New Releases from Champagne Georges Laval

Hello and Happy New Year!
Let’s just get this over with.
Congratulations on your new diet, we’re supportive.
Working out is also a good thing, just keep drinking wine in moderation, because we all know it’s good for you!
Now that we got that out of the way we can begin our first newsletter of the year.
Many of you have been asking about upcoming tastings, and in January, we typically give them a break.
We are in planning mode for tastings in February and beyond, so stay tuned!
Just because things have quieted down in our lives, doesn’t mean that they have in the wine world. In the coming months we will see plenty of exciting new releases from some of the top wineries in the world.
We begin the new year with one such arrival from Champagne George Laval.
For those that have shopped at the store for a while, this will be a familiar name. Which is ironic because this is one of the smallest superstar producers in all of Champagne producing roughly 10,000 bottles in total per year.
We’ve had a personal connection to the winery for many years, something that we are honored to have. As such we get a great allocation and even have access to one of his wines exclusively in the Midwest.
Champagne is experiencing a renaissance, with many great producers to choose from. Laval is at the top of the game, producing Champagne of the same complexity as any of the top wines of the world. Don’t miss these.
Have a great weekend,
Craig & Jamie

Champagne Georges Laval
We’ve written about the great Champagne of Vincent Laval of Champagne Georges Laval many times in our newsletters. It’s a story worth repeating.
As I mentioned in the introduction, Georges Laval is a small grower Champagne house based in the village of Cumières in the Vallée de la Marne. They only produce 10,000 bottles in total production, with the bulk of the production coming from the NV Cumières Brut Nature.
One of the things that sets Laval apart from most producers is their meticulous farming. This is not a trend thing, the Laval family has been farming their vineyards organically for over 40 years! Even a decade ago in Champagne that was relatively unheard of.
Up until recently, Laval produced grapes only from Cumières, in upcoming vintages he will produce a wine from a vineyard in a nearby village.
The excitement of grower Champagne today is that we can really get even more in depth with the terroir of Champagne. The wines being offered below are all from Cumières, and show the identity of the vineyards.
The same care in the vineyard is given in the winery. Vincent uses a traditional old Coquart vertical press to extract the juice. His press is small by Champagne standards, but it gives him even more control over this very important process.
Laval picks his grapes at a higher degree of ripeness, and he never chapitilizes, and allows the wines to go through malolactic fermentation.
Speaking of which, all the wines are fermented in neutral oak barrels with indigenous yeasts in Laval’s cold and small underground cellar.
The wines are never fined or filtered. Disgorgement is by hand.
These are truly complex Champagnes, and as such, you can drink them now, but those with patience will be greatly rewarded. Each of the Champagnes below age and get better with time.
For years I’ve been wanting to say something with the preface that it is not meant to be controversial or an attack on anyone’s preferences.
In my personal opinion, these offerings are far more complex Champagnes than anything being produced by the Grand Marques (i.e. Dom Pérignon, Krug, Pol Roger, Taittinger, etc.). That’s not based on salesmanship, that is based on taste and experience, and my personal belief. The reason why many of you shop here is to receive advice, to cut through the marketing, and get wines that are made by people with a point of view that isn’t so influenced by the business side, but rather by passion for place.
So if you are a Champagne fan, or even a fanatic, these are wines you should buy each and every year. Making sure you buy enough to drink some now, and put some away.
We love Champagne Georges Laval!
Champagne Georges Laval Brut Nature NV 
From his beautifully farmed vines in the village of Cumières, this is a blend of 50% Chardonnay and 25% each of Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.  The base of this NV is from the 2014 vintage, with 10% of Reserve wine from the 2013 vintage. It was just disgorged on September 9th, 2016.
Vincent used to produce two NV’s, one dosed as a Brut and the other without any dosage, a Brut Nature.  He now is only producing a Brut Nature.  There are very few producers that can pull this off, as it requires a lot of detail in the farming of the grapes.  With Laval, and in particular with this wine, it is perfectly balanced, and it seems even a little silly worrying about the dosage.
Champagne is so complex that we often recommend certain producers and styles based on a customers palate.  In this case,  we believe that every single one of our customers must try this.  It may change your life and your understanding of Champagne like it did ours!
$76.99 BTL. / LIMITED
Champagne Georges Laval Rosé Brut Nature NV
Around the end of the year you see a lot of “best of” lists written by various people. With so many great wines tasted in 2016 it is pretty difficult for me to come up with such a list.
One thing I do know for sure is that the best wine I tasted in 2016 was a bottle of Laval Rosé, an older disgorgement that blended 2010 and 2009. It was like drinking Musigny with bubbles. I still dream of it.
The new disgorgement just arrived, and like the Cumières just disgorged in September. This Rosé is entirely produced from the 2014 vintage.
The Rosé is a blend of Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier all from Cumières.  The majority of the fruit comes from three of his top vineyards, old-vines in Les Chênes, Les Hautes Chèvres and Longues Violes. It is foot-tread before being pressed, and fermented like the others in used barrel.
This is not your simple, light, fruity style of Rosé.  It is concentrated, yet fresh, multi-layered with notes of wild strawberry and rhubarb.  The finish is never ending, and while I will have a hard time resisting drinking my stash of it now, as I mentioned this benefits from some time in bottle.
An amazing Champagne Rosé!


2012 Champagne Georges Laval “Les Chênes”
Les Chênes was first bottled as a separate wine in 1994.
This is a cuvée made purely from Chardonnay. This is a highly regarded vineyard spot, just east of the village of Cumières, with very little topsoil that barely covers the bedrock of chalk. This wine is always produced in the Brut Nature style (zero dosage) and he usually makes just under 1700 bottles.
The 2012 “Les Chênes” is one of the best I’ve ever had.
It still has that textbook combination of citrus and stone fruit, big-time minerality, and a finish that goes on and on.
Try a bottle now, pouring it into big stems for aeration.  It is a must that this is drunk at a temperature closer to how you would serve White Burgundy, around 52 or 53 degrees Fahrenheit.
Make sure you hold some in your cellar, drinking over the next 15 years. Optimally I’d drink from 2020-2030.
2012 Champagne Georges Laval “Les Hautes- Chèvres”
Easily one of the greatest and most rare Blanc de Noirs in existence.
This is only made in great vintages. 2009 was the last vintage we received, which was made from Pinot Noir vines in the Les Hautes Chèvres vineyard.
The release of the 2012 marks the first time that this is made entirely of Pinot Meunier, from vines planted between 1930 and 1959 in Les Hautes Chèvres.
The vineyard is on the Western side of Cumières and the top soils here are a bit more fertile, and the chalk bedrock is deeper. Perfect for Meunier.
The 2012 Les Hautes Chèvres is mind-blowing. It is a baby, but don’t hesitate to open a bottle now to experience it in its youth.
Beautiful red fruit aromas of wild strawberry and cassis. The fruit is intense and rich, but also with balance and nuanced mineral and spice notes. The finish doesn’t seem to end.
Again, try a bottle in its youth, but then save some to drink from 2020 – 2035+.
Posted in Friday Feature, Friday Features/Newsletters

12/30/16 – 6 for “Everyday” Wine Club – the $15 & under Edition

Hello and Happy Friday!
It is difficult to believe that 2016 is almost in the books.

We wanted to take the opportunity to thank each and every one of our customers for your business in 2016.

We know you have a lot of choices and places to buy adult beverages.

Your support means a lot to us!

We promise to keep fighting for you, providing you with the best choices in wine, spirits and beer, and trying to give you the best customer service possible.

Thank you!


2017 promises to be an exciting year at Perman Wine Selections.

Many of you have already heard, but I wanted to formally announce that Perman Wine will be opening a new location in 2017.

We will be opening on the ground floor of the Xavier apartment building at 625 W Division. Our address will officially be 1167 N Howe, just off the corner of Division & Howe.

The new store will offer even more selections, more cooler space for beer, more spirits, and of course space to continue our tastings and events.

We hope to be open in June, but you know how construction goes!

In the meantime, we will continue in the West Loop at our first location, 802 W Washington Blvd.

Stay tuned for more information on store happenings as we have it.


A brief note on upcoming store hours:

Friday, December 30th – Noon till 8 PM

Saturday, December 31st – 11 AM till 5 PM
Sunday, January 1st – CLOSED
Monday, January 2nd – CLOSED

Today’s Friday Feature announces the new arrival of the “6 for Everyday Wine Club – $15 and under edition.”

We’ve saved our best for last!

This month’s wine club will feature a lot of familiar names, We are excited to have the new vintages from producers such as Selvagrossa, Champs Fleuris and Casa de Saima.

We always select our choices for the wine club with season in mind. As we are in the heart of winter, we’ve included four reds and two white wines this month.

We are proud of our wine club. We offer real wine, from real producers, all of whom are considered good, conscientious producers in their respective regions.

We don’t think you are going to find a better six bottles for the money.

