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

Thanksgiving Wines 2016

Our Epic Thanksgiving Picks!
Sparkling Wines:

2014 Quinta das Bágeiras Vinho Espumante Bruto Natural Rosé

This is one of the best value sparkling Rosés that we have ever had in the shop. Màrio Sérgio Alves Nuno is known for making wines the “traditional way” and pays homage to his father’s palate which preferred lighter wines with lower alcohol. Over 60% of his production is sparkling wine, all without dosage. 100% Baga, it’s light salmon-pink in color with plenty of minerality on the palate and wildflower and fresh berry notes on the finish.

2014 Malvirá “Rive Gauche” Roero Arneis Spumante
Not your typical Italian sparkling. In the 1950s Giuseppe Damonte shifted his focus onto maximizing the vineyard potential of the Arneis grape in the small region of Roero. A Charmat Method bubbly with crisp notes of kaffir lime leaves, white peach, and spring flowers. Dry on the finish and no residual sugar so it’s great as an aperitif or with food.


(2009) Champagne Laherte Frères “Les Empreintes” Extra Brut, Champagne, France
Aurélien Laherte is one of the top young winemakers in Champagne today. Still relatively undiscovered, the winery sits in the little village of Chavot within the Coteaux Sud d’Epernay. They produce around 95,000 bottles annually. “Les Empreintes” is a stunner. A blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier from three different Biodynamically farmed vineyards within the village of Chavot. This has it all, freshness, richness and minerality.

White Wines:
2014 Domaine Ameztia Irouléguy Blanc
Ameztia is located in the French Basque country, where shepherd/winemaker Jean-Louis Costera and his family have been making wine since the 17th century. In 2001 Jean-Louis modernized the winemaking facilities on the family’s estate so that they could craft their own world-class Irouléguy. This white is a blend of two local grapes, Gros Manseng and Petit Manseng; with aromas and flavors of yellow fruits, very savory, fresh, and lively.
2015 Falkenstein Krettnacher Euchariusberg Riesling Spätlese, Saar, Germany
For many, including myself, a great, slightly off-dry Riesling from Germany is an essential part of the Thanksgiving experience. Hofgut Falkenstein is one of the top producers in the Saar region of Germany today. We tried this Riesling Spätlese a little over a month ago, and were floored at its precision and complexity. Red apple combines with hints of tropical fruit and citrus. It is so vibrant on the palate, and if I didn’t see the label would have a difficult time guessing this as a Spätlese Riesling. It seems just a hair off dry, and it has impeccable balance.
2013 Domaine Ostertag “Meunchberg” Grand Cru Riesling, Alsace
Muenchberg means the “mountain of the monks” and was first planted in the 12th century by the Cistercian monks. It is one of the most unique Grand Crus of Alsace because of its very particular soil of red sandstone and volcanic sediments. Drinking beautifully now, this wine could also be put away for a while to enjoy on future turkey days. Elegant and dry with a delicate white peach notes and fleshy structure.
2014 Ottella “Le Creete” Lugana, Italy
Lugana is a picturesque wine region in northern Italy between Lombardy in the west and Veneto in the east. White wines from the area are made from a grape locally known as Turbiana (aka Trebbiano di Lugana), which is closely related to Verdicchio. The “Le Creete” vineyard has a unique white clay soil that adds great mineral notes to this fragrant, exotic fruit and citrus-laden wine. Softer acid makes it a perfect pairing for roasted turkey!
2013 Forman Chardonnay, Napa Valley, California
In our annual “France vs. The Rest of the World” tasting in October, we featured a flight of two Chardonnay, served to our guests “blind.” Before the “reveal” attendees had a difficult time telling which wine was from France and which from another part of the world. This beautiful Chardonnay from the legendary Ric Forman in Napa Valley, was the featured “world” wine and paired against a top-notch Chablis. Those results would have made Ric very happy, as he strives to produce a “non-traditional” California Chardonnay, with great balance and freshness. Mission accomplished.

Rosé and Red Wines:
2015 Schloss Gobelsburg “Cistercien” Rosé, Niederösterreich, Austria
Some of the finest vineyards in Austria belong to Schloss Gobelsburg. Written history of the estate and castle dates all the way back to 1074! Don’t let the pale color fool you. This delicate rosé from Zweigelt and St. Laurent has the softest scent of tart summer berries and overtones of rose petals. There is a spicier aspect and fruitier notes of freshly cut apple on the palate. Drink it by itself, but it’s even better with food to compliment the fresh acidity and grippy finish.
$29.99/BTL (1.5L MAGNUM)


2015 Broc Cellars “Cassia” Grenache Rosé, Mendocino, California
This wine was one of the highlights of my recent trip to California. Chris Brockway is making some of most delicious, and affordable wines in California today from his city winery in Berkley, California. Chris was nice enough to give us the last five cases of the otherwise sold out Rosee made from 100+ year-old Grenache Gris and Grenache Noir vines grown in McDowell Valley in Mendocino. This is one of the best Rosé I’ve tasted all year, discreet, with hints at wild strawberry, mineral and spice.


2012 Chandon de Briailles Savigny-lès-Beaune, Burgundy, France
It is baffling to me that this wine is even available. Chandon de Briailles is a fantastic producer, and one of most conscientious farmers in Burgundy. The wines are stupidly cheap for what you are getting. Farmed Biodynamically, low-yields, all from great terroir, the domaine only produces 50,000 bottles total per year. Their Savigny-lès-Beaune offering provides immediate gratification. The fruit comes from two lieu-dit in the village, one planted in 1960 and the other in 1976. This has everything you look for in Red Burgundy, pure red fruit, mineral, complexity and grip. We will sell out of this, but we have several out-of-this-world 1er Cru offerings that are incredible values.
2013 Charly Thévenet “Grain & Granit” Régnié, Beaujolais
The son of famous “Gang of Four” Morgon producer Jean-Paul Thévenet, Charly is a rising star in his own right. Leading the Régnié renaissance alongside Guy Breton, Charly uses biodynamic farming techniques in the vineyard, never adding synthetic herbicides, pesticides, or fungicides to the vines. He harvests late, aggressively sorts the grapes, adds minimal doses of sulfur dioxide, ages the wine in four-year-old Burgundian barriques, and bottles his wines unfiltered.


2013 Domaine Chignard “Beauvernay” Juliénas, Beaujolais 
Domaine Chignard, located in Fleurie, has produced a delicious Juliénas that is open, generous and full of all the luscious goodness you could want in a Cru Beaujolais. The vineyard, “Beauvernay”, is named for a grove of alder trees that can be seen at the base of the hillside. The granitic soils impart a great sense of minerality to the wine, and the 60+ year old Gamay vines lend weight and concentration.
$59.99/BTL (1.5L MAGNUM)


2015 Folk Machine Pinot Noir, Central Coast, California
On my recent trip to California, I was both impressed and excited to find good wine values. Yet it was readily apparent that making good values, and producing them with integrity was something that few managed to do. You have to want to make good values, and work really hard at it. Few are willing to do it. Kenny Likitprakong of Hobo Wine Company is. Sure Kenny doesn’t fit into that sweet, idyllic picture of a farmer and his land, making tiny quantities of wine from that place. In California, you have to throw that picture out the window. Instead Kenny diligently works to find good, well priced fruit, that he can make into wines that he is extremely proud of, and I can wholeheartedly attest are both delicious and complex wines. Folk Machine is one of the best value Cali Pinot’s out there. It combines Pinot Noir from three vineyards in the Central Coast picked at 22 Brix. The wine was aged in 2-6 year old neutral barrels to show off the freshness of the fruit. Medium weight, a mixture of red and black fruit, and great balance. A steal at this price.


2013 Norman Hardie Cabernet Franc, Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada
You’ve seen it here before, but we couldn’t resist making the emphatic case for this beautiful Cabernet Franc to be part of your Thanksgiving celebration. Norman Hardie is the preeminent winery in Prince Edward County, located just a couple hours east of Toronto. County soil is special. The fractured limestone soil, the marginal climate which makes the grapes struggle, all help achieve wines with a finesse and balance that is rare in North American wines and more typical of something from France. This Chinon-like Cabernet Franc is exceptional, red fruit, green peppercorn, and a bright juicy finish. A very fresh style that is a necessary attribute for a wine at the Thanksgiving table.


