riesling and Madeleine Royale cross, and a grandson of northern Italy’s Schiava.
Now that your brain is super tired from reading that, its time to tell you why Müller Thurgau should become your new best friend this summer. In the hands of a great producer like Köfererhof, this aromatic varietal is a fantastic aperitif wine.  I’ve had the pleasure to visit Köfererhof in the gorgeous Isarco Valley, at the most Northern part of the Alto Adige region.  A very small producer, making only about 70,000 bottles in total per year, they are considered one of the best producers of the entire Alto Adige.
The 2013 Müller-Thurgau is stunning.  Gorgeous aromatics of white flowers, lychee and citrus peel.  This wine has terrific texture, it really glides across the palate, delivering more citrus flavors and hints of plum and spice.
Not only does it deliver on its own, this is one of the most versatile food pairing wines you will find.  It can really stand up to meat such as chicken and pork, and even work against spicier foods.

The distribution of this wine changed hands in Chicago recently, and this is being offered at a much lower price than normal.  Please don’t miss the chance to stop up on some of this benchmark Müller-Thurgau.   


$15.00 BTL. / $180.00 CASE


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2013 Xavier Clua “El Solà d’en Pol” Blanco – Terra Alta, Spain
There is no doubt that Catalunya is one of Spain’s most prestigious wine growing departments.  Yet when you quiz both the general public and industry folks about the wines of the area, Cava and red wine from Priorat and Montsant are the most publicized and talked about.
While they are deserving of their acknowledgement, there is so much more to Catalunya.  We here at Perman Wine love to share and talk about the great white wines of the area, including the appellation of Terra Alta.  Located just south of Montsant, the region takes its name from its high altitude and placement in the mountains.
Xavier Clua grew up in the region and the wine business, before embarking on his own project over a decade ago.  He owns 10 hectares of vines in the region and produces white, rosé and red.
“El Solà d’en Pol” is a white wine made from predominantly Grenache Blanc with a little Viognier and Muscat.  It is an aromatic white, perfect for “porch pounding” or enjoying along simply prepared shellfish.  The 2013 is in a really beautiful place right now, so get ready for this to be a new favorite this Spring and Summer.
$12.00 BTL. / $144.00 CASE


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2011 Santa Lucia Castel del Monte Nero di Troia ‘”Vigna del Melograno” – Puglia, Italy
Castel del Monte is one of the more important wine zones of Puglia, situated in the hilly part of Puglia (southern Italy, the heel of the boot) where the grapes are granted a bit more protection from the relentless, Mediterranean sun.
The variety that makes this wine is called Nero de Troia, a dark-skinned flavorful red grape that unfortunately has been supplanted by more recognizable varieties such as Aglianico & Montepulciano.

This is a lot of wine for the money; and the the kind of  voluptuous, bone-warming red you sometimes desire. The vines here are 18 years old which is quite mature for the region and this adds to the depth and quality level.

$11.00 BTL. / $132.00 CASE
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2014 Padrillos Malbec – Mendoza, Argentina
Our old friend the Padrillos Malbec is back!
While Argentina continues to be known for great value Malbec, we’ve seen a rise in prices over the last few years leading us to the difficult task of finding good examples for under $15.  Luckily this wine made by Ernesto Catena, of Catena family fame continues to over deliver for the price.
Malbec sourced from various vineyards in the Uco Valley that are fermented in stainless steel and aged partially in stainless steel and also French and American oak for 8 months.

The result is a, dare I say, balanced example of the variety with a mixture of red and dark fruits, flowers and spice.  A super silky texture lends itself to drinking on its own, but of course this varietal is best known to be consumed alongside grilled red meat. 


$11.00 BTL. / $132.00 CASE
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Posted in 6 for $70-Something, Friday Feature, Friday Features/Newsletters, Newsletter

Friday Feature 04/22/16: The New 6 for $120-Something Sampler

2010 Candialle Chianti Classico- Tuscany, Italy
We are unclear why the wine cognoscenti are not more rapturous when it comes to Chianti. Sure, there was a quality slump in the 1970s, and the wine in those ridiculous straw baskets (called fiascos), while charming, can truly be a fiasco. If you look beyond this, you will see that this region is capable of incredibly drinkable, and age-worthy wines, at very agreeable price points.
The Candialle Chianti Classico is one such wine. We defy you to pour a small taste and find a more classic benchmark for the appellation. This is clean, pure, old-fashioned good winemaking at its best, free of the dogma that seems so common in wine speak today.
Located at the southernmost tip of the Conca d’Oro of Panzano in Chianti, their Chianti Classico is composed 100% Sangiovese, and spends 18 months aging before release. Its flavor profile sings of the beautiful Mediterranean Valley from which it comes; morello cherries, both fresh and baked, a hint of baking spice and vanilla, sun-warmed sage and a hint of rosemary.
Those of us lucky enough to have visited the region know first-hand of its ridiculous beauty and who among us has not fondly dreamed of buying a small villa out there, feeling the warm sun upon our faces and chasing the tiny vineyard lizards, whose speed and tiny size defy space and time?
Here is Sheb’s proposal: buy some nice bread, but the peasant-y kind that is a little dense (not a fluffy baguette). Toast in the oven with some nice olive oil. While this is happening, salute a few trimmed and halved chicken livers in some butter with salt and pepper. Put these on your crispy toast, and drink some Candialle.
$24.00/BTL.-$288.00/CASE OF 12
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giovanni
2015 Cameron Winery “Giovanni”-Dundee Hills, OR

Let us take a moment to introduce you to what will become your white wine of the Summer – Cameron’s Giovanni.

