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