2012 José Antonio Garcia Bierzo “Aires de Vendimia” Tinto, Spain
If you haven’t discovered the grape Mencía from Northwest Spain you are missing out. There are a lot of faces to the varietal, and appellation has a lot to do with it, but also vineyards and farming. We’ve been flat-out impressed by the wines of the young and talented José Antonio Garcia.
Bierzo is a region where you can easily make an overripe interpretation of Mencía, but Garcia has an adept touch, producing wines with intensity, freshness and complexity. “Aires de Vendimia” is the top wine of the estate. The fruit comes from Valtuille de Abajo, high elevation vineyards, 80-100 year-old vines. Black raspberry, cranberry, smoke, and spice can be found on the nose and palate. It is wonderfully long and complex, and will appeal to a wide variety of drinkers, those that love the wines of the Rhône Valley must try this!


2014 Rall Red, Swartland, South Africa
We just had the pleasure of a Donovan Rall visit to the store – he led a fantastic South African wine tasting and got everyone excited about his work with Rhône Varieties and classic Chenin Blanc. He and his friends are working tirelessly to preserve the old vines and historic vineyards in South Africa and focusing on elevating the overall quality of the wines. His “Red” is a great full-bodied option for your holiday feast – Syrah and Grenache from Swartland with aromatic plum and dusty purple fruit notes, soft tannin and spice. Great for dinner or that quiet moment between dinner and dessert!
Dessert Wines:
2011 Clos Guirouilh “Petit Cuyaláa” Jurançon
Jurançon is a wine region in South West France in the foothills of the Pyrenees. Its wines are exclusively white, and can be made in three styles: Jurançon (sweet), Jurançon Vendanges Tardives (very sweet) and Jurançon Sec (dry).
This is a sweet version – similar to a Tokaji or Sauternes, it is 100% old vine Petit Manseng harvested in late November/early December when the grapes have naturally raisined on the vines. Pale gold with notes of honeysuckle, candied orange zest and apricot, it’s perfect for fruit desserts that don’t have chocolate (think apple, pear or pumpkin pie) or full-flavored cheeses after the main course.
2011 Equipo Navazos “Casa del Inca” Pedro-Ximenez Sherry
The Equipo Navazos project started as a private consortium of Sherry lovers. The wines are bottlings of specially selected barrels from the region’s top producers. For “Casa del Inca”, Pedro Ximénez grapes are dehydrated using the soleo (sundrying) process. The sweet rounded dessert wine is then aged in amphora and reveals notes of toffee, dried mango, rosewater, toasted nuts and licorice. This is perfect for any nut-based desserts (pecan pie, for example) or with chocolate.


Posted in Friday Feature, Friday Features/Newsletters, Newsletter

6 for “Everyday” Wine Club – the $15 & under Edition

Hello and Happy Friday!
We still have spaces available for this coming Thursday’s tasting with Donovan Rall, one of the leading young winemakers of South Africa!
This will be a fantastic tasting! Details below:

Donovan Rall & Friends tasting at Perman Wine Selections

On Thursday, November 3rd, we are thrilled to welcome all the way from South Africa, Donovan Rall. As many of you know I had a chance to travel to South Africa in January, and my visit with Donovan confirmed what is widely acknowledged, he is one of the best winemaking talents in all of the country.

Donovan will be in-house to guide us through his two flagship wines, and will also be bringing samples of two brand new wines, never tasted before in the US.

Since Donovan is a small producer, with a limited range, we also wanted to pour a couple of his friends wines. We will also taste 2 wines a piece from two fantastic producers, Vuurberg and Richard Kershaw. Jim Clark, owner of Blue Crane Imports will present these wines.

It is such a special treat to have Donovan in the store, and we hope you can make it!

WHEN: Thursday, November 3rd
WHAT: Taste some of the great wines of South Africa, featuring the wines of Donovan Rall, who will be in attendance to present. Total tasting of 8 wines from Donovan and friends.
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 4 flights of wines.
COST: $35
*space is limited to 14 people for this event


The Halloween weekend is always the kick off to the holiday season here at Perman Wine Selections.

Please be on the look out for our upcoming Thanksgiving Suggestions Newsletter, as well as other newsletters with wines that will make for delicious drinking around the season.

We also want to begin to remind our customers that we are happy to provide support with your holiday gift giving. Whether your friend, spouse or client lives in Illinois or elsewhere we are happy to help pick out the perfect gift for them. Please keep us in mind this Holiday season!

Have a fantastic weekend,
Craig & Jamie

6 for “Everyday” Wine Club – the $15 & under Edition
2013 Bodegas de Santo Tomás “Misión 13”
Baja, Mexico

With the election season in full swing, its our civic duty to alert you to something pouring across the Mexican border in record amounts.


As a bipartisan shop, we feel that this is something we can all agree is a good thing.

Despite my self-proclaimed title of “Head of the Mexican Wine Department” back when I worked at Sam’s Wine & Spirits, I really in no way could be called an expert on the subject.

What I do know is that Mexico is the longest wine growing country in the Americas. In fact this wine today comes from a producer whose history dates back to 1888, although the Jesuit priests were active in wine growing in the region since 1791.

With its long history we decided to taste this wine amongst 10 other wines of Mexico. This, in our opinion, was the clear winner. Bodega de Santo Tomás is located in Baja, Mexico.

This wine, the “Misión” Tinto is a blend of Carignan and Tempranillo as well as the Mision grape. The Spanish brought grape vines such as Carignan and Tempranillo to Mexico in the 16th century.

The wine is a medium-bodied, easy drinking red that will remind drinkers of a wine from Montsant or the Southern Rhône Valley. It’s fruit is nicely balanced, and it finishes with good spice and length.

We consistently get requests for wines to pair with tacos, and now its official, the back label says its good with tacos. Look out Taco Tuesdays, we’ve found your match.

$15.00 BTL / $180.00 CASE
2015 Espaço Rural “Bojador” Branco
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. Over the next two months we are excited to release the new vintages of their white and red wines called “Bojador.”

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.

Tasting the “Bojador” Branco “blind,” it would be difficult to pinpoint this as a warm climate wine. This white wine is a blend of 50% Antão Vaz, 30% Arinto and 20% Alvarinho. It is co-fermented with indigenous yeast and aged in vat.

It offers beautiful aromatics hinting at both tropical and citrus fruit. It’s palate presence is both refreshing, yet also slightly textural. There is a minerality to go along with the fruit, making this over deliver for the price point.

This can work with so many foods, whether it be fish, pork or even turkey.

$15.00 BTL / $180.00 CASE
2013 Vignobles Brunier “Le Pigeoulet en Provence”
Vaucluse, France
Recently we had the honor of hosting Daniel Brunier, legendary co-owner of Vieux Telegraphe. If you are not familiar, this is one of the iconic producers of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape region of France. That evening we tasted the fantastic 2012 vintage from that property. We also tasted a wine, that was one of the hits of the tasting, a fantastic value from the Brunier family from the Vaucluse.

Vin de Pays de Vaucluse is the giant “catch-all” appellation that you sometimes find on a label when a producer decides to blend from a couple different appellations. In this case, the Brunier clan has dedicated themselves to offering value wines. Their “Le Pigeoulet en Provence” Rouge label combines from from both the Côtes du Rhône appellation and Ventoux.

The 2013 vintage is a blend of 80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, and 5% each of Carignan and Cinsault. Vinification occurs in cement tanks, and aging is done in a combination of cement and foudre (large oak barrels).

We were impressed by the balance and drinkability of this wine. It has the typical fruit and spice you would expect out of a Grenache based wine from the region, yet it does it in an elegant way.

This is a workhorse at the table, lending itself to pairing anything from chicken friccassée to grilled pork chops.

$15.00 BTL / $180.00 CASE
2014 Quintay “Clava” Reserve Pinot Noir
Valle de Casablanca, Chile
For great “everyday” wines, the Casablanca Valley is a place to keep your eye on – a mirror image of the Central Coast region of California, it produces excellent cool climate wines with complexity, fruit and balanced acidity.
The winery “Quintay” gets its name from the native Mapudungún language, which honors the zone’s original inhabitants and means “Go with the Flow”. Winemaker Paula Cárdenas does everything but that when it comes to her wines.
Formerly the winemaker at Errázuriz, Paula travels the globe to explore techniques in other wine regions. What she learns abroad makes her wines so unique. She creates the optimal balance in each wine and takes a more restrained approach to winemaking to highlight the purity of the grapes.