This has been a go-to summer white for our customers in the past. It always runs out way before we tire of drinking it.

The 2015 Giovanni is a blend of mainly Pinot Blanc, Pinot Grigio & Chardonnay. All the fruit comes from Abbey Ridge Vineyard, a high-altitude, organically farmed site that was planted in 1976. The Pinot Blanc and Grigio are planted at the highest peak, and are often harvested in late October, which imbues the resulting wines with great ripeness, beautiful mineral and taut acidity.

This wine is exclusive to Perman Wine Selections.

Don’t miss this, it is limited, but worth stocking up on!

$20.00/BTL.-$240.00/CASE OF 12
 
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kofererhof
2012 Köfererhof Dry Riesling-Alto Adige/Valle Isarco, Italy
Let’s get real, we should all be drinking more Riesling. It is one of the greatest white varieties of the world with a huge range of styles and is extremely reflective of terroir, and of course we must mention how versatile it is at the table. For the Kerschbaumer family of Weingut Köfererhof in the Alto Adige region of northern Italy, this is certainly true as they build dry, concentrated, mineral packed Rieslings.
Italy is not the region that comes to mind first when one thinks of Riesling, but Alto Adige has an unique history. Located right on the border of Austria, it was only annexed to Italy in 1919, creating a culture as Austrian as it is Italian.
The Köfererhof vineyards are located at a high altitude of 2400 feet and are tended completely by hand. This particular cuvée is blended from two harvests, one primary and a second a few weeks later to increase complexity. Both harvests are raised in stainless steel and allowed to rest on the lees for six months.
All this work builds a completely dry, concentrated mineral, elegant and fresh bottling. Showing Alto Adige’s heritage, it leans more Austrian in style showing some tropical fruit qualities behind all the mineral. A recent lunch at a BYO Argyle street Thai restaurant showed this wine to pair extremely well with a traditional Papaya salad, but it will pair just as well with other fresh and spicy dishes, as well as a working as a invigorating aperitif. Drink more Riesling! We promise you won’t regret it.
$23.00/BTL.-$276.00/CASE OF 12

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pilon
2014 Julien Pilon Saint Joseph Blanc “dimanche à lima”- Northern Rhône Valley, France
To the south of a small village called Chavanay, there exists a small cliff signifying the exact place where Condrieu shifts to Saint-Joseph, and Viognier vines give way to Syrah, Roussanne and Marsanne. I don’t know why I am so fascinated by this little ledge, but you can witness here a geological shift, a vestigial scar in the landscape  left over from when the glaciers melted and poured through this region in violent torrents.
Saint-Joseph is the single largest appellation in the Northern Rhône, stretching from Chavanay to Vion, close to Vaucluse. It is much easier to find wines from Saint Joseph than from its smaller neighbors like Hermitage or Cornas. But white Saint-Joseph, that is a much more rare sighting.
Marsanne and Roussane are the two grapes allowed for Saint-Joseph Blanc. Roussane makes wines that are fine, straw yellow in color, offer a remarkable nose and age nicely. A noble grape variety, it gives wines a an elegant touch of apricot and honeysuckle.
Marsanne requires warmer, drier spots in the vineyard, with good exposure  to the sun. Rustic and sturdy, these vines are happiest in poorer soils. Richer in color, Marsanne is often accompanied by orchard flavors, hazelnut and a waxy texture. Blended together, these two grapes form a very harmonious wine that affords the taster both glorious texrtures and taut freshness.
Pilon uses 75% Marsanne and 25% Roussanne for his white, and a touch of new oak when aging (only 20%). We think this would be a good fit for Chardonnay drinkers looking for something new, those of you curious about classic white Rhône varietals and everyone looking for a fuller bodied white.
$27.00/BTL.-$324.00/CASE OF 12
 
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savoye
2013 Domaine des Combiers Beaujolais-Villages “Prestige”- Burgundy, France
If you looked at what most wine professionals drink at home (or at the very least your comrades here at Perman Wine Selections) you would see a rather large portion is made up of Gamay. Refreshing, light-bodied and zippy enough to quench your thirst, it also enhances just about every food under the sun. The greatest place for this grape is southern Burgundy in Beaujolais, where the largely granitic soils have long yielded complex and satisfying wines.
Laurent Savoye, proprietor at Domaine des Combiers, is a very classic example of a Beaujolais vigneron, a wine grower found most often in the midst of his vines. Most pictures found online show him on a special three wheeled tractor that helps him navigate the steep slopes in his western corner of the Fleurie appellation. His wines are made extremely traditionally, with 100 year old vines, hand harvested, low yields and warm fermentation to encourage complexity and texture.
We are excited to offer Laurent’s Beaujolais-Villages Cuvée Prestige this month, which is aromatic and elegant with sappy fruit  with a little structure and mineral. This is a wine for the table and will enhance just about anything you can throw at it, especially as we move into spring with fresher dishes. If you had to guess, you have a pretty good idea of what we will be drinking!
Oh, and remember to chill it down a bit.
$15.00/BTL.-$180.00/CASE OF 12
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practicalmatter
2014 Practical Matter Cabernet Sauvignon-Columbia Valley, WA
If you haven’t heard, California has experienced a brutal drought over the last few years that has created unique difficulties. However at its best, it has bred innovation in the local wine industry. While the overall supply of grapes has been extremely low, a few winemakers have found new ways to work to continue to offer great value and varietal integrity.
Practical Matter is a label devoted to these two things, incredible value and varietal integrity. Through a strange set of circumstances, some Washington Cabernet Sauvignon fruit from the Columbia Valley and Red Mountain took a seventeen hour journey to Paso Robles where the fruit was then processed, barreled, and blended. All of this is in service of creating a fantastic Cabernet in this price point.
This unique mix of Washington fruit and California winemaking yields a textbook Cabernet Sauvignon that comes from some of the most reputable and consistent vineyards in the area. If you follow the samplers, you know we don’t often have a chance to offer a Cabernet, so don’t miss out while it is here.
$19.00/BTL.- $228.00/CASE OF 12
 