These are in stock and available for pick up or delivery.

Happy New Year,
Craig & Jamie


6 for “Everyday” Wine Club – the $15 & under Edition
2015 Domaine des Champs Fleuris “Les Tufolies” 
Saumur Champigny
Domaine des Champs Fleuris is the labor of love of four friends who decided to commit their lives and financial resources to 44 hectares of vines. The vineyards have good exposure and sit on the classic soils of the region called tuffeau, a porous, sedimentary rock that is prevalent in this region.
Last week’s newsletter introduced the latest release of Crémant from Domaine des Champs Fleuris as part of our “6 for Everyday $30 & Under” wine club. This week we highlight their delicious Cabernet Franc from Saumur Champigny.
We opened up a bottle yesterday to sip on for newsletter inspiration – it is such a terrific example of what Cabernet Franc from the Loire Valley should be. And it’s not shy in the aromatics department – notes of red berries, sandalwood and peppercorns jump out of the glass. Tannins are soft and balanced with the bright acidity to make this an excellent sipping wine, but even more spectacular with a grilled piece of lean red meat or a hearty winter stew.
$15.00 BTL / $180.00 CASE
2015 Selvagrossa “Cuchén” 
Le Marche, Italy

Here at Perman Wine Selections we are big fans of the wines coming out of Le Marche, particularly from our good friends at Selvagrossa. Located on Pesaro’s foothills facing the Adriatic coast of Le Marche, it is a very small estate with only five hectares of vineyards.

Brothers Alberto and Alessandro Taddei inherited the Estate in 2002 from their grandparents, and the first Selvagrossa wine was made that same year from an old-vine Sangiovese vineyard planted in the early 1970’s by Alberto and Alessandro’s father and grandfather.

Though their Sangiovese is full of character and truly representative of the terrior, equally impressive is their 2015 Cuchén made from the Verdicchio grape. Verdicchio happens to be one of Craig’s favorite varietals and the Cuchén is a beautiful expression of it.

This Verdicchio wine has a youthful orange blossom on the nose with plenty of minerality and mouth-watering acidity on the palate. Though refreshing and youthful, Cuchén has a round mouth feel and is an exceptionally well-balanced wine.

We believe that Le Marche is the last of the great and undiscovered regions of Italy, and the wines of Selvagrossa are a prime example. They are wines that are meant to be enjoyed again and again, and offer great value for the quality, this is why we couldn’t resist adding it to our 6 for Everyday!

$15.00 BTL / $180.00 CASE
2013 Rocca dei Mori “Briacò” Primitivo Salento
Puglia, Italy
The Apollonio Wine Company has a long and deep-rooted history, and is now awarded with the title of ‘Impresa Storica d’Italia’ (historic company of Italy). This four-generation history – always evolving yet remaining faithful to itself – began in 1870, when Noè Apollonio started his adventure, followed by his son Marcello, who would later modernize the small firm. After World War II, Marcello’s son, Salvatore, took over production and management.
In the warm region of Salento, Apollonio’s sun-kissed vineyards give their sweet, must-scented fruits according to the rhythm of nature. In the wine cellar, red grapes – once gathered and selected – are fermented at a controlled temperature in Slavonian oak vats.

Made from 100% Primitivo from low yielding, old bush vines producing high quality fruit. Benefiting from 12 months in American oak, the wine is full and rich on the nose, black cherries, plum and a sweeter seam of something more balsamic and vanilla like. There’s plenty of flavor on a structured and rich palate, great length and fine tannins. A rich, smooth red of great quality with real character.

$15.00 BTL / $180.00 CASE
2012 Lupinc Terrano
Carso, Italy
Craig first visited the small Lupinc family estate back in 2011. Young, talented winemaker Matej Lupinc is the current generation and proprietor of a cellar that dates back to 1913.
The appellation of Carso D.O.C. (Karst) is located in the broader region of Friuli Venezia Giulia.  The Lupinc family resides in the village of Prepotto, about a 25 minute drive from Trieste.
Carso is a unique appellation.  To plant vineyards, dynamite is often used to break into the hard limestone/clay soil.  It is a luminous region, offering great warmth, but with its proximity to the sea plenty of cool breezes.  It is often so windy that producers will shield the vines, with its most resistant and strongest vine, Vitovska.
Lupinc works with the classic native varieties of Carso – Vitovska, Malvasia Istriana, and Terrano.  In 1970, they were one of the first to estate bottle. This is a very hands on winery with owner and winemaker Matej Lupinc taking on the majority of the work in both the vineyard and the winery.  In total, average production is around 20,000 bottles per year.
Today, we re-feature the current vintage of the Carso red variety, Terrano.
You’ve seen this wine on the newsletter before, but as a special for the new year and because we really want to introduce you to Terrano, we’ve reduced the price way lower than normal.
This is a unique wine. Terrano has particularly high acidity, and is mostly dark and densely colored with violet and grassy aromas. Flavors of dark peppery spices, tart blackberries and plums abound on the palate. A bit of direction is needed with this wine! It likes oxygen and HAS to go with food. Decant this for an hour and pair it with rich meat dishes like braised pork chops or Peking duck – this absolutely sings.

2015 Casa de Saima “Colheita” Branco
Bairrada, Portugal
We believe that there may not be a better $13 bottle of white wine out there.

Casa de Saima is a small producer, family run, and very passionate about their home region of Bairrada. This small region is well-known for producing excellent sparkling wine and red wines from the Baga grape, but their white wines are equally if not more impressive.

This Bairrada white is blend of 70% Bical and 30% Maria Gomes which makes for a beautifully complexed and balanced wine. The grapes for this wine were meticulously selected and allowed to ferment from naturally yeasts. Some time on the lees also adds to the complexity of this wine.

This Colheita Branco has a similar orange blossom note on the nose as the Cuchén described above, yet with a strong flint note and stoney minerality. This wine offers such complexity and a long finish, 2015 may be there best vintage to date. Do not miss this excellent value!

$13.00 BTL / $156.00 CASE

2010 Château Lestrille Bordeaux Supérieur
Bordeaux is a funny thing. It seems like most of the attention is given to the top tier wines, and a lot of “everyday” drinking wines are overlooked entirely. We are always on the lookout for a great value wine from the region that showcases balance, quality and flavor.
At Chateau Lestrille, Estelle and Jean Louis Roumage make wines that are modern in style and fruit-driven. Because they believe the essence of winemaking lies in the vineyard itself, they use sustainable growing practices.
Classic fermentation, temperature controlled with frequent stirring. Bottled after 12 months ageing in stainless steel.
This is easy-drinking and accessible claret which offers excellent value for money.  Lovely plum fruit and violet blossoms from this 100% Merlot.  An excellent everyday red.
$14.00 BTL. / $168.00 CASE
Posted in 6 for "Everyday" Wine Club, Newsletter

12/23/16 6 for “Everyday” Wine Club – The $30 & under Edition

In other news, today’s newsletter announces the new release of “The 6 for ‘Everyday’ – $30 and Under Edition” wine club.
This month’s edition features somethings new and somethings old. We are always excited to get new releases from favorite producers, and three of this month’s offerings does just that. We also are continually searching for new features, and we have you covered with three new offerings.
This month’s $30 and Under Edition features four reds, 1 white and 1 sparkling. This will be the perfect holiday pack, with everything you need for your Christmas or New Year’s dinner.
Also keep these in mind as a gift to friends, family or clients. It is a great way to thank someone for everything in 2016.
They are available for pick up, and as a reminder we do have delivery and shipping options available.