The “Clava” Pinot Noir comes from some of the best vineyard sites in the valley, revealing ripe raspberry, chocolate and cedar notes with subtle wild herbs on the finish.

$14.00 BTL / $168.00 CASE

2014 Rafael Palacios “Bolo” Godello
Valdeorras, Spain
The Palacios family made its name in Rioja, but Rafael headed to the green northwest Atlantic vines of the DO of Valdeorras, which is located near the norther border Portugal.
The jewel in Valdeorras is the white variety Godello, which is now achieving recognition similar to that of Albarino and Verdejo. Jancis Robinson once wrote that the “obvious nobility of this grape variety combines the structure of white burgundy with the finesse of a juicy mineral grape.”
Godello is capable of making complex wines that improve with age. Grown in higher elevation vineyards that Rafael has pieced together over time, the land is terraced and very difficult to farm, but well worth the effort.
While the older vines go into the As Sortes bottling, the younger vines produce Bolo – a perfumed white with round texture and notes of lemongrass, citrus and saline minerality.
$14.00 BTL / $168.00 CASE

2010 Aveleda “Follies” Touriga Nacional
Beiras, Portugal
If you’ve ever come into the store looking for a great steak wine, this is it. “Misión” Tinto for your tacos, Touriga Nacional for your steak. It’s a delicious alternative to the usual Cabernet Sauvignon pairing. Off the beaten path, but worth a try.
Touriga Nacional is Portugal’s answer to the world’s love affair with Cabernet Sauvignon. Both varieties display bold dark-fruit flavors, often with hints of spice, leather and violet. Like Cabernet, Touriga Nacional has firm tannins and shows great aging potential on its own. It also works well in blends, as is typically the case in Portugal.
The “Follies” bottling from Aveleda is concentrated and powerful, this is a rich and intense black-fruited wine. Notes of spice, herb and dark chocolate mingle with the flavors of black plums and firm, dry tannins.
It’s also a fantastic pairing for dishes with goat, lamb or dark chocolate (or all by itself…).
$13.00 BTL. / $156.00 CASE
Posted in 6 for "Everyday" Wine Club, Friday Features/Newsletters, Newsletter

6 for Everyday – $30 and under Edition 10/21/16

Today’s newsletter announces the new release of “The 6 for ‘Everyday’ – $30 and Under Edition” wine club.
As a reminder we recently made some changes to our wine club. We renamed them “6 for Everyday.” There are two version of this. The “$30 and Under Edition” and the “$15 and Under Edition.”
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, 1 white wine, and a Pét-Nat (bubbly to the layperson). 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
2012 Domaine de Marcoux “La Lorentine” Lirac
Rhône Valley, France
Let’s face it, we all love a good deal.
So if you are a fan of wines from the deservedly-so famous appellation of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, you know deals can be tough to come by these days.
Luckily for us, we have wines like this. Domaine de Marcoux is one of the Southern Rhône’s best, run by the Armenier sisters. They are most well-know for their two incredible red Châteauneuf-du-Pape, but this wine from just across the river in Lirac offers great wine at a great price.
Lirac is a relatively new offering from Marcoux, having purchased a neglected parcel, and nursing it back to health using Biodynamic principles. The vineyard is planted to Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre, and the soil is a mixture of sand, limestone and gravelly red clay.
The 2012 Lirac is a gorgeous Rhône red. Aromatics and flavors of raspberry, herbs, and cracked black pepper. Typical to the style of Marcoux, this has intensity, but at the same time displays great balance. Perfect with a roasted leg of lamb.
$23.00 BTL / $276.00 CASE
2013 Domaine Chignard “Les Moriers” Fleurie
Beaujolais, France
How do we prepare to write a newsletter?
Research and Development, of course.
In this case, we cracked open a bottle of the Chignard “Les Moriers” Fleurie, a wine we have tasted on several occasions before.
Each time we open a bottle of this fantastic Cru Beaujolais from 5th generation winemaker Cédric Chignard it evokes an emotional response.
We wonder why more people don’t revere Beaujolais as one of the world’s great wines? We also wonder why consumption of this wine is often relegated only to drinking around Thanksgiving.
In our minds this beautiful Fleurie, from a single parcel called “Les Moriers” is so delicious, so simple and complex at the same time, that we want to drink it all the time.
This is Gamay at its best. Perfumed, with hints of cherry, wild strawberry, and mineral. It is ethereal and silky on the palate, with a weightlessness that is rarely achieved from other grapes. Its place at the dinner table is never in question as it can pair alongside a wealth of food, from all kinds of vegetables, to salmon, to poultry, to pork.
We encourage you to buy a few extra bottles of this wine. Its delicious now, but you can drink it over the next 5+ years as it will gain in complexity. A great Beaujolais from Chignard!
$27.00 BTL / $324.00 CASE 
2015 Aphros “Phaunus” Pét-Nat  
Vinho Verde, Portugal
Vasco Croft 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.
This past February, I had the opportunity to taste a line-up from Vasco, including some newly introduced wines.
One of the absolutely highlights of the tasting was this “gluggable” Pét-Nat made entirely of Loureiro. Pétillant-Naturel is a style of wine produced when a primary fermentation is finished in a bottle under a crown cap. This is sparkling wine, different than the traditional Champagne method bubbles that you are used to, but certainly as refreshing as a style.
In a phrase, “thirst-quenching” is a perfect description of the “Phaunus” Pét-Nat.” Incredibly aromatic, almost like smelling fresh crushed grapes, along with hints of white flowers and jasmine. Crisp, fruit forward, and dangerously drinkable!
Only 48 bottles were brought into Illinois, and we are excited to introduce this to our customers. – CP
$30.00 BTL /$180.00 SIX-PACK CASE – 34 bottles available
2013 Kangarilla Road Shiraz
McLaren Vale, Australia
When Kevin and Helen O’Brien bought the old Cambria Vineyard site, they knew they had a lot of work ahead of them. They set out to create a small winery that would have strong ties to the land – a stark contrast to the massive wine giants already so prevalent in Australia.
Their first task was to rename the property Kangarilla Road – “Kangarilla” from an aboriginal word used to describe a place with abundant resources able to nurture. “Road” simply to mark the journey Kevin and Helen were beginning.
The grapes for Kangarilla Road ripen later than other regions in Australia, which gives us something with balanced alcohol and more accessibility to food pairings.
The 2013 Shiraz is an excellent example of what the McLaren Vale region is all about: pepper and sweet red berry on the nose. Layers of currants, black cherries, macerated strawberries and nasturtiums when you sip. Pairs well with traditional roast beef dishes or barbecue. -JK
$20.00 BTL / $240.00 CASE
2012 Mamete Prevostini Grumello Superiore
Valtellina, Italy
If you have a weakness for great Barolo but wish you could find something priced more for “everyday” drinking, you don’t want to miss this.
Think of it as a sort of poor man’s Barolo – 100% Nebbiolo, and like its more northern cousin, it has that appealing dichotomy of stern power and soft elegance.
The Prevostini family has been producing wine on the terraced slopes of Grumello since the mid-1940s. Grumello is one of the five designated sub-zones of Valtellina, sitting up to 670 metres above sea level in the terraced alpine mountains of Lombardia along the Swiss Border.
Wines from Prevostini focus on grapes from the cru of Sassella to best capture the perfumed, silky texture of Nebbiolo. Their wines have a very complex nose of blackberry, blackcurrant and hazelnut.
It’s off the beaten path, but completely worth it! -JK
$26.00 BTL / $312.00 CASE
2014 Neudorf Chardonnay
Nelson, New Zealand
For anyone who thinks making wine is easy, Tim and Judy Finn are here to remind us that, “Making wine is scary.”
They bought their land for Neudorf Winery back in 1978 when the fine wine industry in New Zealand was almost non existent.
Early in their 30 year span they had four mortgages and three jobs each. The old house at Neudorf had electricity in two rooms, an inefficient wood stove and no hot water.
They were products of the “Back to the Land” movement of the 60’s, and take a simplistic approach to winemaking: native yeasts, no fining, minimal intervention. They believe that great wines carry a unique fingerprint of the place they come from and as winemakers they try to preserve that in the bottle.
Their first Chardonnay vintage was in 1981 and still today captures the uniqueness of place. Rich stone fruit, mineral notes from the gravel clay soils, hints of raw cashew and toasted cereal. Even wine drinkers who scoff at Chardonnay will appreciate this one. -JK
$27.00 BTL / $324.00 CASE
Posted in 6 for "Everyday" Wine Club, Friday Features/Newsletters