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Posted in 6 for $120-Something, Friday Feature, Friday Features/Newsletters, Newsletter

Friday Feature 04/15/16: Jérome Prévost and Champagne La Closerie

Jérome Prévost and Champagne La Closerie
In 1987, a young Jérome Prévost inherited a couple of hectares of vines from his Grandmother, who had previously rented them for others to tend. He took over the farming, and sold off the grapes directly to the negociants. He then took a job at Jacques Selosse, where he worked under Anselme Selosse. In 1998 he began making micro-quantities of his own Champagne (which he calls Champagne La Closerie) in the Selosse cellars in Avize. In 2001 he was able to build his own small cellar near his vines in the village of Gueux (about 10km west of Reims in the Montagne de Reims sub-region).
The entire estate consists of one vineyard called Les Béguines which is planted with older vines of Pinot Meunier. Essentially, he makes one wine, the Champagne La Closerie “Les Beguines” Extra Brut. Today’s offering is all from the 2013 vintage, a year characterized by his high-toned acidity, and hidden richness. If you decide you must try this and cannot wait for it to age- please please please decant it! Most experts are in agreement that Prévost’s wines need a bit of time “post-disgorgement” to fully express themselves.
In terms of work in the cellar, the vin clair is aged in used barriques and demi-muids, and fermented upon natural yeasts. Secondary fermentation is initiated, and usually disgorged after about 18 months, with no dosage at all.
Since 2007, he has also produced a rosé wine, although not in every vintage.  For this, he utilizes a small patch of Meunier affected with a vine disease called court-noué, which stunts flowering and only allows a small amount of very concentrated fruit to emerge. He uses these affected grapes to make a red wine, which he then blends with the base for his “normal” cuvée.
In 2013, a total of 3,300 bottles of the rosé were produced, for the entire planet.
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Champagne La Closerie “Les Béguines” Extra Brut (base 2013)
$94.99/BTL.
VERY LIMITED AVAILABILITY- PLEASE INQUIRE
 
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Champagne la Closerie “Fac-simile” Rosé Extra Brut (base 2013)
$142.99/BTL.
VERY, VERY LIMITED AVAILABILITY- PLEASE INQUIRE
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Posted in Friday Feature, Friday Features/Newsletters, Newsletter

Friday Feature 04/08/16: Goodfellow Family Cellars and Matello

Goodfellow Family Cellars
Marcus Goodfellow’s first vintage was in 2002, under the Matello label. 2012 marked the debut of his eponymous label, Goodfellow Family Cellars. Marcus has worked carefully over the years to build relationships with small farmers who share his particular philosophy; meticulously managed and well-exposed vineyards that are dry-farmed. The Matello label remains for vineyard blended wines, and Goodfellow Cellars is reserved for single vineyard designates.
Marcus’ wines exhibit great restraint coupled with beautifully ripe fruit, and are a true pleasure to drink. We had a blast tasting these out with him a few days ago at our late night “tasty”.
Below, in our offer, is listed a variety of wines, red and white, from both projects.
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Special Order (3-4 weeks away, email your request by Friday, April 15th, 2016).
 
2014 Matello “Caprice”
This delicious blend of Pinot Blanc (80%) and Pinot Gris (20%) has a bit of residual sugar and a creamy, unctuous texture. These are 21 year old vines, and everything is co-harvested and fermented, then  aged 18months before release.
$17.99/BTL.$215.88/CASE OF 12
 
