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
RSVP: orders@permanwine.com
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

California Love


Hello & Happy Friday!
Today’s newsletter may come as a surprise to some that shop at the store regularly. It is true that much of the wine we sell comes from Europe. That isn’t for a lack of love when it comes to the wines of the US.
The fact is, many of our customers are well-traveled. Their visits to places like Napa, Sonoma, and Oregon often yield memberships to wine clubs and thus direct shipments. Thus, our sales of wines from these places are limited and restrict us to selling wines that fall into the “every day” price category.
Today though we wanted to divert from the norm and focus on three California wineries that are special to us. You will likely know these names as they are icons in their industry.
Today’s offerings are fantastic and those looking for some of the best from California, we can’t recommend these enough.
Enjoy the newsletter and have a great weekend!

Craig, Zach and Jamie

Failla Wines
Tucked away on St. Helena’s Silverado Trail, Failla is in a prime location for producing classic Napa Cabernet, lush Merlot or full-bodied Chard. But rather than double-down on what their neighbors are doing, winemaker and owner Ehren Jordan pursues the more delicate & balanced wines from cool-climate vineyards. Focusing on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, Failla produces some of the most outstanding incarnations of those grapes to date.
On a recent visit to the winery I had the pleasure of seeing firsthand how painstaking Failla’s production methods are. Concrete egg fermenters can be found all around the winery indicating their strong belief in the benefits of the popular technique. The oblong shape promotes a convection cycle during fermentation making the process more gentle & less invasive. The concrete also makes maintaining a constant temperature easier while allowing the wine to “breathe” during fermentation. While their winemaking and science are obviously serious business, the staff keeps things fun by decorating their precious eggs in all sorts of interesting ways.
Failla’s pursuit of grace doesn’t stop at site selection. Every wine they make undergoes spontaneous fermentation and is handled as little as possible. When you are using the best fruit from the best vineyards in California, why mess with a good thing? The end result are wines that act as a windowpanes looking out to the places from which they came. Airy, mineral and pure, the wines of Failla are transportive elixirs that will leave you daydreaming of cool summer afternoons before you take your first sip. -ZM
2013 Failla “Hudson Vineyard” Chardonnay 
Napa Valley
The Hudson Vineyard has become one of California’s most famous sites for Chardonnay since it was first planted in 1979. All the fruit for Failla’s version is sourced from Block F which is planted entirely to the Shot-Wente clone. Known for it’s low yields and high acidity, this clone produces optimal fruit for Ehren’s intensely tropical style supported by an electric spine of acidity.
2013 Failla “Savoy Vineyard” Pinot Noir
Anderson Valley
Coming from a mixture of clay and sand soils in this 20+ year old vineyard, this Pinot Noir is a big-boned as Failla reds get. Yet, this wine is still a far cry from the monster “Steak House” Pinots that make most true lovers of the variety shudder. Starting with broad-shouldered flavors of sloe berry and pitch, the mid-palate reveals a chiseled core of crushed graphite and sappy wild berries. Time will benefit this wine and reveal the intricate qualities Failla is known for.
Ridge Vineyards

The history of Ridge Vineyards dates all the way back to 1885 when Osea Perrone bought 180 acres near the top of Monte Bello Ridge. He terraced the slopes and planted vineyards. Using the native limestone, he constructed the Monte Bello Winery, producing the first vintage under that name in 1892. The first Zinfandel was made in 1964, from a small nineteenth-century vineyard farther down the ridge. Lytton Springs, in Sonoma County, became part of the Ridge estate in 1991.

We love to support Ridge because they make great wines using a simple philosophy: find intense, flavorful grapes; intrude upon the process only when necessary; draw the fruit’s distinctive character and richness into the wine.
When we can get our hands on these wines, we buy as many as we can in the hopes of giving you the opportunity to experience them too. -JK
2014 Ridge “Lytton Estate” Petite Sirah
Dry Creek Valley
Though limited, some early spring rain allowed the petite sirah to endure a third year of drought. Several summer days above 100˚ naturally thinned the crop and concentrated flavors in the remaining fruit. Opaque purple in color with a complex nose of blackberry, plum, tarragon, mint, and cocoa. Beautifully well-balanced and elegant vintage, despite the heat. Full-bodied with chalky tannins and concentrated plum, licorice and mint on the finish.


2014 Ridge “Ponzo” Zinfandel
Russian River Valley
The 2014 vintage was a little warmer than usual and the grapes ripened slightly ahead of schedule. Cool nights in the Russian River Valley preserved much-needed acidity to make this a wine that’s approachable now but will be at its best in about 5 years. Vibrant fresh cherry, raspberry, and blackberry jam on the nose with hints of spice and pepper. Full-bodied on the palate, with elegant tannins and lively acidity. Finishes with lingering notes of mineral and vanilla.