Mixed Bag of Greatness


It’s that time of year, and all the best wines from around the world have started arriving.
Today’s newsletter offers some of the rarest of the rare and the best of the best.
Below are names from some of the greatest producers in both Piedmont and Burgundy. These are wines that we personally cellar and love.
Of course, these are limited, so first come, first serve.
Have a great weekend!
See you soon,
Craig & Jamie

Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey Chassagne-Montrachet “Les Ancengnières” 2014, Burgundy, France
Our only White Burgundy of the newsletter. Each year we have a crazy amount of demand for the wines of now superstar, Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey. This is always one of the steals of his line-up. From a single vineyard, just underneath the Grand Cru of Bâtard-Montrachet. The 2014’s are truly brilliant, discreet, full of flavor with incredible length. Don’t miss this incredible Chardonnay!
Domaine G. Barthod Chambolle-Musigny 2013,
Burgundy, France
The Pinot Noir of Barthod are some of the most wonderful expressions of the grape around. Poorer than the soils of near-by Gevrey or Morey, the limestone-gravel of Chambolle imparts more mineral qualities than it’s neighbors. A light thread of acidity gives the beguiling flavors of black currants and African violets lift, offset by a touch of sweet loamy earth.
Fourrier Bourgogne Rouge 2014, 
Burgundy, France
We are pleased to offer a nice collection of wines from Domaine Fourrier, another Star of Burgundy. Jean-Marie Fourrier took over as winemaker in 1994 after studying under such legends as Henri Jayer. Since then he’s reenergized the domaine with inspiring wines from his most prized bottlings to this wonderful entry-level Bourgogne Rouge.
Fourrier Chambolle-Musigny 2014,
Burgundy, France
This is no ordinary Chambolle-Musigny. It comes from a single parcel within the village, with vines nearing almost 80 years in age. It will continue to develop in bottle over a decade and will pair well with a classic Coq au vin.

Fourrier Gevrey-Chambertin V.V. 2014, 
Burgundy, France
This Gevrey from Fourrier is sourced entirely from older vines within the Champerrier vineyard. The majority of these vines are from 88-61 years old! The northernmost parcel in Gevrey that Fourrier works with, this Pinot has a bit more tannic backbone which makes it a great match for more robust dishes.
Fourrier Morey-St-Denis “Clos Solon” 2014,
Burgundy, France
Fourrier is known more for their Gevrey wines, but this Morey-St-Denis has plenty of lovers all its own. This vineyard of 55-year old vines produces a silky, red raspberry and black cherry-filled wine on a medium-light frame.
Fourrier Gevrey-Chambertin “Aux Echezeaux” 2014,
Burgundy, France
A wonderful bottling from vines on the border with Morey-St-Denis around 86 years old. These are deeper alluvial soils that create wines of more rounded and soft fruit.
Fourrier Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru “Les Gruenchers”,
Burgundy, France
Arguably the most exotically endowed wine from Jean-Marie in 2014. Lush flavors of macerated Alpine strawberries and Morello cherries are given freshness with an undercurrent of blood orange and violets. The depth of this wine is not surprising given that it comes from 88 year old vines.
Cantina (Bartolo) Mascarello Barolo 2012
We feel comfortable saying that among the royalty of Barolo, those of Bartolo Mascarello are King. Bartolo defended traditional winemaking in Barolo more than anyone up until his death in 2005, when his daughter Maria Teresa took up the mantle. We love the 2012 vintage in Barolo. This vintage has it all, delicacy, freshness and of course great age ability.
Elio Grasso Barolo “Chiniera” 2012, 
Monforte d’Alba, Piemonte
Elio Grasso is another legend of Piemonte, producing wines with classic grace since 1978. This single vineyard bottling comes from a plot close to his home which is unusually sandy and limestone-rich for this area and altitude in Monforte d’Alba. Lovers of more feminine style Barolo should absolutely have at least one bottle of this cru in their cellar.
Elio Grasso Barolo “Vigna Casa Maté” 2012, 
Monforte d’Alba, Piemonte
Those looking for a Barolo with some muscle behind it will find themselves on team “Casa Maté”. This cru is from the hard-packed clay and limestone soils at 300m above sea level. Wines from this site often need 15-20 years to soften up, but patience is rewarded with a trance-inducing Barolo that will leave you lost in the bouquet before you take your first sip.
Posted in Friday Feature, Friday Features/Newsletters

The Innovators of Portugal!

Hello & Happy Friday!
This past week we officially kicked off our Fall tasting schedule and what a kick off it was! Both sessions of France vs. The Rest of the World were super fun and interesting, with totally different outcomes from one night to the next. It’s safe to say that all who attended had a great time discovering what their preferences were without knowing where the wine being tasted was from.
Another highlight for us was having Francisca Van Zeller in town showcasing her amazing Douro wines from her family’s estate Quinta Vale D. Maria. Together, Craig and Francisca hosted a dinner to be remembered at one of our favorite spots, Fat Rice. We love food and we love wine, and of course winemakers too, so when you combine all those things everyone will be sporting smiles.
Sadly, not all of us could attend the dinner, but we don’t want anyone to miss out on the fun. This week’s Friday Feature aims to bring you a slice of our Portuguese adventure. We are happy to showcase two great producers from two very different regions making wines that are at totally opposite poles from each other: Aphros Wines from Vinho Verde and, of course, Quinta Vale D. Maria from the Douro Valley.
We hope you enjoy learning about these Portuguese favorites and decide to embark on your own little culinary adventure with them at home!
Craig, Zach and Jamie

Aphros Wines:
 A Biodynamic Change-Maker in Vinho Verde
Biodynamic viticulture hasn’t been a “fringe” philosophy in the wine world for sometime now. However, that was surely not the case in the Vinho Verde region in northern Portugal when Vasco Croft set out to create Aphros Wines back in 2005. While others looked at him like he was crazy, toiling for hours in his seemingly chaotic vineyards with all sorts of weird homeopathic concoctions, Croft new his efforts were all for the greater pure beauty he knew his vineyards were capable of.
Like elsewhere in the world, Portuguese grapes and wine were as much a product of conventional agriculture as any commercial crop for most of the 20th century. However, alternatives to conventional winemaking were slow to be accepted in Portugal in comparison to other parts of Europe. Croft knew there was a different way and biodynamic farming was it. Following these holistic principles yields were naturally reduced, resulting in improved quality.  Not only was the fruit better, but the vine health improved too, eliminating the need for harsh chemical treatments. But most importantly, the general ecosystem in around the vineyard improved as this ecologically-centered philosophy strengthened the connections between all the indigenous flora and fauna.
Today Aphros is one of the few biodynamically certified wineries in Vinho Verde and by no less than Demeter, the “gold standard” in certifying biodynamic practices. But Aphros doesn’t stop their pursuit of innovation after harvest. Croft and his team continue to push the limits qualitatively and stylistically in the winery by experimenting with different techniques, like partial or full skin-contact fermentation for naturally sparkling Vinhão. With a winery like Aphros in the mix, there’s no doubt that the future wines of Vinho Verde will look very different than those of today.
2014 Aphros “Ten” Loureiro, Vinho Verde, Portugal
A perfect wine for proving how stylistically versatile Loureiro can be. “Ten” is done in the style of many Chenin Blancs from Vouvray: just a hair off-dry with about 12 grams of residual sugar and just 10% alcohol by volume. Granite tank fermentation and a post-fermentation soaking on the skins lends richness to balance the natural acidity.
$19.99 /BTL
2015 Aphros “Phaunus” Loureiro Pet Nat, 
Vinho Verde, Portugal
A super interesting limited release rendition of Loureiro allowed to become naturally sparkling by bottling the wine before it is finished fermenting. Spontaneous fermentation starts in stainless steel tanks but, when the wine reaches about 20 grams of residual sugar, it is bottled with the living yeasts. A naturally hazy, yet glowing wine with an intriguing bouquet of pear cider, pomelo and fleur de sel.
$29.99 /BTL