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IN THE SHOP AND AVAILABLE FOR IMMEDIATE PURCHASE:
2014 Goodfellow Family Cellars “Clover” Pinot Gris Reserve
The 2014  Goodfellow Family Cellars “Clover” Pinot Gris Reserve is 100% Pinot Gris, sourced primarily from Whistling Ridge Vineyard.   The Pinot Gris is planted at the highest point in the vineyard and primarily older vines on sedimentary soils. The influence here is clearly in Alsace, but we have to say, this is better than 99.9% of Pinot Gris that we’ve tasted from Oregon.
The nose is fantastic, discreet aromas of poached pear, citrus peel, white flowers and honey.  On the palate, it is really refined, and simply delicious.  It has weight, but glides across your palate, giving you the proper freshness with intensity that only comes from truly great wines.
This was a huge hit last year, and many of you clamored for it long after it was gone.
$19.99/BTL.-$239.88/CASE OF 12
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2013 Goodfellow Family Cellars Pinot Noir-Willamette Valley
The 2013 Pinot Noir is blended from some of Marcus’s top sources: 40% comes from Whistling Ridge Vineyard in the Ribbon Ridge district, 20% from Durant in the Dundee Hills, 25% from Bishop Creek and 15% Deux Vert, both in Yamhill-Carlton.
This wine is a study in levity and freshness; it is definitely not in the syrupy fruit bomb camp. And, if it  seems familiar, it is because we have had it before. However, this time around it has come in a en even more attractive price point.
$23.99/BTL.-$143.94/ 6 PACK CASE
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2014 Matello White Blend “Whistling Ridge-Ribbon Ridge”
A delicious hommage to Alsace and the wines of Marcel Deiss, composed of Riesling, Gewürtztraminer, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Noir. This is perfect (and we mean PERFECTO) wine for sushi.
$26.99/BTL.- $323.88/CASE OF 12
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2012 Matello “Fool’s Journey” Deux Vert Vineyard
Cool-Climate Syrah, co-fermented with a touch of Viognier. For those that like it comme les françaises (frenchie style).
$24.99/BTL.-$299.88/CASE OF 12
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2013 Goodfellow Family Cellars Chardonnay “Durant Vineyard”
Linear and mineral, reminiscent of white Macônnais.
$29.99/BTL.-$179.94/6 PACK CASE
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2013 Goodfellow Family Cellars Chardonnay “Richard’s Cuvée”
A rich, pleasurable version of this noble grape. Intensely mineral yet with ripe, golden fruit.
$34.99/BTL.-$209.94/ 6 PACK CASE
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2013 Goodfellow Family Cellars Pinot Noir “Durant Vineyard”
Old vines planted in volcanic soils. Spicy and textured. Very long-lived- a smart choice for cellaring.
$39.99/BTL.-$239.94/ 6 PACK CASE
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2013 Goodfellow Family Cellars Pinot Noir “Whistling Ridge Vineyard”
Elegant and high-toned, this, like the Durant above, might take a while to unwind, but always is worth the wait.
$36.99/BTL.-$221.94/ 6 PACK CASE
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2012 Goodfellow Family Cellars Pinot Noir “Bishop Creek Vineyard”
If you have a few slots that you would like to stash some 2012s, this is a last call. Bishop Creek is in the Yamhill Carlton AVA, and produces dark and intense Pinot Noir. Soils are some of the oldest in the Willamette Valley. We have a little left.
$39.99/BTL.-$239.94/ 6 PACK CASE
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Posted in Friday Feature, Friday Features/Newsletters, Newsletter

Friday Feature 04/01/16: 2013 Releases from Domaine de la Pépière

Domaine de la Pépière
Today we are giving you a chance to purchase what some consider one of France’s most underrated white wines- Muscadet. This cool, bucolic region just outside the historic city of Nantes is home to the humble Melon de Bourgogne grape.
Consider this quote made in 2005, by the late Joe Dressner:”It’s difficult to say there was a golden era of Muscadet. Even when it’s well made, it’s outside the zeitgeist of modern markets.”
We think it is safe to say that 11 years later, Muscadet has more than arrived. It is beloved by hipster sommeliers, wine enthusiasts and Grandmas alike. It’s clean, fresh, and by its very nature avoids heavy pitfalls like oak and high alcohol.
Marc Ollivier of Domaine de la Pépière has certainly done his fair share in insuring Muscadet’s meteoric rise to the top. His insistence on clean vineyard practices in a region where that can be very difficult, as well as concentration on single terroir bottlings, has set a quality standard for Muscadet that is very high.
We will not spend an inordinate amount of time here trying to sell you on the copious charms of Melon de Bourgogne; if you have loved Ollivier’s wines in the past, or a fan of Chablis or Sancerre, these wines are for you.

 

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2013 Domaine de la Pépière Muscadet Sèvre et Maine “Clisson”

 

One of Ollivier’s most famous bottlings, Clisson is largely a granitic site that has been recognized for its unique terroir. Clisson  produces a tightly knit, mineral driven Melon that while delicious when young, can be revelatory when allowed to age for a few years.
2013 was a much easier year than 2012 for the vignerons here and crop size was back to normal so we have a bit more than we did last year.
$21.99/BTL.
50 BOTTLES AVAILABLE

 

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2013 Domaine de la Pépière Muscadet Sèvre et Maine “Monnières-Saint Flacre”

 

This is a new labeling for Pepière, but he has worked this vineyard for some time now- these grapes previously went into his “Gras Moutons” bottling. Monnières-Saint Fiacre was recently recognized as part of the “cru communaux” system which includes 9 different vineyards, all with with special terroirs and qualities.
Because it was new to us, and we are often very thirsty, we gave it a try. It is softer and more creamy than Clisson, and perhaps a better candidate for early drinking, although we have no doubt this will age gracefully.

 

$21.99/BTL
50 BOTTLES AVAILABLE
Posted in Friday Feature, Friday Features/Newsletters, Newsletter

