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.
March’s sampler brings you some fresh, more spring-like picks- a nice Riesling and crisp Chardonnay, plus a myriad of reds. Italy, Spain, France- we got you covered! I saw some nice asparagus at the store yesterday, perhaps a soup with some crème fraîche is in order?
Have a great weekend,
Craig, Sheb and Collin
6 for $70-Something
2013 Ca’ del Baio Barbera “Paolina”-Piemonte, Italy
We are pretty excited to debut a new Barbera to our sampler, from a producer we adore at a fantastic new price.
Ca’ del Baio is located the commune of Treiso, in Barbaresco, and describe themselves as a “…typical family concern in which all the members contribute.” I know some typical families where all the members do not contribute anything, so I say hats off to them! But truly, this is their passion and life, and everyone contributes, from babies to grandmas.
They farm about 26 hectares of vines, three of which are Barbera. As you might already know, Barbera is often planted in locations not suitable to Nebbiolo; it ripens more easily and can be less difficult to grow. You may have also noticed that we tend to favor Barbera. Why is this?
Very few grapes are able to achieve the kind of balance between ripeness and freshness that Barbera does- especially when it is handled correctly. Its propensity for searing acidities needs to be tamed, but it also shouldn’t be pummeled into submission so much that it loses all its racy charms. Ca’ del Baio manages to tame the beast by a combination of stainless steel and neutral barrel aging, and the result is a tangy yet velvety red wine that is a versatile dinner companion.
What other wine do you have in your arsenal that works so magically with pizza, lamb, salads and cheese? The answer is none. Don’t miss this!
$15.00/BTL.-$180.00/CASE OF 12
2010 Jané Ventura Negre Selecció-Penedés, Spain
You may know the estate of Jané Ventura for their fine Cavas. They are a fourth generation grower located in the southern (Baix) part of the Penedés in the Roman enclave of Tarragona.
What you may not know is that they also make a delicious and very affordable range of still wines, like this Tinto we are featuring here.
The wine is unabashedly Mediterranean, ripe and pleasurable, and composed of a variety of both indigenous and international grapes. The blend includes Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sumoll and Syrah. Both estate and purchased fruit is used, as well as stainless steel and neutral barrels for aging.
This kind of luscious sipper works all by itself, but would also complement roasted chicken thighs, lamb loin or a nice beef stew.
$12.50/BTL.-$150.00 CASE OF 12
2014 Selbach Riesling ‘Incline’- Mosel, Germany
The Germans certainly do not make it easy for us to buy Riesling; fifty syllable vineyard names, overly complex labeling and the eternal question “Is it dry or is it sweet?” are all factors that contribute to the purchasing of other, less difficult wines. Harried wine shoppers certainly don’t want to be wrestling with terms like “Einzellage” and the debate of whether or not the terroir of the Mosel is more transparent at the Spätlese or Kabinett Prädikat level.
Enter Johannes Selbach and his “entry level” Riesling. Incline refers to the steeply terraced slopes from which the Riesling is harvested. Incline is a simple premise: fermented in stainless steel, left with a tiny bit of sweetness, and fresh and bracing as a winter flower. Who doesn’t love a winter flower?
This would be a nice one with which to start a Saturday night. At 11.5% ABV, you won’t get all crunk and go nuts (right away) and you can start with something alive & vibrant that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
$11.00 BTL. -$132.00/CASE OF 12
2013 Cave de Tain Syrah-Northern Rhône Valley, France
High quality, top-tier wines are not always the first association we have with large co-op wineries. Of course, there are many delicious and affordable wines made by co-ops these days. But Cave de Tain in France, and Produttori del Barbaresco in Italy stand out as grand exceptions to the rule.
Cave de Tain lies at the foot of the Hermitage hillside and buys grapes from nearly 1000 hectares of vines. They own 21 hectares outright, and those vineyards are farmed by nine permanent employees. It is safe to say that these guys know how to handle Syrah.
This Syrah, from the hillsides, and flats of the Northern Rhône, carries the egregious appellation of Collines Rhodaniennes, which by the way, even native residents of the Rhône Valley find preposterous and hard to pronounce.
$12.50/BTL.-$150.00/CASE OF 12
2013 Valle dell’Acate Frappato-Sicily, Italy
In far, south Italy the famous Mediterranean island of Sicily is producing increasingly fascinating and consistently well valued wine. Cult winemakers like Arianna Occhipinti and Frank Cornelissen have brought Sicily much attention over the last few years for their work with native varieties like Nero d’Avola and Nerello Mascalese, but there is even more of a revolution happening in this region as it begins to consider quality over producing massive quantity.
Today we are looking at the wines of Valle dell’Acate, located just north of our friend Arianna in the commune of Vittoria. Here the climate is warm and arid, the heat yielding wines that are often ripe and fruity and the dryness meaning it is easier to work organically due to less need for spraying. Here they showcase one of Sicily’s native grapes, Frappato, in a pitch perfect style.
Frappato is all about freshness and Valle dell’Acate nails this perfectly. For me this wine is all raspberry fruit, sage and herbs, soft tannin and delicate aromatics. Very easy drinking and a perfect start to your evening, perhaps with a bit of crusty bread and some cheese and salami.
ONLY AVAILABLE ON SAMPLER PURCHASES
2015 Domaine Montrose Chardonnay- Languedoc, France
What don’t we love about the Languedoc? It is a large area of great contrast; Mediterranean, coastal, mountainous, Mediterranean, all depending on where you are. In the spring, the landscape is sun-drenched and covered with with a ubiquitous flowering bush called broom, its yellow flowers bursting with their sweet honeyed scent, perfuming the air. A furious wind called the tramontane whips through this bucolic scene with enough force to jostle a small car in a somewhat terrifying way as you shuttle from village to village taking it all in.
Domaine Montrose is a family-run winery in the fun to pronounce region of Côtes-de-Thongue. They are not far from the coast, in between the cities of Narbonne and Montpellier. This is normally not a terroir we think about, when we think about Chardonnay, but this proximity to the sea, as well as night harvesting, cold fermentations and stainless steel aging contribute to a fresh and lively Chardonnay, with notes of citrus, peach and fresh apples.
$11.50/BTL.-$138.00/CASE OF 12