2015 Aphros “Phaunus” Pahlete, Vinho Verde, Portugal
Before this modern era of winemaking, where neatly organized vineyards keep each variety separate from the other, multitudes of different vines lived side by side in the same vineyard. This followed in the winery where all the grapes harvested, red and white, were crushed and fermented together. This pahlete is such a wine. Loureiro and Vinhão are foot-trodden, then transferred to beeswax-lined amphora where they begin to spontaneously ferment until completely dry. A striking shade of vermillon in the glass, the nose is a whirlwind of herbal, floral, wildly fruited curiosities with a particularly savory core.
$29.99 /BTL


2006 Aphros “Yakkos” Vinhão Pet-Nat, 
Vinho Verde, Portugal
Our adventure in exploring contemporary wine geekery would not be complete without an effervescent red. For lovers of Lambrusco or funky sparkling reds from elsewhere, this is your jam for sure. Vinhão is crushed by foot and transferred to large granite fermenters. However, the wine undergoes a secondary fermentation once bottled giving the wine it’s signature spritz. A veritable garden of scents and flavors showcasing a full spectrum of red rose, blood orange, pomegranate with a slight undercurrent of umami.
$34.99 /BTL

Quinta Vale D. Maria: Redefining the Douro
The Douro Valley is known, first and foremost, for the fortified dessert wine, Port. But the Van Zeller family saw the potential for the region to make wines beyond that style. The history of Quinta Vale D. Maria starts in 1996, when it was acquired by Cristiano Van Zeller and his wife Joana.  The property had been in Joana’s family for many years.  There was no doubt that the property had huge potential, but some changes needed to be made to realize that dream.
After renovations, new equipment and some technological improvements, the Van Zeller family was ready to produce some of the best non-fortified wines in the Douro Valley, if not in all of Portugal. Today, Quinta Vale D. Maria has 31 hectares of vineyards, ranging from 10-80+ years of age. There are 41 different grape varieties planted across these vineyards, many of which are interplanted as was traditionally done in the region. But it’s what goes on in the winery that really sets Quinta Vale D. Maria apart
The team behind Quinta Vale D. Maria is an impressive one.  The Van Zeller’s have been involved in the Douro and Port trade since the late 1700’s. Cristiano Van Zeller was the manager of Quinta do Noval till 1993. His other team members include famed consulting winemaker Sandra Tavares da Silva (owner of Pintas), and full-time winemaker Joana Pinhão. Together they set out to on a quest of innovation; to focus on the specific characters of the many plots or “Quintas” that make up the Douro Valley and vinify wines that express those subtleties.
The wines they produce today remain true to the traditional roots of the region but also incorporate technology. While the grapes are still crushed by “foot”, for example, these “feet” are actually attached to a large robotic machine that can be finely adjusted. This is just one example of the forward-thinking mentality behind the wines of Quinta Vale D. Maria.
 2014 Quinta Vale D. Maria “Rufo” Branco, 
Douro, Portugal
It all starts with the “Rufo”, the everyday drinking wine from Quinta Vale D. Maria. They use the fruit from younger vines on the estate, as well as some purchased fruit from various cousins in the same region. This wine is a blend of 75% Códega de Larinho and 25% Rabigato from Sobreda and Candedo in the Douro Superior.This has a fantastic mixture of ripe tropical fruit along with ctirus and mineral notes.  It has weight on the mid-palate, but yet finishes fresh and long.  Find your inner Portuguese and cook one of the 1001 recipes of Bacalhau (salt cod).
2013 Quinta Vale D. Maria “Rufo” Tinto, Douro, Portugal
The wine is a blend of Touriga Franca & Touriga Nacional.
Complex and full-bodied this has enough fruit to make it a glass you can just sip on all by itself.
2012 Quinta Vale D. Maria Douro Tinto, Douro Portugal
There are over 40 different traditional grape varieties blended in this wine, with an average vine age of 60-years-old. When the grapes are harvested they are foot trodden in traditional open top stone tanks.
The 2012 Tinto is outstanding. It has the concentration you would expect from a Quinta Vale D. Maria wine, but finishes with more freshness and great length.The best part about this wine is that it can be opened now (give it a little time in a decanter) and will age nicely over a decade.
2012 Quinta Vale D. Maria “Curriculum Vitae” Tinto, Douro, Portugal
Before Cristiano decided to make his two single vineyard wines, Curriculum Vitae was considered the top wine of the house. Today, it is one of the top three, but still one of the most impressive wines made in Portugal. The grapes are grown in one of their vineyards along the river Torto. It is a North facing vineyard, very old vines, with more than 80 years of age. Aging is done in barrique, 75% new and 25% one-year barrels. Production was down in 2012 to 5,036 bottles.
The 2012 offers notes of black cherry and plum as well as baking spices from the oak, yet the finish is very different. The tannins are a tad softer, and the length and freshness seem to go on and on! Next time you need a gift bottle for someone that is over immersed in wines like Napa Cabernet or even Châteauneuf-du-Pape, that you bring a bottle of this to try!

$99.99/BTL Limited
2012 Quinta Vale D. Maria “Vinha da Francisca” Tinto, Douro, Portugal
A single plot on the Quinta Vale D. Maria estate, the vines for Vinha da Francisca were planted in 2004. The 4.5 hectare vineyard is planted with Tinta Francisca (an old varietal introduced in the Douro in 1756), Touriga Franca, Sousão, Rufete and Touriga Nacional.
The hallmark of this wine is its aromatic exuberance, always teeming with beautiful red fruits, mineral and spice. It has a very seductive, silky texture that firms up a bit at the end.
Only 7,800 bottles produced, and this will be very rarely seen in the United States. For those that want to drink sooner than later, this is special!
$99.99/BTL Limited
2012 Quinta Vale D. Maria “Vinha do Rio” Tinto, 
Douro, Portugal
The amazing thing about the Quinta Vale D. Maria estate is that every plot is identified and many vinified on their own.
It was this knowledge of their different terroir within the property that led Cristiano Van Zeller to decide to make a special wine from his oldest parcel on the property. Called Vinha do Rio (River Vineyard) it sits at lower altitude, very close to the river. The vines were planted 100 years ago.
The wine is fermented and aged in the same manner as Vinha da Francisca, but the flavors and identity are completely different.
Compared alongside the Vinha da Francisca, the aromas introduce a dark cherry, red currant note alongside darker berries, notes of mineral and cocoa. Texturally, this is much richer and full-bodied than Vinha da Francisca, but again with that hallmark balance and complexity.
The 2012 was recently reviewed by Mark Squires of The Wine Advocate and given 94 points, one of the highest rated Douro wines of the vintage. With only 2696 bottles produced, this is very rare stuff indeed.
$139.99/BTL Limited
2011 Quinta Vale D. Maria Vintage Port, Douro, Portugal
Ok, I know we just spent this whole time talking about how the wine of Quinta Vale D. Maria are about everything other than the traditional fortified sweet ports, but with all of their experience they couldn’t abstain. Selected from the best fruit from the best vines in the best vineyards, Quinta Vale D. Maria’s Vintage Port is a masterpiece to behold.
The winemaking starts out looking like a traditional port wine, but after crushing they add about 15% of the total volume of neutral brandy that they will add overall to the wine. What this does is allow them a longer maceration period at lower temperatures than anyone else. During this maceration acidity is preserved as well as extraction of more delicate flavors. For the most “typical” wine from this atypical Douro producer, they still succeeded in making the point that the potential for their home is not in the past, but in the future.
Posted in Friday Feature, Friday Features/Newsletters, Newsletter

6 for “Everyday” – the $15 and under Edition

Hello and Happy Friday!
“Everyday wine.”
We here at Perman Wine believe that wine is like water, a necessary part of your daily being.
To meet those needs we have developed a fantastic wine club we call “Six for Everyday.”
For some people an “Everyday” wine costs under $30 and for others its under $15. So we have two different versions of this sampler.
Last week we unveiled “The $30 and Under Edition” and today, we introduce to you the “Six for Everyday – The $15 and Under Edition.”
These are fantastic wines to stock your wine rack with. This wine club also makes an excellent gift.
We always have these in stock, and most of our customers pick them up when they run out of “supplies.”
We do have delivery and shipping options if you are unable to come to the store. Please inquire further.
This month we are excited to introduce some exceptional values, all $15 and under. There are 3 white and 3 red wines. All of these are available by the bottle, but we think the fun is in trying the whole offering!
Have a fantastic weekend,
Craig, Jamie and Zach


6 for “Everyday” Wine Club – the $15 & under Edition
2010 Quinta do Infantado Vinho Tinto
Douro Valley, Portugal
This is one of a handful of wines Craig mentions in this month’s issue of Food & Wine magazine. This organic Douro red is exceptional with food, especially when paired with Chef Abraham Conlon’s dishes at Fat Rice.
Quinta do Infantado has been a leader in estate-bottled Ports since 1979. Prior to 1986, the British monopoly on Port effectively prevented small private producers from exporting their wines. Quinta do Infantado were already making their own wines so they were amongst the first to begin exporting after the laws changed.