Happy Holidays!
Craig & Jamie


6 for “Everyday” Wine Club –
The $30 & under Edition
NV Domaine des Champs Fleuris Crémant de Loire
Loire Valley, France
The Loire Valley is known for its crisp Sauvignon Blanc and earthy Cabernet Franc, but here’s a fact you might not know: it also produces over two million gallons of Champagne Method sparkling wine under the appellation “Crémant de Loire”.
Domaine des Champs Fleuris is the labor of love of four friends who decided to commit their lives and financial resources to these 44 hectares of vines. The winery is small and clean, and adjoining is a modern tasting room. The vineyards have good exposure and sit on the classic soils of the region called tuffeau, a porous, sedimentary rock that is prevalent in this region. Most of this Crémant production comes out of the Saumur appellation, which is where our producer, Domaine des Champs Fleuris is located. Many of you have tried their delicious Cabernet Francs, which we have been offering over the last several months.
Champs Fleuris make their fines bulles (aka bubbles) at the estate which is a relatively rare practice in the region. Many producers send their base wine to another winery who then completes the secondary fermentation, sending the finished Crémant back to the producer. Champs Fleruis is able to over see all steps of their Crémant process which insures a great product.
The wines is fresh and racy, and is super crowd pleasing. We forecast some smoked fish and Champs Fleuris Crémant in our near future!
$20.00 BTL / $240.00 CASE
2014 Domaine Vincent Paris “les Côtes” Saint-Joseph
Rhône Valley, France
Vincent Paris is a young and passionate winemaker, farming 6 hectares of land in Cornas & Saint-Joseph in the Rhône Valley. A native of Cornas, his first vintage was in 1997 after having purchased, from his uncle, a very coveted plot in the famous climate of Reynard. He is as shy as his wines are bold. He works with a lovely parity that balances the region’s propensity for overly rustic wines with a clean but not overtly polished sheen.
As his name has grown in reputation, so has his ability to forge relationships outside the tiny hamlet of Cornas.
When we first tasted Paris’ wines, we fell hard for his clean winemaking and light touch. Craig, who often complains about how hard it is to sell wines from the northern Rhône, kept buying more and more of Vincent’s stuff. We are true fans.
Vincent inherited most of his own vines from his grandfather (some of which are 90 years old) and has also rented some vines from his uncle. These steep slopes offer quintessential northern Rhone Syrah character in spades.  As real estate has run out of room in more heralded appellations such as Cornas, many producers are flocking here as a new frontier of untapped potential.
This Saint-Joseph is absolutely delicious; it has at once a lusciousness and great vibrancy and energy.  Vincent says that this bottle is dangerously drinkable; open bottles disappear surprisingly fast (where did it all go?).  On our short list of greatest values in northern Rhone Syrah.
A mineral-accented bouquet evokes fresh boysenberry, potpourri, olive and allspice. Lively and focused on the palate, offering bitter cherry and blackberry flavors and a subtly sweet violet pastille nuance. The floral quality builds with air and lingers on the persistent finish, which features supple tannins and a touch of smoky minerals.
An ideal everyday gourmand red.
$25.00 BTL / $300.00 CASE 
2012 Dominio de Atauta “Parada”
Ribera del Duero, Spain
Ribera del Duero, although less omnipresent than Rioja, still retains its reputation as one of Spain’s best wine regions. Partly due to the pre-eminence of the renowned ‘Vega Sicilia’ but also because of the rise of a host of more modern estates. The Duero is the same river that flows through Portugal (as the Douro), on the banks of which all the great Port wines are grown. Atauta actually refers to a small valley of its own, in the sub-region of Soria, on the eastern side of the district, at 1,000 metres (meaning cool nights, important for retaining freshness).
Parada de Atauta is the new entry-level wine from Dominio de Atauta in Ribera de Duero. Established in1999 by Miguel Sanchez, a Madrid wine merchant who realised the potential of some ancient vineyards, many pre-phylloxera, in a neglected part of the Ribera del Duero. Winemaker is the young, glamorous and talented Almudena Alberca.
These wines buck the current trend of extraction and heavy oak that is still dominate in the region, offering a fresh, terroir-driven style. Intense red fruit, a bit sweet, touch of spice, approachable tannins, but with that freshness that vineyards planted at over 3000 ft will give you. The fruit intensity comes from old vines…there are no vineyards less than 60 years old at the winery.
It would be great with any red meats or any roasted meats, poultry or vegetables. At 13.5% alcohol and with only 12 months in French oak, it’s a lot more food friendly than some of the heavier, more oaky wines from Ribera.
$26.00 BTL /$312.00 CASE 
2012 Selvagrossa “Trimpilin” Rosso
Le Marche, Italy
Selvagrossa, located on Pesaro’s foothills facing the Adriatic coast of Le Marche, is a very small estate with only five hectares of vineyards where Sangiovese, the area’s predominant vine, along with select international varietals, find a terroir favorable to the production of great wines with character.
Brothers Alberto and Alessandro Taddei inherited the Estate  in 2002 from their grandparents, and the first Selvagrossa wine was made that same year from an old-vine Sangiovese vineyard planted in the early 1970’s by Alberto and Alessandro’s father and grandfather.
We here at Perman Wine Selections believe that the Marche is the last of the great and undiscovered regions of Italy.  The wines of Selvagrossa are a prime example.  They are wines that bring great pleasure, and like the greatest Italian wines, are really great partners for the table.
This new release of Selvagrossa “Trimpilin” needs no introduction.  It is Sangiovese – one of Italy’s most well-liked grape varieties, having achieved great fame in appellations such as Chianti Classico and Brunello di Montalcino
Sangiovese from Selvagrossa is a completely different experience. This does display some of those classic cherry notes, a hallmark of the varietal, but if offers savory notes, suggestions of mint, licorice and mineral.
Yet our favorite reason, the one that makes us really love this wine is that it will appeal to many palates.  It has structure and body, appealing to those that love a good Brunello, but it also offers freshness and finesse and makes you come back for a taste, again and again.
The food of the Marche is amazing, and this would be flexible enough to pair with classic regional dishes like squab or a fattier fish with tomato sauce.
Really an outstanding value given its quality.
$26.00 BTL /$312.00 CASE
2012 Celler Pardas Xarel.lo
Penedès, Spain
Pardas Xarel.lo is a wine I’m proud to represent in my store.  Not just because I’m the only store in the city that has it, but rather because it represents so well what the younger generation of Spanish winemakers is trying to achieve.  Take some of Spain’s greatest natural resources, their indigenous varietals, and produce it in a fashion that is respectful of where it comes from.
So much of Spanish wine reaching the US market is driven by marketing, labels, and produced in such a style to meet what a certain importer thinks to be our “palate.”
Celler Pardas produces authentic wine.  They speak of a place, and most importantly they are unique and delicious.
The flagship grape varietal of the winery is Xarel.lo, a grape commonly used as part of a blend to produce Cava, Spain’s sparkling wine.
Winemaker Ramón Parera and vineyard manager Jordi Aman believe that Xarel.lo is a noble variety, with the ability to make complex and age-worthy STILL wines.  Indeed they have proven it with this truly fantastic white wine.
Xarel.lo has it all, richness, freshness, mineral notes as well as the many distinctive aromas and flavors that speak of a Mediterranean climate.
In the hands of Celler Pardas, they produce a Xarel.lo that reminds me of Spain’s version of White Burgundy. Our affection for Ramon & Jordi at Celler Pardas is no secret, and we believe they are making some of the best, if not THE best still wines in all of Catalonia. Xarel.lo is a high quality white grape used in Cava production, but when on it’s own is weighty yet delicate, with great texture, orchard fruit and mineral.
$29.00 BTL / $174.00 SIX PACK CASE
2013 Belle Pente Pinot Noir
Willamette Valley, Oregon
Belle Pente means “beautiful slope” – a perfect description for the 70 acre hillside vineyard & winery site in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Located on a historic 1840s farmstead two miles east of the town of Carlton in the Yamhill-Carlton American Viticultural Area, the first vineyard was planted in 1994, and now includes over 16 acres of Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Chardonnay.
This small estate in Yamhill-Carlton quietly produces some of the most age-worthy, balanced Pinots in all of Oregon. We look forward every year to their new releases. Jill & Brian O’Donnell continue to impress with their Burgundian inspired winemaking and meticulous vineyard practices.
Their little “entry level” Pinot from 2013 includes almost 2/3 estate grown grapes from our Belle Pente vineyard, complimented with 1/4 from Bella Vida and about 12% from Murto Vineyard, both in the Dundee Hills.  This combination of 2/3 Yamhill-Carlton sedimentary soils merged with 1/3 Dundee Hills volcanics creates a Willamette Valley blend that proudly professes it’s elite appellation pedigree.
The blend of volcanic and sedimentary soils creates a wine that leads with bright red fruit aromatics backed with darker, riper fruit on the palate. The moderate use of new oak and low alcohol provides a fresh, focused, elegant Pinot intended for early enjoyment.
$27.00 BTL / $324.00 CASE
Posted in 6 for "Everyday" Wine Club, Newsletter

12/9/16 Italian values guaranteed to warm up your cold winter nights!