Friday Feature 03/25/16: The New 6 for $70-Something Sampler

Hello and Happy Friday,
Get ready Perman Wine fans, because its almost Spring, and that means lots of new and exciting events as well as new releases from your favorite producers.
We are excited to announce a late night “tasty” (part tasting, part party) at Perman Wines on Wednesday, April 6th.
Most of you know we are huge fans of the wines of Marcus Goodfellow of Goodfellow Family Cellars and Matello in Oregon.  Believe it or not, back in the day, Marcus and Craig used to sling cosmopolitans (the drink, remember that was popular?) behind the bar at the Heathman Restaurant in Portland, Oregon.  Since Craig isn’t as talented as Marcus, he wound up selling wine, and Marcus wound up being one of Oregon’s top wine producers.
Marcus is coming to town for a Oregon wine takeover at City Winery on Wednesday, April 6th and after we are hosting a late night “tasty” at the store.  So here are the details:
Late night “tasty” with Marcus Goodfellow
Where: Perman Wine Selections, 802 W. Washington Blvd., Chicago, IL
When: 10 PM till Midnight
Cost: $15 (waived with purchase of Goodfellow wine)
RSVP: Email us at orders@permanwine.com or craig@permanwine.com – we are going for controlled chaos, so we will only have 20 spots available
The Details: Join us as we taste a range of wines from Goodfellow Family Cellars with winemaker extraordinaire, Marcus Goodfello.  Both current vintage white and red wine will be tasted.  This is an informal walk-around tasting.
Sign up today!  We will provide you with a late-pass to work the next day.
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It is the last Friday of the month, and  fans of Perman Wine know that means time to introduce another 6 for $70-Something sampler.  For those of you new to the newsletter, this sampler is something we created to stock your homes with “everyday” wines for not a lot of money.
We all know Spain is one of the greatest country’s to find value-driven wines.  Each year in the Spring we typically offer a Spanish-heavy or all-Spanish 6 for $70-Something sampler.  This year its the former as we’ve paired three of our most popular Spanish offerings with three other fantastic values from France and Italy.
This will be one of the best samplers we do all-year -so don’t miss it!
Have a great weekend,
Craig, Sheb and Collin

6 for $70-Something
2015 Avinyo “Vi d’Agulla” Petillant Blanc, Penedès, Spain
Quite simply put, this is the most popular wine at Perman Wine Selections, year in and year out.  I sell more of it than any other wine.
There is a reason, nothing says warmer weather better than the Avinyo Petillant.  It’s actually so popular that we forewarn you – by the time the weather actually get hot, this wine will have sold out.
For those of you new to Perman Wine, Avinyo is one of the great producers of Cava in the Penedès region of Spain.
Several years back, they introduced a white wine, produced in a Petillant, or lightly spritzy style, made from the grape Petit Grain Muscat.  Today they are blending in a little bit of the traditional Catalan variety, Macabeu.
This is one of the most refreshing white wines known to man. Citrus, white flowers, and almond combine on the nose leading to that slightly fizzy mouthfeel.  It’s dry, crisp and oh-so-chuggable.
Buy this by the trunk-load, you won’t be disappointed!
$13.50/BTL.-$162.00/CASE OF 12
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2015 Luberri “Orlegi”-Rioja, Spain
Another wine that needs no introduction to “Perman-ites” is the “Orlegi” from superstar Rioja producer Luberri.
The other day we lost one of the best we have in the rap game, Phife Dawg from Tribe Called Quest.  We had to send a shout out to him on this newsletter.
It’s also appropriate to mention him because winemaker Florentino Martínez Monje is essentially the Phife Dawg of Rioja.  In the Rioja region, he is a man that needs no introduction, he has the “mad” respect of virtually everyone in the region. His no-nonsense vineyard practices are incredibly well-respected and his personality makes him larger than life.
“Orlegi” pays homage to the roots of Rioja, when wine was fermented using whole-cluster, or in this case partial, and aged quickly for immediate consumption. Here you won’t find the oak-influenced style that Rioja is so well known for today, rather a wine that offers bright red fruit, juicy acidity, and compliments virtually all you bring to the table.
This is authentic in the best sense of the word, and is a delicious wine for Spring and Summertime drinking.
$13.00/BTL.-$156.00 CASE OF 12
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2013 Cigliuti Dolcetto d’Alba, Piedmont, Italy
Barbaresco has a bit of an image problem.  On the one hand you have the Barolo appellation which dominates the Piedmontese wine-scene in the United States.  On the other hand, virtually all the chatter in the business regarding Barbaresco focuses on its two superstar producers: Gaja and Bruno Giacosa, and not much else.
We have news for you, Barbaresco has a handful of truly special producers, every bit as good as you will find in Barolo.  While we give props to those two famous names, we humbly ask that you listen to those with a deep working knowledge and incredible devotion to the wines of Piedmont, your humble crew at Perman Wine.
What we want to tell you is that if you haven’t tasted the wines of Cigliuti in Neive, a sub-region of Barbaresco, you are sincerely missing out.  We aim to rectify that situation by offering you this absolutely outstanding and classic Dolcetto.
The history of this winery extends back 4 generations, and today Renato, his wife Dina, and daughters Claudia and Silvia run this winery with great precision.  The vineyards are top-notch and include two of Barbaresco’s most famous Cru’s, Serraboella and Bricco di Neive.  To keep the essence of the terroir, only natural yeasts are used, fermentation is in stainless steel and aging is done in large oak barrels, except for this Dolcetto which stays in tank.
This Dolcetto hails from 20+ year-old vines in the Serraboella vineyard.  This gives us everything we love about the variety: the freshness, the mixture of red and black fruits, the integrated herbal notes, and the ability to work with virtually everything at the table.
We so often are on a search for authenticity in wine, and very few wines speak to it more than this. Delicious Dolcetto!
$15.00 BTL. -$180.00/CASE OF 12
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2011 Domaine de la Mordorée Côtes du Rhône
You may have noticed in the last few samplers a theme of Rhône varietals. This region remains a source of fantastic value in a range of styles from producers we believe in. Today we are featuring a very elegant and earth driven Côtes du Rhône from famed Tavel-based estate, Domaine de la Mordorée.
Last year we learned of an immense tragedy, when winemaker and founder of Domaine de la Mordorée, Christophe Delorme, died unexpectedly of a heart attack at the age of 52.  His influence in the Southern Rhône and in particular the appellation of Lirac can’t be underestimated.  He founded his Domaine at the age of 24, along with his father.  In just a short time he took his original 5 hectares of vineyard holdings, inherited from his family, and turned it into 55 hectares of vines.  More impressive was his strive for quality.  With machine harvesting the norm in Tavel, he believed that the best quality came from hand harvesting. He worked organically in the vineyard, and staunchly believed in quality over quantity, restricting his yields to microscopic levels.
Like most Côtes du Rhône this is a food wine, and the fact that this wine has some bottle age on it, makes it perfect for pairings.  As we move into Spring you should think about pairing this with all things coming off the grill. The acidity will refresh but the concentration and structure will stand up to a variety of charred meats and veggies.
$13.50/BTL.-$162.00/CASE OF 12
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2015 Bodegas Ostatu Rioja Rosado, Rioja, Spain
Located in the village of Samaniego, in a mountainous and somewhat remote part of the sub-region of Alavesa. The Saenz de Samaniego family raises classic Rioja grapes in a perfect microclimate at a two hundred and fifty year old winery. Historically, the wines made by the family were made in a fresh style for local consumption only.
The pedigree for the grapes used in this rosé is impressive; 60-70 year old vines of Tempranillo & Garnacha from their highest altitude vineyards. The wine is fermented in tank to retain freshness and vitality.