The estate, run by the brother and sister team of João and Catherine Roseira, is famous for producing fortified wines in a medium-dry style.  Their still red wine, a blend of grapes used in the fortified wine, uses traditional production and all estate grown fruit.  Opening the bottle releases a blend of mixed berries, purple plums and holiday spices. The texture demands food, with ample acidity and darkened tannins. A wine that pairs with hearty comfort foods. -JK 

$15.00 BTL / $180.00 CASE


2014 Ottella Lugana
Lombardy, Italy
Lugana is a picturesque wine region in northern
Italy, centered around the southern end of Lake Garda. The vineyard area straddles the border between Lombardy in the west and Veneto in the east and is surrounded by the frequently visited lake towns of Desenzano, Peschiera and Sirmione.
The name Lugana is thought to come from the Latin lacus lucanus (lake in the woods), since the trees went right up to the shores of the lake until around the 12th century. White wines from the area are made from a grape locally known as Turbiana (aka Trebbiano di Lugana), which is closely related to Verdicchio.

I grew up in a small town in the Valpolicella region of Italy, about halfway between the city of Verona and the shores of Lake Garda. Summer weekends often involved meeting friends in Peschiera or Sirmione for the day to get lunch and walk along the lake – as common an activity as strolling down Michigan Avenue or sitting on the patio of your favorite Chicago summer restaurant. When I was deemed “old enough” by Italian standards, I was allowed to drink wine. Lugana was often the white on the table for lunch or dinner, and even today the aromas of exotic fruits and candied citrus in a classic Lugana immediately transport me “home.” Try it with fritto misto, vegetable risotto, roasted chicken or minestrone. -JK 

$12.00 BTL / $144.00 CASE
2013 Peillot “Altesse” Roussette
Bugey, France
Those looking for more of a nomenclature challenge in French wines should try delving into the wines of Savoie. Strewn throughout this region of rolling foothills you’ll find wines made from grapes found no where else in the country. In addition, these wines are made in styles ranging from sparkling off-dry reds to to bone dry whites…basically every version of wine you can think of.
You should start with Franck Peillot’ “Montagnieu”
Altesse. Perched on a hilltop at the far southern end of the Jura Mountains sit some of the best Roussette du Savoie vines in the world. These are Franck Peillot’s vines. With the steepest vineyards in the area & calcium-rich soils, the grapes from Peillot’s properties are the optimal starting point for the finest wines made from Roussette.
Roussette locally called Altesse, is typically made into a sparkling wine in the region. Franck’s oldest vines are produced into still wines. This beautiful example displays honeyed flavors that suggest sweetness while remaining dry. Orchard fruit, honeysuckle & green fig flow through the nose and palate. Fresh acidity and chalky minerality course through the finish making this wine effortlessly flexible. Pair with roasted chicken & root vegetables. -ZM
$15.00 BTL / $180.00 CASE
2014 Practical Matter Cabernet Sauvignon
Columbia Valley, Washington/Paso Robles, California
Practical Matter started with the goal to get back to the basics. Wine is simple. Water, Sun, Dirt, Wind, etc. Practical. The goal was to make wine that was 100% varietal, non-manipulated and stylistically honest, all for a good value.
Hoping to find the grapes for their wine in their home state of California, partners Andrew Jones and Stephen Sullivan were shocked to find that there were no sources of Cabernet at the quality for price they were looking for. Drought had forced prices way up and the supply was scarce. However, when the going gets tough, the tough get going.
Using their connections, Jones and Sullivan developed ways of obtaining top-quality fruit. Winemakers are always trading barrels, or equipment, beer or “other” to secure what they need for their brand. By trading their various goods and services, they knew they could find what they were looking for. Eventually their search led them to Washington where Jones sells rootstock and grape vines. He was able to secure some incredible Columbia Valley Cabernet which they trucked down to their facility in Paso Robles.
About 200 cases worth of the Cabernet were bottled under the Practical Matter label, for a young, fresh, 100% varietal Columbia Valley Cabernet. Sadly, deals like this are always short-lived. The deal Jones and Sullivan struck was for one vintage only, so if your looking for the most bang for your buck, order some now. If we had to guess, this wine will be gone in practically a matter of hours! -ZM
$15.00 BTL / $180.00 CASE


2013 Pikes “Hills & Valleys” Riesling
Clare Valley, Australia
You wouldn’t think that the “Sunburnt Country” would be a haven for lovers of dry Riesling, but like so many things about Australia, it just works. Drive about 75 miles north from the city of Adelaide in South Australia and you’ll find yourself in the heart of Riesling country: Clare Valley. As Australia’s first wine region many of the wineries here proudly attest their antiquity. Among them is the Pike Family and sipping on their Riesling it’s clear why they’ve been a fixture in the Clare Valley for more than 100 years.
The Pikes started out as brewers, not winemakers. Henry Pike emigrated to South Australia in 1878 and started brewing beers emblazoned with the fish that bares the family name, the Pike. Though his original company closed its doors in 1972, the 4th generation of Pikes took up their Great Grandfather’s mantel and began winemaking. Tucked away on Polish Hill River Road, their winery soon became known for their bracingly fresh Rieslings.
The “Hills & Valleys” bottling is one of their entry-level Rieslings, blending estate fruit with fruit sourced from trusted growers nearby. The winemaking is straightforward; lemon-lime lights up the palate with touches of honeysuckle, nectarine and green apple skin. Don’t be surprised when the bottle is empty just minutes after it’s opened. -ZM
$13.00 BTL / $156.00 CASE
2014 Ca’ del Baio “Paolina” Barbera d’Alba
Piemonte, Italy
One of our personal favorite producers, Ca’ del Baio is located the commune of Treiso, in Barbaresco, and describe themselves as a “…typical family business 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 acidity needs to be tamed, but it also shouldn’t be pummeled into submission so much that it loses all of its racy charm. The ladies at Ca’ del Baio, under the supervision of their parents, Giulio and Luciana, manage 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
Posted in 6 for "Everyday" Wine Club, Friday Feature, Newsletter

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

Hello & Happy Friday!
Change is in the air!
We are very happy to roll out our first
6 for “Everyday” – the $30 and under Edition.
This past Wednesday we announced a change to our monthly samplers.
The 6 for $70-Something and 6 for $120-Something are a thing of the past.
We wanted to better capture the meaning behind why we offer a monthly wine club.
We at Perman Wine Selections are dedicated to providing our customers great “everyday” wine.  
An “everday” wine is one that you can open on a weeknight and not think twice about the price. They are wines you can gift to your neighbor after they water your plants for a week while you are away on vacation. They are great bottles that you simply don’t need a special occasion to drink.
So it became clear to us, what we were offering, and what we should call these offerings is the:
6 for “Everyday” Wine Club
There are two versions of this club.
6 for “Everyday” – The $15 and under Edition
(all wines $15 and under, will range from $80-$90 per month)
6 for “Everyday” – The $30 and under Edition
(all wines $30 and under, will range from $120-$180 per month)
We all have different definitions of the price of an “everyday” wine, and these two clubs allow you to choose.
Our goal in these samplers is simple.
We work with real people and real wineries that are making some of the best examples of wine in their respective regions, all at “everyday” prices.  
We feel that the 6 for “Everyday” Wine Club is simply the best value wine club you can buy. We hope you agree, and not just purchase it on a monthly basis for yourself, but that you tell all your friends about it.
So for our first time ever, we introduce you to the
6 for “Everyday” – The $30 and under Edition.
Thank you for all your continued support!
Enjoy the weekend!
Craig, Zach & Jamie