The dip in temperature has brought about a realization that we are firmly entrenched in winter. If you are a lot like us, our winter nights are usually spent hanging out at home, cooking and drinking wine.
For many Chicagoans, winter food equals American-Italian cooking. An antipasti plate, with salumi and cheese to start. A hearty lasagna or bolognese-sauced spaghetti for the main attraction, or just a good cast-iron seared steak to fill your belly. These are foods that comfort us and get us through the winter.
With these as our inspiration we wanted to feature two fantastic Italian wines that would make an excellent pairing and are both crazy good values.
Have a great weekend,
Craig & Jamie

Two fantastic Italian values!
2012 Monte Bernardi Chianti Classico, Tuscany, Italy
Monte Bernardi is situated in Panzano in Chianti, a small village in the heart of the Chianti Classico, Tuscany’s original winemaking region. The estate name, Monte Bernardi, dates back to 1085. The one third of the vineyards are over 40 years old and the first wine produced was in 1992.
The estate strongly focuses on producing wines with the greatest expression of the local terroir, ultimate quality, and a harmony between the land and the environment.
The vineyards have been farmed biodynamically/organically since 2004.
This is an elegant and rich Chianti Classico, made from Sangiovese (95%) and Canaiolo Nero (5%) grapes. This Chianti Classico Riserva originates from the 40 year old vines, and a soil rich in friable shale (Galestro) and limestone (Alberese). The result is a fruity, aromatic Sangiovese based wine with soft, fine tannins. This medium to full-bodied, well-balanced wine is ready upon release, but will reward significantly with aging.
Clean and intense with ripe black cherry, blueberry, rose and vanilla on the nose. The palate is rich, medium to full-bodied. Enjoy with a classic Bistecca Fiorentina, hearty lasagna or aged cheeses.
$28.99 BTL. / $347.88 CASE
2012 Cantina della Volta “Trentasei” Lambrusco di Modena Spumante D.O.C. Brut Metodo Classico 
We simply can’t get enough of the incredibly delicious wines from Emilia-Romagna star Cantina della Volta.
We had previously offered their fantastic and unique Lambrusco, still on its lees, called Rimosso. Now we felt the necessity to feature their incredibly delicious, and more traditional “Trentasei” Lambrusco.
As a refresher, Cantina della Volta started in 2010 with a group of friends, all wine lovers, who wanted to elevate the quality of Lambrusco.
Their “Trentasei” is made entirely of Lambrusco di
Sorbara. There is a very careful selection of the grapes, hand harvested at optimal ripeness, sorted, and fermented in stainless steel tanks. They undergo a second fermentation in bottle, and as the name “Trentasei” suggests this is aged for 36 months on its lees.
This is easily one of the best Red Lambrusco available to us in the United States. If you haven’t tried a lot of Lambrusco, you always should start with one of the best. You will soon become addicted, like us. What a perfect way to start and carry you through a dinner. It is perfect with salumi and antipasti. It works incredibly well with red sauced pastas. It is a great match to roasted meat. Every wine lover should try this, it will become an indispensable part of food and wine pairings in your life.
$27.99 BTL / $167.94 SIX-PACK CASE
Posted in Friday Feature, Friday Features/Newsletters

12/16/16 A Mixed Bag from Champagne, Chablis, Napa and Burgundy!

Today’s “Friday Feature” is what we call a mixed bag of goodies!
With so many incoming arrivals of allocated wines from around the globe, we thought we’d dedicate this newsletter to a more informal list of new arrivals. Call it a last minute Christmas list, or simply call it a list of wines that are a must for any wine enthusiast.
Many of these will sell out quickly, so please secure yours today.
We are happy to provide more in depth information about any of these, just ask!
Have a great weekend,
Craig & Jamie

Cédric Bouchard Champagne
Despite its tiny output of Champagne, somewhere around 15,000 bottles in total per year, Cédric Bouchard is known around the world as one of the top producers in the region. Located in the Cote de Bar, the southernmost part of the region, Bouchard makes a myriad of handcrafted Champagne, each bottle from one parcel, one vintage, and one grape. Fermented in stainless steel, always with indigenous yeast, no fining, no dosage, just pure expressions of place. These Champagne are slow to unwind, they deserve a rest in the cellar to express their true beauty. They are truly stunning, and one of Craig’s favorite producers anywhere in the world. Sadly, they are very, very limited (and we get a good allocation!). Champagne fans with a place in the cellar, do not miss these! They will sell out quickly.
2014 Cédric Bouchard Champagne “Val Vilaine”
No need to wait on this, its a great introduction to the line-up, and a delicious expression of pure Pinot Noir.
$56.99 BTL / LIMITED
2009 Cédric Bouchard Champagne “Côte de Béchalin” 
Another offering that is open knit and ready to drink. Made entirely of Pinot Noir from a SW facing vineyard in Celles-sur-Ource. The 2008 blew everyone away at last weeks tasting!
$82.99 BTL / LIMITED
2012 Cédric Bouchard Champagne “Ursules”
The wine that started it all, Pinot Noir of incredible distinction from vines, the majority of which were planted in the early ’70’s. A stunning vintage for Ursules.”
$88.99 BTL / LIMITED
2012 Cédric Bouchard Champagne “La Haute Lemblee”
Tiny .12 hectare vineyard planted to Chardonnay on Kimmeridgian soil. One of the most unique and incredible Blanc de Blanc Champagne bottlings. Such purity.
2012 Cédric Bouchard Champagne “La Bolorée”
Another minuscule vineyard of just .217 hectare, La Bolorée is a very special Champagne made entirely of Pinot Blanc. The Côte de Bar is noted for producing limited quantities, but exceptional Champagne from this varietal. This is the icon. Truly amazing.
2012 Cédric Bouchard Champagne “Presle”
Only the second vintage released of this fantastic Blanc de Noirs, made entirely from Pinot Noir from a relatively newly planted vineyard called “Presle.” Clay and limestone soils with a little Kimmeridgian mixed in. 10 different Burgundian clones of Pinot Noir were planted. Expressive, ripe, and a very long finish.
La Closerie Champagne
This is another one of those tiny grower Champagne houses with a cult-like following and allocated out to the best restaurants and wine shops. We feel lucky to be given some, and they are a must try for the Champagne enthusiast. Jérôme Prévost inherited 2 hectares of vines in the village of Gueux in the Montagne de Reims sub-region of Champagne. Initially he sold off the fruit to the local negociants. After working in the cellars of Anselme Selosse (the cult producer in Champagne), he was persuaded by his mentor to produce his own Champagne. The first few vintages were produced in the Selosse cellars in Avize. Today he has his own winery producing just two wines highlighted below. These are incredible wines.
2014 La Closerie Champagne “Les Béguines”
This is the main bottling from the single-vineyard “Les Béguines.” This is pure Pinot Meunier, from vines planted in the 1950’s. Fermented in a barrels, barriques and demi-muid, with indigenous yeasts. Just 18 months on the lees, bottled with no dosage. I don’t believe there is a better 100% Pinot Meunier Champagne that you can buy.
2014 La Closerie Champagne Rosé “Fac-simile”
One of the top Rosé Champagne produced. 100% Pinot Meunier vinified as a white wine, with the addition of barrel fermented red wine all from Les Béguines.” I’ve only tasted this once in my life, and all I can say is “epic.” Worth fighting for.
This past September, Craig traveled to Napa Valley to explore a wide range of producers. One of the highlights of the visit was tasting with winemaker Scott Young of Young Inglewood. The estate vineyard is in a coveted part of Napa Valley, the Mayacamas bench, on the far Southwest reaches of St Helena. This is Cabernet Sauvignon country, and that is the focus at Young Inglewood, but we are also including a fantastic Chardonnay from the sought after Michael Mara Vineyard at the base of the Sonoma Mountain range. We know you have a lot of choices in Napa Valley, and these wines are at the top of our list of rising stars. Scott really wants to make world-class and balanced wines, and he delivers. First time that these wines have been in Chicago! They would make a great gift to your Napa-loving friends and clients…or to yourself!
2012 Young Inglewood Vineyards “Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
$110.00 BTL / LIMITED
2014 “Venn” Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 
$51.99 BTL
2013 Young Inglewood Vineyards “Michael Mara Vineyard” Chardonnay 
5th generation Chablis estate, led today by Lilian Duplessis. One of the few organic producers in Chablis, the estate has a great range of bottlings, including some special Premier and Grand Cru vineyards. As we’ve warned you, Chablis is quickly disappearing from availability given the difficult weather related issues that have reduced yields, but luckily not quality. These are fantastic, and really great values across the board.
2015 Duplessis Petit Chablis 
$25.99 BTL / LIMITED
2015 Duplessis Chablis 
$32.99 BTL / LIMITED
2014 Duplessis Chablis “Fourchaume,” Premier Cru 45.99 BTL / EXCRUCIATINGLY LIMITED
2014 Duplessis Chablis “Montmains,” Premier Cru $46.99 BTL / LIMITED
2014 Duplessis Chablis “Montée de Tonnerre,” Premier Cru
$51.99 BTL / LIMITED
2014 Duplessis Chablis “Les Clos,” Grand Cru
What can I say aside from the fact that this is one of my personal favorite domaines in all of Burgundy. If you follow Burgundy, you know these wines. They are everything you want in Pinot Noir, pure, amazing definition, age worthy, just beautiful. PLEASE NOTE – these wines are due to arrive in stock the week of December 19th.
2014 Michel Lafarge Bourgogne Rouge
$34.99 BTL / 12 bottles available
2014 Michel Lafarge Volnay
$74.99 BLT / 9 bottles available
2014 Michel Lafarge Volnay “Vendange Séléctionées” $81.99 BTL / 9 bottles available 
2014 Michel Lafarge Volnay “Clos du Château des Ducs,” Premier Cru
$182.99 BTL / 3 bottles available
2014 Michel Lafarge Volnay “Clos des Chênes,” Premier Cru 
$182.99 BTL / 3 bottles
Posted in Friday Feature, Friday Features/Newsletters