This is our first 2015 rosé here at Perman Wine Selections, and is one that we look forward to every year (see previous newsletters recommending filling up a bathtub with it!). It is fresh, clean and fruity with a core of minerality reminding you that it comes from the old world. Just the reminder of spring we all need!

$14.00/BTL.-$168.00 CASE OF 12
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2014 Cave de Saumur “Plantagenêts” Saumur Blanc, Loire Valley, France
The sub-region of Saumur in the Loire Valley produces several kinds of wine; most notably red wine from cabernet Franc, a little rose, sparkling and white, like the one we are offering on this month’s sampler, made from Chenin Blanc.
The local co-operative of growers called Cave des Vignerons de Saumur produces this delightful example of Chenin Blanc. The name “Plantagenêts” refers to the royal family that inherited Château de Saumur in the 11th century.
It is completely unoaked, though still has some weight and offers beautiful apple and lemon citrus notes along with plenty of refreshing acidity and saline minerality. A very versatile and refreshing wine for the beginning of spring!
$10.50/BTL.-$126.00/CASE OF 12
Posted in 6 for $70-Something, Friday Feature, Friday Features/Newsletters, Newsletter

Friday Feature 03/18/2016: The New 6 for $120-Something Sampler

It’s the second to last Friday of the month and that means time for a new edition of the Six for $120-Something Sampler.
This is a truly fantastic sampler.  As always we travel around the globe, with great wines from Spain, Italy, South Africa, and of course France.  We’ve seen an increase in people asking for white wine, and so this month we have equal parts red to white wine.
You are free to buy any of the bottles à la carte but you know you can easily drink six in one month so do the whole sampler!
Have a Great Weekend,
Craig, Sheb & Collin