The New 6 for “Everyday” Wine Club – the $30 and under Edition
2013 Domaine Ostertag Riesling “Vignoble d’E” 
Alsace, France
André Ostertag is an enigmatic Alsatian vigneron known for his classic, yet chiseled dry wines. His father founded the domaine back in 1966 and handed André the cellar keys in 1980 when he was just 21.
He firmly believes that “Wine is a language that speaks to such senses as sight, smell, taste and touch; Wine tunes up with food and tunes people up. Wine is a source of joy and knowledge like music, painting and literature.” He applies this same poetic nature to his farming, adhering to biodynamic farming, caring for the land and not just the vines, and creating his own classification system for the wines he produces.
André classifies the Vignoble d’E as a Vins de Fruit or “Fruit Wine”. For these bottlings, the primary expression of the variety is more important than the notion of “terroir”. The “E” stands for the village of Epfig as this Riesling is the result of a blend of fifteen different plots located in and around the town. This wine is delicate, driven by white flowers, white peach and vine blossom aromas. The mouth is round, with plenty of acidity, and lasting sensation of minerality on the finish. -JK
$24.00 BTL /$288.00 CASE
2014 Quinta da Serradinha Vinho Branco (Encruzado/Arinto)
Lisboa, Portugal
The Serradinha wines are some of Portugal’s most unique and most important.
António Marques da Cruz is the incredibly passionate winemaker behind the Serradinha wines. His family has been at the forefront of organic and natural wines in Portugal.
The vineyards are planted on limestone hillsides, a natural extension of the Serra d’Aire mountains. They benefit from the cooling influence of the Atlantic, and provide a great base for production of high quality white and red wine.
Quinta da Serradinha produces two white wines. We featured their blend of Fernão Pires and Arinto on a newsletter some weeks back.
Today we are featuring his smallest production wine, a white wine blend of Encruzado and Arinto.
The Serradinha wines are all produced in the same fashion. A selection of the best grapes are foot trodden, fermented in open top tanks with their natural yeast, and aged in old oak barrels.This blend of Encruzado and Arinto doesn’t differ, but the uniqueness of the Encruzado adds a whole new dimension and makes it a very different than the wine we featured before.
This wine fully places itself into the “natural wine” camp, and as such it offers a very different experience than what most people are used to. Some may find the aromatics bordering on a Geuze or Cider. It is important to give this wine a little initial oxygen when you open it.
We love the complexity of this wine, its funky and wild aromatics that hint at mandarin orange, dried banana and spice. It is a fresh, crisp wine on the palate, with more citrus notes and a long, complex finish.
This wine will stand up to a myriad of foods, but my favorite pairing is a classic chicken tagine. -CP
$27.00 BTL / $324.00 CASE
2013 La Madura “Grand Vin” Blanc
Saint-Chinian, France
We often say that diversity is the spice of life, but in the case of La Madura it would seem it also lends a spice to their wines! Down in the French “hinterland” of Languedoc there exists an amazing diversity of soil types at a wide range of altitudes. When the Bordelaise couple Nadia and Cyril Bourgne saw their future estate, with it’s varied patchwork of vineyards, they knew that their wines had to express this unique quality.
La Madura’s vineyards vary from schistous soils, formed over 600 million years ago, to chunky glacial moraine deposited rather recently as glaciers receded at the end of the last Ice Age. Additionally, their vineyards vary in altitude by over 500ft. By planting select varieties on these various soils at different heights, the Bourgne’s are able to stagger their harvesting and adapt their blends to the variations inherent from vintage to vintage. We all know climate change is inevitable so planning a winery in this way isn’t just innovative, but essential for their survival down the road.
The “Grand Vin” is a sensational composition of these elements and a perfect wine for transitioning from Summer to Fall. The blend is made up of 80% Sauvignon Blanc, grown on high-altitude limestone vineyards, and 20% Piquepoul, grown at a slightly lower altitude on schist. Fermentation is done entirely in French oak barrels, imparting toasty hazelnut and roasted almond notes. However the core of this wine is vibrant and zesty, with wild herbal and bright citrus elements lifting rounded flavors of honeydew and fennel. -ZM
$28.00 BTL/ $336.00 CASE
2014 Giovanni Rosso Barbera d’Alba
Piemonte, Italy
Azienda Agricola Giovanni Rosso is a small, family-owned producer in the heart of the Barolo commune of Serralunga d’Alba. The vineyards have been in their family since the 1890s- always organically farmed and hand-harvested.
And when we say small, we mean small. The Rosso family only makes 6 wines: 4 Barolo in small quantities (from Cerretta, La Serra, Tommaso Canale and Serralunga), a spectacular Langhe Nebbiolo that will make any Barolo lover smile with satisfaction, and the elegant “Donna Margherita” Barbera d’Alba we currently have in the store.
An “every day” wine in Piemonte, the Giovanni Rosso Barbera has a lovely freshness and lively acidity that work perfectly for a glass on its own or to pair with a simple weeknight dinner. Not every wine has to be serious – especially in Italy where the food is just as important as the wine during a typical family meal. This wine serves that purpose and transports us to the dinner table in Piemonte. Bright red currants and cherries on the nose, hints of mocha and raspberries on the long finish. -JK
$19.00 BTL / $228.00 CASE
2011 Viña Sastre Crianza
Ribera del Duero, Spain
The medieval city of Burgos is home to many beautiful embodiments of Spanish culture, but in our opinion, one of the best is just outside it’s boundaries. Jesús Sastre and his late brother Pedro inherited some of the best vineyards in the area from their family and, in 1992, launched their eponymous winery Viña Sastre. Since then the winery has been known as one of the best producers of Ribera del Duero.
Like so many wines, it all starts with the soil. Here, Sastre’s vines struggle to thrive in the nutrient poor chalk-filled clay. The bright white soil is a stark contrast to the dusty ochre or rudy brick hue found elsewhere. The light color is key to making Sastre’s wines exceptional, reflecting light during the day, bathing the vines in the sun’s rays, while cooling off quickly at night. The drop in temperature between day and night allows the vines to shutdown almost immediately when the sun sets, preserving acidity in the grapes.
While Sastre’s top tier wines are coveted among collectors, their Crianza is made with no less attention. Only 100% Tinta del País is used for the wine, sourced from vines as old as 60 years. After fermentation the wine is aged in a combination of new and used French and American oak barrels for added complexity. The heart of this wine is an intense combination of savory and fruit-driven flavors; notes of cedar and smoked game meld with lush ribbons of wild blueberries dusted with cinnamon. Though Crianza wines are meant to be enjoyed young, there’s no doubt this example will continue to evolve. -ZM
$29.00 BTL / $348.00 CASE
2014 Cantina della Volta “Rimosso” Lambrusco
Emilia Romagna, Italy
By now, we’ve probably all had a bad experience with the frothy Italian red wine Lambrusco at some point in our lives. Like mass-produced Prosecco, Pinot Grigio and Chianti in wicker baskets, low quality Lambrusco has been made, sold and consumed by the truckloads. So, when we were introduced to this little gem, we certainly had some reservations…until we tasted it.
Cantina della Volta started in 2010 with a group of friends, all wine lovers, who wanted to elevate the quality of Lambrusco. Their “Rimosso” is unique, eye-opening and delicious. Light red, dry semi-sparkling wine obtained by natural re-fermentation in bottle. The yeasts remain on the bottom of the bottle, lending to the wine’s cloudy appearance, and are intended to be swirled around before you drink in order to mix all of the flavor into your glass.
Made from 100% Lambrusco di Sorbara grapes using the Champenoise method, this wine dances on your tongue and fills your nose with wild cherry and cherry blossom aromas. A true product of care and craftsmanship that will force everyone to take another look at Lambrusco. -JK
$23.00 BTL / $276.00 CASE
Posted in 6 for "Everyday" Wine Club, Friday Feature, Newsletter

Perman News 9/21/2016

Hello & Happy Wednesday,
We try not to interrupt your work week with wine related news, but today we have two very important announcements from Perman Wine.
We are excited to announce an upcoming wine dinner at Fat Rice with Francisca Van Zeller of Quinta Vale D. Maria. We recently have learned of her impending visit and have  a great event planned. Please read further below.
The second piece of news involves a big change to two of our monthly Friday Features. We are saying goodbye to the 6 for $70-Something and 6 for $120-Something samplers. We wanted to tell you about the new samplers, and why we are changing things.
Please email us with any questions.
Thanks for your continued business,
Craig, Jamie & Zach
Quinta Vale D. Maria wine dinner at Fat Rice

Wednesday, October 5th
7 PM 
It’s not every day that you get a chance to sit down and have dinner with
Francisca Van Zeller from Quinta Vale D. Maria,
one of the iconic wine estates in the Douro Valley of Portugal.
On Wednesday October 5th at 7 PM,
Fat Rice has created a special menu to welcome Francisca,
and pair alongside her family’s fantastic wines.
A range of 7 wines (1 white, 5 reds and 1 Port) will be tasted,
with Francisca guiding us along the way.
We will taste the “everyday” wines called Rufo,
as well as the flagship red wine Quinta Vale D. Maria.
A special treat will be tasting the rare trio of single-vineyard red wines,
Curriculum Vitae, Vinha de Francisca and Vinho do Rio.
Just a few bottles of these wines are imported into Illinois each year.
These are wines that would normally be priced on a wine list for $200-$300 per bottle
We will finish with the estate Port from the incredible 2011 vintage.
Chef Abraham Conlon is pulling out all the stops,
preparing dishes that are special to this event and evening.
4 courses will be served family style at communal tastings
among a fun, convivial wine community.
This will be a small gathering, allowing Francisca to tell us about the history of the estate, and to give us an in depth journey into the making of what are some of the best wines produced in Portugal.
$150 per person, inclusive of tax and tip

Reservations can be made here.