12/2/16 Exciting releases of Gran Reserva Tempranillo from Remelluri and Viña Sastre

Today’s Friday Feature is one we have been anticipating for years. Our focus today is Spain, and one of, if not THE most noble red grape varieties of the country: Tempranillo.
As wine professionals we get to taste a lot of wine, including many of the iconic, classic, great wines of the world. It can not be denied that the greatest Tempranillo ranks up there with the more well-noted great wines of the world including the First Growths of Bordeaux, Grand Cru Burgundy, cult California Cabernet, noble Barolo and Barbaresco, and the list goes on.
Today we feature two Gran Reserva releases from iconic Spanish producers in the Rioja and Ribera del Duero regions.
These aren’t inexpensive wines, but given their status as amongst the greatest red wines of the world, we feel that they are a value. More importantly we feel that no good wine cellar is complete without these wines. They are truly spectacular and can’t recommend them enough to you.
Have a great weekend,
Craig & Jamie

2010 Remelluri Rioja, Gran Reserva
Rioja is the most well-known red wine region in Spain, and certainly one of the most in the world of wine.
It is here that the Tempranillo grape thrives, although Rioja tends to be a blended wine, with small proportions of Graciano, Mazuelo and Garnacha often included.
The identity of the region bears some comparisons to the Champagne region of France. Just like in Champagne, Rioja is a large growing region, and as such, many producers blend grapes from various parts of the region. For years there has been less of a focus on terroir or “single origin” wines, and the conversation was more about house style, length of aging, and types of oak.
What identifies with wine nerds, such as myself, is when I smell and taste a wine, it speaks to a place. For larger wineries in Rioja, that place is the large swath of the region. Yet for a handful, place, whether it be an estate or a single vineyard means a lot.
Remelluri is a place. Not just any place, but a historic piece of land in the Rioja Alavesa sub-region of Rioja. Visiting Remelluri was one of my most fascinating experiences at a winery ever. Walking the property you visit a necropolis in its center. Not far away, carved into the rock, an ancient wine press. There were glimpses and stories of history everywhere. It became evident that because of the quality of the farm, its well situated place near the slopes of the Sierra de Toloño mountains, this was an important place even in ancient times.
My tour of the winery was from one of Spain’s most important and influential winemakers, Telmo Rodríguez. It was Telmo’s father that purchased the estate in 1967. Telmo spent years away from the family winery, developing his own wines, and becoming one of the most well-known winemakers. In recent years Telmo has returned, and is quietly transforming Remelluri, pushing its quality level to its highest point. In fact, this wine, from the 2010 vintage, marks the first vintage that Telmo oversaw from start to finish.
A Gran Reserva for Remelluri is a very special wine. They have only produced a Gran Reserva in 1989, 1990, 1994, 1996, 1999, 2005, 2009 and now 2010. They produced roughly 20,000 bottles of the Gran Reserva in 2010. The wine is made from the best grapes on the estate, from various parcels. It is a blend of mainly Tempranillo, but also Garnacha and Graciano, and even small amounts of white grape varietals such as Moscatel, Viura, and Malvasia. The grapes are hand picked, and sorted both in the vineyard and a sorting table. The wine is fermented with natural yeast and aged for 27 months in various sizes and ages of barrels.
I’ve had the pleasure of tasting many wines over the years from Remelluri, and can say that this is probably the finest wine I’ve tasted from them, and one of the best Spanish wines I’ve had in years. One of the great parts of a Remelluri Gran Reserva is that the producer has aged this for you, and it does drink well now, especially with decanting. Yet for those with patience, you should hold on to several bottles, drinking over a couple of decades.
We really can’t recommend this wine enough, it is a must buy for anyone that loves great wine. We received very little of this in Illinois, and it will sell out.
A truly spectacular Rioja.
2010 Viña Sastre Ribera del Duero “Pago de Santa Cruz,” Gran Reserva
Ribera del Duero is Spain’s other most notable region for the Tempranillo grape variety. Located near the historically important town of Burgos, the region has a long history, but its modern age didn’t explode till the 1980’s. Names like Vega Sicilia and Pesquera helped bring the region to international prominence.
The wines of Viña Sastre are among the very best of the region, and my personal favorite.
Another of my most memorable wine moments was at Viña Sastre in 2012. Proprietor and winemaker Jesus Sastre was an incredible host. We got a chance to visit his magnificent vineyards, including the famed Pago de Santa Cruz. Jesus is well known as one of the best vineyard managers in Spain. He farms organically and also follows many of the guidelines of biodynamics. He also has the opportunity to work with really old vines, in the case of Pago de Santa Cruz, they range from 50 to over 100 years old. It is what makes many of the vineyards near La Horra amongst the best of the region.
We also had an opportunity to visit the winery. You rarely come across a winemaker that analyzes every part of the process as much as Jesus. In his winery, his “toys” are all the best technology, presses, etc, that help him carefully and minimally handle the grapes. He is a perfectionist in every sense of the word.
That leads me to this special release, the first Gran Reserva release since 1999. He had abandoned his Gran Reserva program, as he instead chose to focus on single vineyard wines without a designation of the aging process.
Over the past few years Jesus and his importer André reassessed their feelings about Gran Reservas. Their feeling is that wines with extended aging in barrel can display their terroir as much as any of the wines Jesus was currently producing. They also got to continue to taste the 1996 and 1999 Gran Reservas, see their development and realize how truly great they were.
2010 marks the first release in the US of a Gran Reserva since the 1999 vintage. Made entirely from Tempranillo, with an average age of 65+ year old vines, grown in the clay and chalk soil of the Pago de Santa Cruz vineyard. Jesus commissioned special 1000 liter barrels, which the wine was fermented in for the Gran Reserva. The barrel sat in a cradle which allowed Jesus to ratite the barrel so that he could keep the wine in contact with the lees during fermentation. The wine was then moved to 2000 liter and 3000 liter oak for aging for 36 months. As always the wine is unfined and unfiltered.
This is a bold, full-bodied red, with hints at black currant, dark cherry, herbs, anise and spice. It is richly textured, but maintains a freshness and balance. The finish is incredibly long, and keeps you coming back for more. It calls out for red meat, and having had the Sastre wines with the local speciality of 3 month-old DOP baby lamb, it a mind bending food and wine match.
This is one of Spain’s top wines, and a truly special wine for the cellar. You can drink this now, but it will be in its prime from 2020 – 2035+.
Posted in Friday Feature, Friday Features/Newsletters

11/25/16 The 6 for “Everyday” Wine Club – the $15 & under Edition

6 for “Everyday” Wine Club – the $15 & under Edition
2015 Heitlinger Pinot Meunier
Baden, Germany
Baden, situated in the far south of Germany, just over the Rhine from Alsace, is the warmest wine region in Germany. It is home to grape varieties such as Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Wines from Baden are dry, full-bodied and sometimes with a touch of oak; they provide a unique experience of the Alsatian grapes made in Germany.
Weingut Heitlinger, regarded as one of the leading wineries in Baden, was founded in 1960 by Albert Heitlinger and now managed by winemaker Claus Burmeister since 2009. This innovative estate was certified organic in 2010, and became a member of the VDP in 2012.
Heitlinger wines are full bodied and with strong characters and expression in this warm region. They all maintain an impressive purity of fruit, intense mineral flavors, and tons complexity.
The Pinot Meunier isn’t even part of their lineup. On a recent visit, one of the partners of Robert Houde Wines tasted it straight out of the barrel and begged them to bottle a couple hundred cases for him as a single varietal wine.
He loved it because it drinks very much like a Pinot Noir and it’s rather unique, since varietal Pinot Meunier is rarely made into still red wine – we drink plenty of it in our Champagne, and now you’ll see why it’s such a special grape.
Fermented in a combination of steel and 1000 liter casks, it displays notes of dark cherries and sappy red fruits, forest floor, spices, and cinnamon. There is good oak integration in which combines well with the elegance, power, and varietal characteristics.
$14.00 BTL / $168.00 CASE
2014 Espaço Rural “Bojador” Tinto
Alentejo, Portugal

Month after month, our wine club features new wines from all over the world. Sometimes certain wines are so popular with our customers that we take notice and make sure to offer the next great vintage.

Such is the case with the Esaço Rural wines. Last month’s “6 for Everyday” featured the new vintage of white “Bojador” and this month we’re happy to show off its tasty red counterpart!

As a refresher, Espaço Rural is a winery located in the Alentejo region of Southern Portugal. Let by husband and wife team, Pedro Ribeiro and Catarina Vieira, they produce four wines from local Portuguese varieties.