Forman Vineyard
Ric Forman, owner and winemaker of Forman Vineyard in Napa Valley, is one of the most respected and legendary figures in the region.
That’s because Ric is an “Original Gangster” in every sense of the phrase. He is one of the most recognized winemakers in Napa Valley, having founded his winery in 1983. His passion for wine, and more importantly his understanding, has allowed him to set his own course. Ric has never been a follower, always a leader, and always a free thinker.
2013 Forman Chardonnay
Napa Valley
What makes Chardonnay one of the world’s greatest and most complex grape varieties is its diversity.
This diversity comes from several factors including soil, climate, and vinification practices.
Chardonnay has a huge perception issue and Napa Valley is one of the culprits of this perception problem. In the ’90’s there was a push to produce a style that the consumer refers to as “buttery” Chardonnay. It became the hallmark of Chardonnay from Napa Valley. It was an injustice to the variety, not because it wasn’t a relevant style, but because the mob mentality went against the beauty of the what great Chardonnay is all about: diversity.
The Forman Chardonnay is easily one of the best examples of the grape in Napa Valley. He has produced it since 1980, always from fruit from the Star Vineyard in the Rutherford Bench.
The winemaking does not mask or override the terroir. Its a straight forward process that includes whole cluster pressing, fermentation in Burgundian barrels (10% new), aging on the lees for 7 months, and racking only once during its 9 months in barrel. It is also important to note that it doesn’t go through malolactic fermentation.
The 2013 Forman Chardonnay is extraordinary. Delicate aromas of apple, fresh peach and flowers. It is medium weight, but with plenty of energy, precise fruit flavors and a balanced finish. This is a superb value.
Posted in Friday Feature, Friday Features/Newsletters

Two gems from the Rhône at very special prices!

Hello & Happy Friday!
At a bit of store news to start out today.
This Monday, September 5th, we will be CLOSED in observance of Labor Day.
Yesterday, we put out our events newsletter for the Fall and early Winter season.
We still have some space for our Wednesday and Thursday Champagne tastings.
All other tastings are sold out.
Please still follow up to get your name on the wait list. We may create a second tasting the day before or after for France vs. The Rest of the World and Piedmont night.
So stay tuned!
Today’s Friday Feature shines a spotlight on the vastly different styles of wine produced in the renowned Rhône Valley.
The Rhône River valley is one of France’s most important, most ancient, and most intriguing wine regions. The region has been producing wine for close to three thousand years and likely traces its wine-growing roots back to the Greeks who established a colony near what is today the city of Marseilles. The Romans soon followed, cultivating various parts of the region, and establishing a series of important settlements near to some of today’s most-famed growing areas.
It has long been common practice in the wine world to divide the Rhône Valley in half and consider the northern Rhône and the southern Rhône as two disparate halves of an occasionally confusing whole. The climates are different, the primary grapes are different, the landscape is different, the soils are different, and the wine culture is different.
We invite you to experience these differences through the wines of two very passion-driven producers whom we are proud to support.
Enjoy and have a great holiday weekend,
Craig, Zach and Jamie