6 for $120-Something!
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2014 La Zorra “Teso” Blanco, Salamanca, Spain
I’m super excited to introduce a wine to you that is relatively new to me!
I can’t give you a long, storied history of the Sierra de Salamanca appellation because it is one of the newest appellations in Spain, gaining PDO status in 2010.  It is located in the Sierra de Francia mountains, on the Eastern edge of Portugal, where for centuries terraced vineyards above the Alagón river have been farmed.
Agustin Maillo and his family own a small restaurant in the town of Mogarraz.  For years they have been making wine for the restaurant and his family.  Today, he has dedicated himself to the wines and produces three excellent wines, two red and the one we are featuring today, a white wine called “Teso Blanco.”
All the wines feature the Rufete grape, and there is both a red version and white version of it.  The only other time I’ve had Rufete is when I’ve been in Portugal, and it is used there as a blending grape.
The 2014 Teso Blanco is produced from 59% Palomino (the grape of Jerez), 29% Rufete Blanca and 12% Moscatel from over 60 year-old vines planted on granite and slate.  The wine is fermented in stainless steel tanks, and aged in old French barriques under a think layer of Flor for 5 months.
For those not familiar with Flor, it is a term we typically talk about with Sherry, a type of yeast allowed to develop on the surface of Fino Sherry.  There are only a handful of wine regions in the world that practice this, and it leaves a distinct impression on the wine.
This is truly a special white wine, among the most unique and delicious that I’ve tasted all year.  The aromatics are fantastic with notes of a concentrated grapefruit peel, spiced pear and flowers.  This has medium weight to it, with a really pure, crystalline quality in the mid-palate.  It is fresh, complex, and outrageously delicious. A whole roasted sea bream with olives, fennel and olive oil would be a great match.
I’m going to do a little begging here, even if you aren’t getting the sampler, please give this wine a try.  It’s like nothing else, and is such a great value given its complexity.
$24.00/BTL.-$288.00/CASE OF 12
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2012 Elio Grasso Barbera d’Alba “Vigna Martina,” Piedmont, Italy
You know we adore the wines of Piedmont around these parts?  That’s because its home to some of the greatest wines in the world, and at the same time the place to find wines you will want to drink on an everyday basis.
I’ve been known to say that a “glass of Barbera a day, keeps the doctor away.”  I’ve heard that its supposed to be an apple, but I’m pretty sure that its Barbera.
This noble grape varietal is at its best in the hills of the Alba and Asti regions of Piedmont.  We know you’ve tried it, but we ask that you keep doing so because there are so many great examples with such diversity of style.
For a long time one of my favorite Barbera has been from famed Barolo producer Elio Grasso, located in the heart of the Barolo region in Monforte d’Alba.  I’ve had the pleasure of visiting this estate many times, and each time I get a chance to walk through the cellars with Gianluca, you see for yourself one consistent trend, they are sold out of wine! That’s because as one of the best producers (if not the best) in Monforte d’Alba, the global demand for these wines is insane.
This Barbera comes from 3.5 hectares of south-facing vines in the village of Monforte d’Alba. Vine age is averaged at healthy 30 years-old.  The alcoholic and malolactic fermentation occurs in stainless steel tanks, and the wine is aged in a combination of new and 1-year French barrique. Gianluca produces about 20,000 bottles of the Barbera per year.
Now for some really good news.  Normally this wine would never be able to make our Six for $120-Something sampler, because it typically retails for $33, and is well worth it at that price.  The other day, the distributor decided to reduce the price to help make room for the new vintage and I jumped at the chance to offer this to you at the amazing price of $26.
The 2012 is a fantastic wine, inviting from the first pour, with aromas of black cherry, wild strawberry, fennel and spice. This is a fresh vintage for this wine, and while it has medium weight on the palate, its got great snap, finishing with juicy acidity, and lots of complexity.
Please everyone out there in email land, take advantage of this great deal from this great producer!  Its such a killer food wine, and you can pair it with so many different foods, from steak, to poultry, mushroom based dishes, pasta, and more.
$26.00/BTL.-$312.00/CASE OF 12 – Normally $33 a bottle, take advantage of this special price, while it lasts!
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2013 Domaine Lupin Roussette de Savoie “Cuvée du Pépé – Vieilles Vignes,” France
It’s an exciting time in the world of French wine.  Yes, appellations like Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne still get the majority of chatter in wine circles.  Yet, it’s also important to note that the US now has a better selection than ever of regions that often tended to never make it here.
Case in point, the Savoie.  Over my years in the wine business there was maybe 3 or 4 wines that you would routinely see from this region which sits on the Eastern edge of France, bordering Switzerland and Italy.  With an estimated 50% of the regional economy derived from tourism, much of the local production was, and still is consumed in Savoie.
To navigate the world of Savoie wine, you need to know that it isn’t a huge region in terms of hectares planted, but it does stretch for over 100 kilometers from North to South. Because of that there is a good bit of diversity of style, terroir, and even grapes.  The majority of what we’ve seen in the US up to this point comes from Chambéry which includes the crus of Apremont, Chignon and Chignin-Bergeron.  This is Jacquère-land, a fresh, and relatively straightforward varietal.
Today we focus on what I feel is the more complex variety, the exciting grape, Altesse.  Frangy is a Cru of A.O.C. Roulette de Savoie, located in the Vallée des Usses. Winemaker Bruno Lupin is one of the best producers of this small region.  He owns 5 hectares of vineyards in Frangy, located on the South-facing hillside of Les Aricoques.
Two wines from Domaine Lupin are sold in the Chicago market, and I’ve featured the “regular” Frangy before.  This year, I was able to get my hands on some of the “Cuvée du Pépé”  This very special, small production wine comes from 60 year-old vines, all Altesse from his hillside vineyard.
Such pretty aromatics, combining apple and pear notes along with white flowers and mineral.  Good examples of Altesse such as this show the grape to have a textural element, and this has medium weight on the palate, but finishes with great length, freshness and mineral notes.
A great wine for the table as it can handle seafood such as scallops and lobster, and also pairs nicely with mushrooms.
A special wine.
$29.00/BTL.$348.00/CASE OF 12
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2011 Leone de Castris Salice Salentino Riserva, Puglia, Italy
Wine people don’t drink full-bodied, intense red wine.  Maybe its all the drinking we do, but for most of us, bubbles, white wine, Pinot Noir, those are the kind of things you will find us drinking at home.
Yet there is something comforting and crave-able about wines like this from Leone de Castris that make us reach out for a glass from time to time.
This historic producer, having been founded in 1665 by the Spanish Duke Oronzo is located in the heel of the boot – Puglia, Italy.  This winery has been commercially exporting since the 19th century, and they own a massive 990 acres of vines, producing 2.5 million bottles a year.
This wine comes from the Salice Salentino appellation, just north of the village of Lecce.  The main grape varietal of the area is Negroamaro, typically planted on the clay-loam soil of the area. This Riserva is made from 90% Negroamaro and 10% Malvasia Nera.  It is fermented at a warm temperature in stainless steel tanks, undergoes malolactic fermentation in tank and is aged in 5 year-old French barriques for 1 year.
It has everything you want from a good Salice Salentino, intense, baked red fruit aromas, with hints and spice, vanilla and anise.  It is medium weight, super silky, with the perfect amount of ripe fruit and a subtle, round finish.  This is the kind of wine you want to just sit around and drink, or have at a barbecue with grilled steaks and sausages.
$17.00/BTL.-$204.00/CASE OF 12
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2013 Domaine du Moulin Gaillac “Cuvée Réserve,” France
To say we are Francophiles around here at Perman Wine is a bit of an understatement.  After all Sheb is currently on her annual trip to France, eating great food, visiting local CrossFit “boxes” (I still don’t know what that means), and of course drinking the local wine.
Ah, the local wine, that is what makes France so endearing to us.  Everywhere you go in France there is a local wine, and it is often delicious, matching particularly well to the local cuisine.
We love rustic French countryside wines, and very few typify what we are talking about better than the wines of Gaillac.
Both the name of a village and the wine appellation, Gaillac resides in Southwest France along the river Tarn.  The village was founded in 972, but wine has been produced there by the Romans in the first century BC.
As a wine region it offers different types of soil, clay, limestone, sand and silex.  The region sees more sunshine than Bordeaux, but has a cool maritime climate to match with the sunshine.  The main red grape varieties of the region are Duras and Braucol, and there is white made from Mauzac and Muscadelle.  Syrah is also planted in the region and used in blending.
Domaine du Moulin is a six-generation wine estate that owns 38 hectares of vineyards.  Due to their vineyards located on both sides of the river, they work with two distinctive types of soil, gravel and then clay-limestone.
We had the chance to welcome current winemaker Nicolas Hirissou to the shop a few months back and were really impressed by the wines, particularly by this great value the “Cuvée Réserve.”  A blend of 50% Duras and 50% Syrah, fermented and aged in old barrel, it offers everything you want out of a rustic French countryside red.  Notes of plum, cherry, tobacco leaf and herbs on the nose, lead into a medium-bodied palate with just the right amount of fruit and earthiness complementing each other.
This is clearly a wine for the table, and it conjures up the imagination of a table set with great paté, crusty bread, leafy salads, rich stews, and at the end of it all, several empty bottles of Gaillac.
$15.00/BTL.-$180.00/CASE OF 12
 