Alentejo is a large wine region, that is sub-divided into 8 different sub zones. Espaço Rural works in one of the Southernmost sub-regions called Vidigueira. There is no doubt that this is a hot region, in fact most produces irrigate because of the lack of rainfall. Espaço Rural dry farms their vines, which are located on limestone and sandy soil. Dry-farming promotes deep roots, which in turn gives wines more energy and complexity.

When we first tasted the Bojador Tinto, we each tried a little glass, and put the cork back in the bottle to try later.  And later we did.  Our second try was on the second day, our third a few days later, and even after a week and a half of being open, this was still unoxidized and fresh.  Really amazing!  We doubt you will repeat this, as the wine really is so good that you will drink it all on day one!
The Bojador Tinto is a blend of Aragonez, Trincadeira, Touriga Nacional, and yes a little bit of Syrah.  Fermentation is done in stainless steel tanks, and aging in neutral, older French oak for nine months.
Big notes of dark cherry and blackberry on the nose lead into a textured, fruit-driven wine on the palate. Very well balanced, its richness never comes across as “jammy” and its freshness keeps you coming back for more.  A great wine for the grill.
$15.00 BTL / $180.00 CASE
2012 “Seis” de Luberri Cosecha
Rioja Alavesa, Spain
Owned by Florentino Martínez Monje, Luberri is located in the heart of Rioja Alavesa. Florentino farms 35 hectares of old vines located principally between the villages of Elciego and La- guardia and in considered to be one of the best producers in the entire region of Rioja.
A farmer at heart, Florentino was the original winemaker at the prestigious winery Artadi before establishing his own winery in 1992. He made a name for himself and his estate by resurrecting the traditional style of semi-carbonic maceration of Rioja wine of Rioja.
Florentino is very hands-on at the winery, participating in all aspects of production, but his true love is working in the vineyards. All the plots are farmed with minimal treatment of the soils and vines. Yields are intentionally kept low, which allows Florentino to harvest grapes with great concentration and flavor.
This wine, named “Seis” for the six months that it spends in barrel, is made from 100% Tempranillo grown around the town of Elciego in Rioja Alavesa. It is fermented in stainless steel and then aged in a combination of French and American oak barrels for six months.
Balanced and complex, with a nose full of bright cherry fruit surrounded by spices. Rich mouthfeel full of sweet round fruit and complementary spicy undertones. A fantastic crowd-pleaser and great with hearty cold weather dishes!
$15.00 BTL / $180.00 CASE
2013 Vale da Capucha “Fossil” Branco
Lisboa, Portugal
The catch-all appellation of Lisboa (Vinho Regional Lisboa), which used to be called Estremadura and can be somewhat confusing even to those very familiar with Portuguese wine.
It incorporates 9 sub-regions, and is quite large.  Even worse than the confusing nature of the appellation is the common notion that it is a region that prizes quantity over quality.
Thankfully this is not the case with the wines of Val de Capucha.
Pedro Marques is intent on producing wines that are reflective of his family’s 13 hectare estate located in the sub-region of Torres Vedras.  Located just 8 kilometers off the Atlantic Ocean, the family vineyards are marked by limestone inflected hillsides with lots of fossils to be found.
“Fossil” is a blend of indigenous grapes Arinto, Gouveio & Fernão Pires, harvested and fermented together. The grapes are left to hang out with their skins for 8 hours.  Typically in white wine making, the skins are immediately pressed away, so barely any color is imparted. The first thing you may notice about the wine is the deep golden color, which comes from this contact. The next thing you might notice is the rich, tropical fruit quality of the nose (also thanks to the skin contact). The mouth is mineral driven, but also there is a sense of great texture, that harken to the skin of just ripe fruits.
This new vintage is complex and unqiue – a wine that benefits from oxygen and a bit of warmth. This is a GREAT choice for Indian food, especially the vegetarian cuisines of Southern India.
$15.00 BTL / $180.00 CASE

2015 Az. Agr. F.lli Cigliuti Dolcetto d’Alba
Piemonte, Italy
By now, you are not strangers to the wines of Claudia Cigliuti and her family, as we’ve featured various bottlings from the winery in our last two newsletters. She was also in town a few weeks ago and poured some of the new wines for us to try.
It’s a small, family-run production – 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 Crus, 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.
The Dolcetto d’Alba 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! It’s normally $16.99 a bottle, but we’re putting in on special through the end of the year so we can feature it as part of the “everyday” wines.
$15.00 BTL / $180.00 CASE

2015 Cave de Saumur “Les Pouches”
Loire Valley, France
The Cave de Saumur, founded in 1956 by 40 growers, is a co-operative in the Loire Valley region of France. It now handles fruit from 160 growers from the region.
The Cave has put an emphasis on sustainable viticulture and all its members have signed up to a plan of action aimed at the conservation of water resources, air quality and biodiversity. They also own a labyrinth of subterranean cellars, some 10 km of them, cut into the soft, pale tufa rock so typical of the Loire, that complements their modern winery built in 2000. Red and rosé wines are made from cabernet franc grapes and whites from chenin blanc.

The “Les Pouches” is a fantastic example of dry Chenin Blanc from Saumur. The grapes come from a small vineyard of sandy, silty, clay over limestone, which delivers intense aromas and flavors of white orchard fruit, white flowers, and lemon/lime zest.

Mouthwatering but very generous, it finishes with a hint of lemon, green peach, and dusty mineral. Great with any roasted fish dishes, chicken, or anything with fall root vegetables, squash or mushrooms!

$13.00 BTL. / $156.00 CASE
Posted in 6 for "Everyday" Wine Club, Friday Features/Newsletters

The 6 for “Everyday” Wine Club – $30 and under Edition


Hello & Happy Friday!
We begin today’s newsletter with a new tasting to introduce. A first-ever type of tasting, which you won’t want to miss.

Japanese Whiskey Tasting featuring the Whiskey of Tokiwa Imports

There are only 14 spots available to this fantastic tasting of Japanese Whiskey led by co-owner of Tokiwa Imports, Eric Swanson. This will be an incredibly educational tasting, so if you ever wanted to learn more about Japanese Whiskey, come to this!

WHEN: Thursday, December 15th
WHAT: Eric Swanson, co-owner of Tokiwa Imports will guide a tasting from his portfolio of fantastic Japanese Whiskey. He represents White Oak, Mars Shinshu, and Chichibu Distilleries. These are amongst the very best distilleries in Japan right now, and have helped reshape the Whiskey business, giving these Japanese malts the hype and fame they deserve. We will taste at minimum 5 Whiskey selections from his portfolio.
TIME: 7:00PM – 8:30 PM
 *SIT-DOWN tasting: This will be a more traditional Perman Wine tasting, where we sit down and taste through the Whisky, and learn from Eric.
COST: $50
*space is limited to 14 people for this event

With Thanksgiving upon us, please note the following hours next week:
Monday, November 21st – Noon till 8 PM
Tuesday, November 22nd – Noon till 8 PM
Wednesday, November 23rd – Noon till 8 PM
Thursday, November 24th – CLOSED
Friday, November 25th – Noon till 8 PM
Saturday, November 26th – 11 am till 7 PM
In other news, today’s newsletter announces the new release of “The 6 for ‘Everyday’ – $30 and Under Edition” wine club.

We have been getting rave reviews of our new wine club, and this month will not disappoint.

Our goal is to provide you with 6 different bottles of wine from around the world, all from some of the best producers in their respective regions. These are great “everyday” wines that you can drink on a nightly basis.

As we head into Fall we’ve shifted our focus to red wines. This month you have 4 red wines and 2 white wines. It’s an incredible line-up, filled with discovery.

They are available for pick up, and as a reminder we do have delivery and shipping options available.

Enjoy the weekend!
Craig & Jamie


6 for “Everyday” Wine Club –
The $30 & under Edition
2013 Andrew Will “Flâneurs” 
Columbia Valley, Washington
If you’re wondering what a “flâneur” is, we’ve got you covered: a 19th century French literary term associated with the man of leisure, the idler, the urban explorer and the connoisseur of the street.
And for the connoisseur of wine, it is this limited edition red blend from Andrew Will. Owner Chris Camarda has been able to tap into some of the best vineyard sites in the Columbia Valley, including Champoux, Ciel du Coeval and Sorella, which are usually tough to get your hands on.
If you love balanced, full-bodied reds, the “Flâneurs” will deliver all of the spectacular flavors and quality synonymous with Andrew Will, but at a more “everyday” price point.
When I was in college and grad school in Seattle, the wine scene in the Columbia Valley was still painfully searching for an identity and there was a lot of attention on Merlot. It was trying to be just like it’s successful Napa version and failing miserably.
Thankfully, many producers, including Andrew Will, have found ways to make Merlot the hero. Blended with Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, the “Flâneurs” showcases the best of what Merlot had to say in 2013: notes of cedar, cigar wrapper, red cherry, raspberry, and hints of leather. On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied with pronounced tannins.
$30.00 BTL / $360.00 CASE
2014 Jean-Yves Devevey Bourgogne Blanc
Burgundy, France
Last week we wrote an inspired introduction into the fantastic white wines from Jean-Yves Devevey in Burgundy. But we left something out, sneaky, we know.