Domaine Monier
There is a lot of good wine being made in the Rhône Valley these days, but not a lot of spectacular wine. Chez Monier is spectacular, as Craig discovered last year during a visit to the Domaine.
Jean-Pierre Monier is as happy and as humble a vigneron as one finds. He is the third generation of his family to be farming in the Northern Rhône appellation of Saint Joseph. Like his forefathers, his small production wines are only part of his farm’s overall production. Apricot orchards complement the vineyards, and everything is farmed biodynamically.
With only five hectares of land to farm, all on higher altitude slopes, Jean-Pierre is able to highlight purity and authenticity in all aspects of his winemaking.
2012 Domaine Monier “Terre Blanche” Saint-Joseph
The 2012 “Terre Blanche” is full of mineral, floral and peppery flavors that are classic Saint-Joseph. It opens with a burst of pepper, followed by youthful red and dark fruited flavors, ultra-smooth tannins and wonderful balance. Some smoke and meat as well as lavender. The Monier grapes come from the granite slopes above the town of St.-Désirat, a little north of the original Saint-Joseph zone – still plenty of age potential if you’re willing to wait.
Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe
In the heart of the southern Rhône Valley, Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe has been run by the Brunier family since 1891. The estate’s vineyards, 60 years old on average, are planted on the celebrated plateau of La Crau, a site renowned for grape-growing in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. This terroir imparts a highly distinctive minerality to their wines, as if they have been filtered through the thick layer of large pebbles left behind when the Alpine glaciers melted.
La Crau is a commanding plateau, where grapes were first grown in the 14th century; and where, in 1821, Claude Chappe, inventor of the optical telegraph, built one of his signal towers. Henri Brunier’s grandson, Jules, extended the estate to 42 acres and aptly named the fruits of his labors “Vieux Télégraphe.”
Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe was Craig’s first stop on a trip to France in 2000 and is still one of his favorite wines to hold onto for a decade because it is “earthy in all the right ways.” We were able to pick up 2 vintages at an almost $20/bottle savings that is worth every penny if you have the patience to let them rest a few years.
2011 Vieux Télégraphe Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Forward and up-front, especially by this cuvee’s standards, the 2011 Vieux Télégraphe – always comprised of 65% Grenache from 70-year-old vines, 15% Syrah, 15% Mourvedre and 5% other permitted varieties – exhibits perfumed aromas of black raspberry, cherry compote, herbs de Provence and olive to go with plenty of sweet kirsch and berry fruit on the palate. Medium-bodied, fresh and elegant, with fine tannin, it can be consumed now (with a decant) or cellared 4-6 years to make for a compelling bottle.

$69.99 BTL


2012 Vieux Télégraphe Châteauneuf-du-Pape
The same breakdown of grapes as its preceding vintage, the 2012 has a hefty core of fig, blackberry and black cherry fruit, wrapped in chestnut and tobacco leaf notes and finishes with lavender and tar. Dense and grippy with big minerality and background meatiness, medium to full-bodied richness and a firm, tannic spine. As is common, it will require a handful of years in the cellar to come around and have 15 years of longevity.
Posted in Friday Feature, Friday Features/Newsletters, Uncategorized

September 6 for $70-Something

2012 Celler del Roure “Cullerot” Blanco
Valencia, Spain
While the label very simply depicts a group of tadpoles, or cullerot, there is absolutely nothing simple about this wine.
Celler del Roure has a winemaking history that dates back 2400 years. Its bodega fonda (underground winery) was first excavated 300 years ago and houses 97 buried amphorae in a range of sizes. Abandoned in the dark days of 1930s Spain, Pablo Catalayud and his father Paco are now busy renovating the cellar and reinvigorating the vineyards.
In keeping with ancient traditions, most of the vineyards are planted to unique local varieties and only natural yeasts living in the air around the property are used to begin the fermentation process. The 2012 is an unusual blend of Verdil (a nearly extinct local grape variety), Pedro Ximenez, Macabeo and a small amount of Chardonnay. After blending the wine ages in buried clay amphorae for 6 months and is bottled unfiltered.
Slightly cloudy in the glass and loaded with aromas of ripe peaches, lemons, green apple and honeysuckle, this is a great companion to tapas and spicy foods.
$12.00 BTL / $144.00 CASE


2010 Nüsserhof “Elda” Schiava 
Alto Adige, Italy

Nusserhof, German for “nut house”, was named for the row of walnut trees that once lined the house of Heinrich & Elda Mayr. Not so long ago they were torn out to put in a municipal bike path – typical of the recent history of the Nüsserhof estate. Urban growth around the city of Bolzano is increasingly driving out farmers and building on land where vines once grew.

Despite the threat of urban expansion, the region of Alto Adige continues to be celebrated for its intensely mineral white wines and very small amounts of what we consider to be some of the best Italian reds.
Heinrich & Elda refuse to sell their land. They have stuck to tradition and their belief in the beauty of the red wines of Alto Adige and focus exclusively on red & rosé wines. The “Elda” cuveé is made from 100% Schiava, one of the region’s many indigenous red varieties. Similar in style to Pinot Noir, it is loaded with notes of creamy strawberry, earth and fresh wild berries. Get yourself some paper thin slices of smokey speck or bresaola & toast the strong heads that make up the Mayr family of Nusserhof.
$15.00 BTL  / $180.00 CASE
2014 Celler Pardas “Rupestris” 
Penedès, Spain