Introducing our newest samplers:
6 for “Everyday”
Over the years, Perman Wine Selections has become known as a store that has championed the greatest wine values from around the world.
When we opened 9 years ago, we introduced a wine sampler called “6 for $60”. It had a really nice ring to it. It also got the message across. We wanted you to be able to stock your wine rack each month with great bottles around $10 per bottle.
As you, our customers know, eventually we had to increase the price. First to “6 for $60-Something”, then to “6 for $70-Something”.
The reality in today’s wine world is that the greatest wine values often come from places really far away. The costs of getting those wines here in refrigerated trucks and containers kept increasing. At the same time the price of quality wine increased.
A handful of years ago, we introduced a sampler called “6 for $120-Something”. It was a way to still give our customer great value, but at the same time expand the selections of wine from which we could choose. There will never be an Oregon Pinot Noir in the “6 for $70-Something” (a quality example doesn’t exist), but with the $120-Something, it was possible.
Both samplers allowed us to give our customers “everyday wines.” These are wines that you can open on a weeknight and not think twice about the price. They are wines you can gift to your neighbor after they water your plants for a week while you are away on vacation. They are really good bottles, that we personally, are proud to drink in our homes, and do so on a regular basis.
Its that concept of “everyday wines” that made it clear to us, that what we really were offering, and going forth what we should call these is our:
6 for “Everyday” Wine Club
There are two versions of this club.
6 for “Everyday” – The $15 and under Edition
(all wines $15 and under, will range from $80-$90 per month)
6 for “Everyday” – The $30 and under Edition
(all wines $30 and under, will range from $120-$180 per month)
We all have different definitions of the price of an “everyday” wine, and these two clubs allow you to choose.
This is NOT an attempt to raise prices at our store, our margins are staying the same as they have been for the last 9 years. This has everything to do with making sure we give you THE best values from around the world.
We pay attention to what our competitors are up to.
We know that most wine clubs are simply smoke and mirrors. A lot of them work with wineries or companies to create their own personal wine labels. They do things like throw in “free shipping.” Let us tell you the truth, there is no such thing as free. Its built into the cost, and you pay for it by getting industrial plonk.
Our goal in these samplers is simple. We work with real people and real wineries that are making some of the best examples of wine in their respective regions and at an incredible price.  
We feel that the 6 for Everyday Wine Club is simply the best value wine club you can buy. We hope you agree, and not just purchase it on a monthly basis for yourself, but that you tell all your friends about it.
Thank you for all your continued support!
Posted in Newsletter, Store Updates, Tastings & Events, Uncategorized

Château de Béru Chablis

Hello & Happy Friday!
This truly is our favorite time of year. Lots of great new wines are arriving at our store. Even more exciting are the impending visits from some of our favorite wine people from around the world!
Next Friday it is our great pleasure to welcome Valeria Radici, the daughter of Margherita and Carillo Radici, owners of the historic Frecciarossa winery from the Lombardy region of Italy. You will not want to miss the chance to taste these wines, including their amazing Pinot Nero’s. Here are the details on this special tasting:
WHEN: Friday, September 23rd
WHAT: A tasting with Frecciarossa, Lombardy, Italy
TIME: 5:30 – 7:30 PM (informal tasting, stop in any time during these hours)
COST: Free
Wednesday, October 5th
7 PM
An evening with Francisca Van Zeller of Quinta Vale D. Maria at Fat Rice restaurant.
Portugal’s Douro region is home to more than just grapes that are destined to be made into Port. Some of the most important full-bodied reds in the Iberian Peninsula are being made in the Douro region. A leader in quality is Quinta Vale D. Maria owned by the Van Zeller family.
Please stay tuned for upcoming details on a wine dinner at Fat Rice restaurant featuring the wines from Quinta Vale D. Maria. We have a incredible line-up of very special wines, many of which are rarely available to taste.
We will provide more details and a link to sign up in the coming days.
Now, back to our newsletter…
Weather is a fickle creature. In Chicago, we’re already starting to feel the onset of fall and sipping our last drops of rosé to make room for heavier whites and light reds that will pair with heartier foods and cooler temperatures.
In the world of wine, weather plays an important role that can lead to great vintages or devastating harvests, as is the case in Chablis, France this year. In April, the vines were hit with uncharacteristically bad hail storms, frost and heavy rains. That was followed by a very wet June – the equivalent of six months of rain falling in thirty days!
The vice president of the Chablis Commission has noted that he, “can’t recall a vintage like it. Certainly, we have seen nothing like it in the last 40-50 years.” And there are strong signs that the 2016 vintage in Chablis could be cut by as much as 50% of normal production.
If this news finds you sobbing with your head in your hands, don’t worry. You will be fine. We have Chablis. We were lucky enough to get our hands on something special that you can even tuck away for a few years if you don’t want to risk drinking it now.
A toast to Chablis!
Craig, Zach and Jamie

Château de Béru 
A few years ago, through a mutual friend, I was introduced to Athénaïs Béru. Her family has owned the beautiful Château and property in the village of Béru for 400 years. Pre-phylloxera, the vineyards were the entire revenue source for the Château. It wasn’t until 1987 that Athénaïs’s father, Éric took on the huge project of revitalizing the vineyards on the estate. 
Athénaïs took over the project in 2004, and in my opinion has transformed this estate into one of the benchmark producers of the region of Chablis. This wasn’t easy, and I have been a witness to how incredibly hard Athénaïs works to produce wines with “energy.”
If there is one word I associate with Athénaïs and her wines, it is energy. She uses the term all the time, and its made me think about what it really means.
There are plenty of well made, easy to drink wines in this world. Yet when you taste a wine, that has that little something extra, a wine that stops you in your tracks to think, you have tasted a wine with energy.
The Château de Béru wines have energy in spades. 
Every once in a while I tell you the customer about wines you MUST try. This is one of those cases. 
These are truly special wines. Must buys for the Chablis enthusiast.
After all, who doesn’t want more energy?
– Craig
2014 Château de Béru “Terroir de Béru” Chablis
A wonderful synthesis of all of Béru’s properties. And in an easy-to-love vintage like 2014, this bottling is a major winner. Crafted from 30+ year old vines in a minimalist style yields a chiseled wine with a delicious core of fruit that everyone can enjoy.
$34.99 /BTL
2014 Château de Béru “Côte aux Prêtres” Chablis
Though this vineyard is not a Grand Cru, it surely tastes like one. The vines growing on a particularly windy site dig deep into the calcium rich soil giving the wine from this parcel a marked saline quality. A wine that would please the palate of any seafood lover.
$36.99 /BTL


2014 Château de Béru “ORangerie” Chablis
For the hedonists in the group, Chablis from the ORangerie vineyard are just what you’re looking for. The soils here are a mixture of clay and limestone which creates a richer wine with more ripe fruit flavors. Often Chablis can only best be enjoyed when food is part of the equation, but this cuvée needs nothing but a proper glass and a corkscrew.
$43.99 /BTL


2013 Château de Béru “Clos de Béru” Monopole Chablis
This wine is the pride of the Château and deservedly so. The enclosed parcel was created in the 13th century due to the special qualities of the wines made from it. Simultaneously mineral, yet round, powerful, yet delicate, this Monopole is everything that Béru is all about. There’s plenty to love about this wine right now, but tremendous depth and complexity will reward those who can be patient.
$64.99 /BTL
Posted in Friday Features/Newsletters