We held back from announcing that there is yet another white wine from Jean-Yves that we haven’t offered before, his delicious Bourgogne Blanc.

A beautiful expression of Chardonnay, the fruit comes from a hillside vineyard in the commune of Nantoux, which is located just Northwest of the villages of Pommard and Volnay.

As usual, Devevey works as naturally as possible in the vineyards and winery. The grapes are gently pressed, using a pneumatic press. His Bourgogne Blanc is fermented and aged in old oak barrels.

Classic White Burgundy aromas of citrus peel, toasted hazelnut and mineral. Medium weight, with great precision and length. This really gets the salivary glands going, a workout in itself!

A great example of the spectacular 2014 offerings from Jean-Yves.  Hurry before we drink it all ourselves!

$29.00 BTL / $348.00 CASE 
2014 Az. Agr. F.lli Cigliuti “Campass” Barbera d’Alba
Piemonte, Italy

Last week we also introduced you to the new wines from Cigliuti – and again, we left something special out of that line up.

We kept the “Campass” Barbera d’Alba a secret so that we could use it in the “6 for Everyday” sampler. If you were in attendance for the “All Things Piemonte” tastings last week, you had the opportunity to explore this delicious wine with us.
Made from older Barbera vines that are nestled within the Serraboella Barbaresco vineyard, this is a special, dark, layered and complex version of the “everyday” red in Piemonte.
Fuller than the Serraboella Barbera d’Alba, the “Campass” is fleshy, fruity and full of dark ripe berry notes, spices and toasted oak with some interesting notes of caramel and spice in its aromas and flavors. You don’t have to share it if you don’t want to!

$30.00 BTL /$360.00 CASE 
2014 Anthill Farms Syrah
Sonoma Coast, California

On my recent trip to California, the Anthill Farms wines were amongst the most exciting I tasted. Among Pinot Noir fans, Anthill Farms has become a well known name, despite their small production. The winery began in 2004, and is a partnership between three winemakers who met while working at Williams-Selyem. They are the perfect example of what is so exciting about California today, young “négociants” working closely with top vineyards, aiming to making wines of elegance, balance and complexity.

Going in to my visit, I had no idea that Anthill Farms also produced a little Syrah? It turns out they personally love the varietal, and make small amounts of 3 different Syrah. Their 2014 Sonoma Coast Syrah that I’m featuring today is without a doubt the best value in California Syrah I’ve ever tried. As soon as I tasted it, I said to the local distributor, this was a must purchase. Due to its popularity, and great price point, they only had 4 cases left, and they are available exclusively in Illinois in this sampler.

Beautiful blue / black fruit aromas, with classic notes of white pepper on the nose. Medium weight, with pure fruit flavors, and underlying spice and earth notes on the palate. This is balanced, delicious, and keeps coming you back for another glass. Cali fans, you need to introduce yourself to these wines from Anthill Farms if you haven’t already done so, they are special.

2011 Celler Pardas Negre Franc
Penedès, Spain
Penedés is a region that is known for a largely commercial pursuit of inexpensive sparkling wine produced by the millions. However, as we’ve come to discover, there exists a great potential for still wines in this often generalized D.O.
We have acquainted you with Celler Pardas many times in the past – a small producer that shines as an example of going against the grain to make great still wines alongside the industrial Cava giants.
This month we’re excited to introduce you to the new vintage of Negre Franc – easily our most beloved red from Pardas. The Cabernet Franc and Sumoll vineyards for this wine are situated in an old river valley and produce wines of complexity, intrigue and approachability.
Truly gorgeous, with young aromatics of cherries, currants, and licorice spice. Medium-bodied yet wonderfully balanced, with a dark and red fruits on the palate and Mediterranean spices and herbs. A truly complex bottle that keeps getting better sip after sip.
$24.00 BTL / $144.00 SIX PACK CASE
2014 Aphros “Ten” Loureiro
Vinho Verde, Portugal
In last month’s newsletter we introduced you to Vasco Croft, who has become well-known for his forward thinking wines from the Vinho Verde region of Portugal, and specifically the sub-region of Ponte de Lima.
He is one of a handful of producers who eschew the “traditional” and often innocuous lightly spritzy, over-cropped versions of Vinho Verde that dot the supermarket shelves.
Instead, he is a farmer first, managing his farm and winemaking practices according to the biodynamic principles.
As I mentioned in last month’s newsletter, I had the opportunity to taste a line-up from Vasco last February. In addition to the Pét-Nat on last month’s sampler, I am also very excited to introduce you to his “Ten” – a different expression of the Loureiro grape.
This is a delicious fall white and will make an excellent addition to the Thanksgiving feast if you’re still in need of wine for the big day. Bright yellow color with aromas of tree fruit and flowers. Background notes of pineapple and rose petals with subtle mineralogy and well-balanced acidity. Must be the traditional food-treading that brings out all the flavor.
$19.00 BTL / $228.00 CASE



Posted in 6 for "Everyday" Wine Club, Newsletter

New Arrivals from Italy and France

Hello & Happy Friday!
It is a very happy Friday indeed as we just receive two shipments from two of our favorite places, Burgundy and Piedmont!
Behind the scenes at Perman Wine Selections, newsletters are often a result of months of planning. Today’s newsletter is a perfect example.
Both of the featured producers today, are wineries that we’ve enjoyed immensely over the years, and essentially “stalked them” to make sure we had the wines to sell to you. Between visiting the wineries, helping them find a local distributor, and now singing their praises, we wouldn’t do this if we didn’t think the wines were that special.
White Burgundy fans and Piedmont fans take note, this newsletter is for you.
Have a great weekend,
Craig & Jamie

Jean-Yves Deveveydevevey
White Burgundy is one of the world’s most complex white wines. Its nuances are a reflection of its ability to translate the terroir of the vineyard.
What can be frustrating for today’s consumer of White Burgundy is the increasing scarcity and rising prices of the wines. Most of my customers know that White Burgundy values tend to be sold between $25 – $40 per bottle. The known names and top vineyards in places like Puligny-Montrachet and Meursault fetch far greater than that.
You also may be aware of the devastation that the last few vintages have brought to many producers in the region. Due to hail storms, frost, and other viticultural difficulties, production has dramatically dropped.
We say this not to cause a panic, but to inform you of these issues and their effect on our abilities to sell you the wines, and do so at the same prices in years past.
It also provides an introduction into the wines of Jean-Yves Devevey.
I met Jean-Yves through a mutual friend of mine who lives in Montreal and works in the business. We were actually in a bar in Beaune, when we ran into Jean-Yves who was there to get a beer after a long day of work. The two had met several times before, and soon after seeing each other, we were invited for a tasting at the cellar. I was immediately hooked on the wines.
Jean-Yves cellar is in the small hamlet of Demigny, which sits just on the Northern border of the Saône-et-Loire department in Southern Burgundy.
This is a small domaine, which manages 8 hectares of vines, 4 of which are owned by the family. Maybe its an overused statement, but Jean-Yves is truly a man of the vineyard. His journey in the wine business gave him the fundamental belief that working as naturally as possible, without the usage of chemicals in the vineyard is crucial to producing great fruit.
He is one of the most self-effacing winemakers I have ever met in 20 years in the business.
It is an important point because, I can tell you, virtually no one in the business knows about these wines. Possibly, In part because of the self-effacement, but also because of the size of the domaine. I can relate to Jean-Yves as a business owner. When you are hands on, and spend most of your time trying to do something to the best of your abilities, you often have little time for promotion.
WHY THESE ARE MUST BUYS: I visited the winery in April with my friend, tasting through barrels, and probably was only able to muster a couple words. The 2014 vintage is just incredible. This is a Jean-Yves vintage. The wines have purity, complexity, and incredible length. They taste good now, but also can age. In short, if you love White Burgundy you would be downright insane to miss them!
About the Hautes Côtes de Beaune & Rully
The Hautes Côtes de Beaune is a large appellation, a series of non contiguous vineyards that start at Pernand -Vergelesses and continue down through Maranges, flanking the western side of the famous villages that lie between these two borders. Rully is in the Côte Chalonnaise and encompasses the villages of Rully & Chagny. The Hautes Côtes produce an accessible, often nervy style of Burgundy and can be quite stylish and complex, especially when made under the deft eye of a producer like Devevey. Those of you who prefer a more lush and nutty style of Burgundy will be more attracted to Rully.