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2015 Iona Sauvignon Blanc, Elgin, South Africa 
We hear it all the time.  “Do you have any New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.” “I love Sancerre.” “My favorite is Napa Sauvignon Blanc.”
It’s a fact, consumers order Sauvignon Blanc by appellation or country. While this is a good sign that there is an understanding of how appellation and place effects style, it also can oversimplify the concept of style.
A perfect example is this wine from Iona, a winery based in the Elgin region of South Africa.  South Africa is well known for their Sauvignon Blanc production. Although there is almost twice the amount of Chenin Blanc planted in comparison to Sauvignon Blanc, when I visited the country in January, it seemed equally as present on wine lists in restaurants.
Yet just ordering a South African Sauvignon Blanc can lead to a very different experience.  Stellenbosch is perhaps the most well known region for Sauvignon, but due to the dry and warm climate, many times the life cycle of the grape is too short to get totally ripe.  You often fine Sauvignon with the “green meanies” or what are know as pyrazines, or quite simply put, lots of green, bell pepper and herb notes.
So I want you to keep that in mind when you taste this fantastic Sauvignon Blanc from the cool-climate Elgin region. Iona is often harvesting their fruit two months after many producers in Stellenbosch.  Their long and slow life cycle, allows the fruit to outmuscle any effects of pyrazine.  In fact the really fantastic 2015 Iona Sauvignon Blanc has more notes hinting at tropical fruit, than the typical citrus that you might find in other Sauvignon Blanc.  It is everything you want in a Sauvignon Blanc, a wine that can be sipped on its own or paired with simple preparation of fish.
This is an excellent value.
$17.00/BTL.-$204.00/CASE
Posted in 6 for $120-Something, Friday Feature, Friday Features/Newsletters, Newsletter

Friday Feature 03/11/16: Good Cru Beaujolais from Domaine des Billiards

2013 Domaine des Billards Saint-Amour Beaujolais-
Burgundy, France

 

There are a few ways to think about France. There is the romantic way, where wine is drunk, crunchy baguettes slathered with cultured butter are consumed, people are allowed to sit down and eat lunch, the work week is capped at 35 hours and leisure time is valued. But anyone who has done business in France knows that a tangled bureaucratic nightmare slinks behind this idyllic stereotype. 96 administrative departments exist, all with a bevy of fonctionnaires whose sole mission in life is to insure total cessation of forward progress.
Beaujolais, the wine region, actually sits in two different departments. #71, the Saône et Loire and #69, the Rhône. Its ten crus lie mainly in the Rhône, with the exception of Moulin-à-Vent, Chénas & Juliénas whose vineyards lie in both departments. Saint-Amour is the sole cru that lies in the Saône et Loire, where you will also find the Mâconnais and Côte Chalonnaise.
Why are you telling us this? Can’t you just get to the wine?
Yes. We are just trying to make sure you understand how unique Saint-Amour is, that’s all. And this one, made at Domaine des Billards by Xavier & Gregory Barbet, is one of the nicest versions we have had in a long while. The Barbets make Beaujolais across several different appellations, including Moulin-à-Vent, Fleurie & Beaujolais-Villages. They use time-honored traditions in their winemaking; semi-carbonic fermentations in vat utilizing only indigenous yeasts, and aging in a combination of used foudre and cement tanks. This is a silky and seamless expression of Gamay, not without acidity, yet tempered by a rich velvet-y texture, and imbued with a trove of morello and rainier cherries. Chill a bottle slightly, turn on your oven and truss a chicken, but not before you have stuffed the cavity with copious amounts of fresh thyme. Liberally season with salt and pepper, and perhaps even a little piment d’esplette and make yourself a fresh salad of crunchy butter lettuce leaves.

 

$25.00/BTL.-$300.00/CASE OF 12
Posted in Friday Feature, Friday Features/Newsletters, Newsletter