2014 Devevey Hautes Côtes de Beaune Blanc “Champs Perdrix”
This vineyard, whose name refers to pheasants and to stones ( Burgundians really do love their rocks and birds) is a very stony plot underneath which are shallow, clay soils. This is a well-managed site and pruned very meticulously. The result is a concentrated, yet bright,  Chardonnay. Incredible value.
2014 Devevey Hautes Côtes de Beaune Blanc “Les Chagnots Dix-Huit Lunes”
Les Chagnots is a particular plot located at the bottom of “Champs Perdrix”. Less stones are evident here, but the exposure is very favorable. Jean-Yves extends the elevage of this wine to 18 months (thus the nickname Dix-Huit Lunes, or 18 moons). Of all the whites we are offering, this one offers the most wired and crunchy character, and those of you who prefer Chablis or mineral-driven Chassagnes will be attracted to its nature. This was (and still is) a Shebnem favorite!


2014 Devevey Rully Blanc “En Thivaux”
The lieux dit of En Thivaux is in the western part of Rully and Devevey’s vines are planted on mostly clay, imparting a Meursault-like richness to the wine, at a fraction of the price. This wine is lush but maintains a snappy acidity. A beauty.
2014 Devevey Rully Blanc “La Chaume”
La Chaume is a 1.25 hectare plot of 28 year old Chardonnay vines, planted on marl in the commune of Rully. La Chaume presents a gorgeous nose of apples and hazelnut and is bright and structured in the palate. A truly outstanding wine, drinking well now and aging well for a decade in the cellar.


Az. Agr. F.lli Cigliuticigliuti
If Burgundy is the soul of France, then Piedmont is Italy’s version. Thought provoking, emotional and sheer delicious wines come from the region situated in Northwest Italy.
We are long time fans of the wines of Piedmont, we have travelled there many times over the years and have developed a lot of longstanding relationships.
One of our most recent “aha” moments came a couple years ago when we had the chance to visit Claudia Cigliuti at her small cantina just outside the village of Neive, within the Barbaresco DOCG.
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. Claudia and Silvia Cigliuti are farmers first, absolutely love working in the vineyards, and their careful farming shows in the purity of the fruit.
These are benchmark Barbaresco from the commune of Neive and include two of Barbaresco’s most famous Crus – 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.
2014 Cigliuti “Serraboella” Barbera d’Alba
This single-vineyard Barbera is from 15 years old vines grown in a slightly lower part of the Serraboella vineyard where the southeastern exposed soils contain more clay than calcareous limestone. It spends 18 months in neutral French oak barrels.
It’s dark and elegant with  black cherry, black raspberry, mushroom, and earth mingle on the nose with pepper, licorice, smoke, and subtle oak spices. It has great texture and length.
$24.99 BTL
2013 Cigliuti “Briccoserra” Langhe Rosso
This is a very special wine and should not be overlooked.
The Briccoserra takes its name from the two vineyards it comes from – Bricco di Neive for the Nebbiolo (and incredible old-vine parcel at the top of the hill) and Serraboella for the Barbera (from the heart of the vineyard). Renato started making this in order to experiment when French barriques started to appear in Piemonte in the seventies, but he always believed that Barbaresco was better in larger containers.
A little pronounced oak at this stage it has all it takes to integrate this in a year or so and although drinkable from now it will handsomely repay the wait as it is a beautifully sumptuous wine with the rich velvety Barbera complementing the focused drive and length of the Nebbiolo. A fantastic wine.
$38.99 BTL
2015 Cigliuti Langhe Nebbiolo
You do not need a special occasion to drink Nebbiolo!  Yes, the great examples from the top vineyards are going to cost $40 – $100, but you should know that most top producers make an excellent value Langhe Nebbiolo.
It is 100% Nebbiolo, 15 year-old vines from the Bricco di Neive vineyard in the commune of Neive.  It is fermented in stainless steel and see aging for 5 months partially in steel and partially in Slavonian oak.
A wine for food, in particular meat-based pasta sauces, and grilled meats.  It’s somewhere in that medium to full-bodied range, with beautiful cherry, fennel and spice notes.  A beautiful Nebbiolo at a great price.
$26.99 BTL
2012 Cigliuti Barbaresco “Vie Erte”
Now we are getting serious! I tasted this when I was there in June, and really loved this wine.
“Vie Erte” comes from the Bricco di Neive vineyard in Neive.  The vineyard sits on the southwest slope of the hill near Serraboella and Canova, but is higher in altitude.
It always yields a really elegant and fresh style of Barbaresco, and I find the 2012 to be very accessible in its youth, yet of course it will age.
This is a steal for its price point! One of the great single Cru’s of Barbaresco for under $50 is downright ridiculous.
*We also have a little bit of the 2010 vintage left – $49.99/bottle and perfect for the upcoming holiday gatherings.
$47.99 BTL
2013 Cigliuti Barbaresco “Serraboella”
Here is where I call out all my true Piedmont fans, those with the patience to lay down some bottles and enjoy the spoils of your efforts and the incredible efforts of the Cigliuti family.
Serraboella is among the greatest terroirs in the Barbaresco region.  In my opinion, the Cigliuti family produces the best example from this great terroir.
The parcel that they own is southwest facing, with vines in the 25-55 year range.  Like everything at this property, it is fermented in stainless steel and then this is aged for 26 months in Slavonian oak casks and larger French oak.
Serraboella produces firm, dense and tannic Nebbiolo.  Please cellar this wine.  Give it till at least 2020 and it will continue to develop through 2030+.
One of the great wines of Piedmont.
$61.99 BTL
Posted in Friday Feature, Friday Features/Newsletters, Newsletter

Champagne & Sparkling Wine Values of the Year!

Hello and Happy Wednesday!
We interrupt your work week to make our annual announcement of our picks for both our Champagne Value of the Year and Sparkling Wine Value of the Year!
As you may know, we love sparkling wine and Champagne at Perman Wine Selection!
Each year Craig makes the trek to Champagne to taste current releases and meet with producers. This is part of the process in determining what we feature.
Throughout the year we are also busy tasting sparkling wines from around the world, all in anticipation of choosing of we what we feel is the best bottle of bubbles for the price.
The holidays are a time when we pause and celebrate our yearly successes. It is also a time when a lot of our customers give client gifts. We believe Champagne or Sparkling Wine is the right choice for those moments.
These wines are limited in nature, so please reserve your bottles or cases today.
Have a great rest of your week,
Craig & Jamie

Bubbles of the Year!
Champagne Value of the Year:
2013 Champagne Marie-Courtin “Résonance,” Extra-Brut, Champagne, France
Polisot, is a sleepy and beautiful village located in the Southernmost part of the Champagne region called the Aube. The growing region of the area, called the Côte des Bar, is closer in proximity to Chablis than the heart of Champagne, some 90 miles to the north. There is more limestone and clay in the Côte des Bar, not so much chalk, as you find in the heart.
Even as I write about this producer, I have to catch myself and admit that using a term like “heart of Champagne” is something insulting to those in the Aube that for many years have taken a back seat to producers in sub-regions like the Montagne de Reims, Côte des Blancs and Vallée de la Marne. While producers in those places may think less of the Aube, if hard pressed and made to write a top ten list of my favorite Champagne producers, 5, yes 5 of the 10 would come from the Aube.
Marie-Courtin is certainly on that list of the best of Champagne.
Dominque Moreau, owner and winemaker of Marie Courtin (named after her grandmother), is one of the most talented and nicest producers in Champagne. Her minuscule vineyard holdings encompass roughly 2.5 ha, allowing her to produce around 16,000 bottles total annually.
She has been one of the leaders in the “organically grown” movement in Champagne, beginning the process to organic conversion in 2006, with certification in 2010.
Moreau produces a total of 4 different Champagne. The 2013 “Résonance” is our Champagne Value of the Year. It is made entirely from Pinot Noir grown on those beautiful limestone/clay soils.
The 2013 “Résonance” is stunning, aromatically complex with notes raspberry, plum, and mineral. On the palate, this has texture, freshness, concentration, and a really long finish.
There was no doubt that this deserved to be our Champagne Value of the Year! A fantastic Champagne!
$49.99 BTL / $599.88 CASE
Sparkling Wine Value of the Year:
NV Domaine Belluard “Les Perles du Mont Blanc” Méthode Traditionnelle, Savoie, France
There are new wineries, and then there are “new to you” wineries. We have absolutely fallen in love with the wines of Domaine Belluard over the last couple years. This winery, “new to us,” but started in 1947 is located in the village of Ayse in the Haute-Savoie region of France.
What’s the local variety you ask? Why none other than Gringet. An old variety, thought to even pre-date the Romans, and found only in Ayse.
“Les Perles du Mont Blanc” is an outstanding value, deserving of the pick of Sparkling Wine Value of the Year.”
Beautiful aromatics of green apple skin, citrus, mineral and spice. Medium weight, with good concentration, notes of poached pear, and a long, layered finish. This is serious juice, but yet so uncompromisingly delicious.
Don’t miss this great value!
$23.99 BTL / $143.94 SIX-PACK CASE
Posted in Newsletter