Penedés is a region that is known, frankly, for a largely commercial pursuit of inexpensive sparkling wine produced by the millions. However, as we’ve come to discover, there exists a great potential for still wines in this often generalized D.O.
Celler Pardas shines as an example of a smaller producer making great still wines alongside the industrial giants. Their white blend, “Rupestris”, is a great wine to begin to understand the work Ramon Parera and his team are doing at Pardas. Xarel.lo is a noble white grape for Ramon and he believes the world will agree when they try his wines. No chemicals are used on the vines and they leave the vineyards unplowed so nature can replenish the nutrients, not man.
The 2014 Rupestris blends Xarel.lo with a local grape called Malvasia de Sitges and a little Macabeu. Xarel.lo has similarities to Chardonnay in weight and texture, but also allows the great minerality of the Pardas vineyards to shine through. This is a clean, delicious wine, aged in tank and imbued with apple and pear fruit, citrus notes and faint hints of green herbs.
$15.00 BTL / $180.00 CASE
2012 Hedges Family “Bacchus Vineyard” Merlot
Columbia Valley, Washington
With their 25th vintage now in barrel, Tom and Anne-Marie Hedges are among the pioneers whose efforts helped promote the Washington wine industry and establish the Red Mountain AVA. Today, their son manages operations and their daughter is head winemaker. As a family they continue to focus on capturing the terroir of Red Mountain. In fact, for over a decade the Hedges have chosen not to have their wines scored so they would not be hindered in their pursuit of making wines of soul and truth.
The House of Independent Producers (HIP) Merlot refocuses the attention of the drinker to a variety that gives reason to its dominance in the world. With minimal winemaking intervention, the ability of Merlot to display grace is unmatched.
The Bacchus Vineyard delivers a beautifully balanced example of Merlot with aromas of cherries, blackberries and toast with hints of cocoa dust and vanilla. This wine has a soft, sweet entry on the palate evolving into caramelly toast and sweet plums.
$13.50 BTL/ $162.00 CASE
2013 François Cazin Cour-Cheverny
Loire Valley, France
François Cazin is an important man in his neck of the woods.
Due to his efforts Cour-Cheverny, located in the eastern Loire was given appellation status in 1993. Having tasted his wines, it is shocking that the region went largely unknown for so long.
Wines from this small zone must be made entirely from a variety called Romorantin, a rare and ancient grape only planted in this tiny appellation. The best examples exhibit high acidity, stunning minerality and an almost tactile texture with delicate notes of apricot, roasted nuts and white flowers.
All vineyard work in the appellation is done manually because of a solid coat of limestone directly beneath the topsoil – grapes are hand-harvested and sustainable farming is common practice. François proudly maintains the traditions of the region and his vineyards are home to the oldest Romorantin vines in the world. So join us and François and taste the flavors of a region almost forgotten.
$12.00 BTL / $144.00 CASE
2012 Bodegas Abanico Hazaña 
Rioja, Spain
Named for ancient poetic tales of heroism, Hazaña is made in the classical style of Rioja. The fruit comes from 45- to 70-year-old bush vines grown at 500 meters above sea level on red clay and chalky limestone soils. A blend of Tempranillo with up to 15% Graciano, it is aged for 12 months in French and American oak before release.
Deep, medium to full-bodied and elegant, this beautiful red is a perfect synthesis of the traditional and more progressive styles of Rioja. Pronounced aromas of black cherry jam, lead pencil shavings, licorice and tobacco leaf leap out of the glass. Medium-bodied and elegant with sweet soft tannin.
$12.00 BTL / $144.00 CASE
Posted in Uncategorized

Shabby Chic Pairing of the Week: Victory “Prima Pils” Can & A Hot Shower!

2016-08-11 11.18.25

Be honest now…we’ve all done it. Has your sweaty commute got you in a funk? Think you deserve a little treat after a particularly grueling work out? Or maybe it was back in college the last time you indulged in a cold one while scrubbing up for a night of youthful debauchery. Either way, it can’t be denied that relishing the crisp flavor of a good beer in the shower is one of life’s simple pleasures. Who says pairings have to always be food-oriented anyway? So this week we applaud this unlikely hero: The Shower Beer.

According to the good ol’ web I’m not really suggesting anything groundbreaking. But, while most of those enthusiasts pictured throughout the internet are surely either in their glory years or WAY past them, I think there’s something the average Joe/Josephina can learn by slugging some brew while you shampoo. Let’s call it “Re-toxing while Detoxing”. Some of the most harmful contaminants we come in contact with daily aren’t chemical in nature, but psychological. Even the most happy-go-lucky of us will find themselves drained due to life’s BS from time to time. That’s when the Shower Beer remedy is at it’s most effective. 

I’m sure there are some very opinionated “experts” out there about the right way to enjoy your Shower Beer, but here are the reasons I chose the Victory “Prima Pils” can.

  1. Safety first! Why introduce potential dangerous shards of glass into your meditative indulgence? Victory introduced their can packaging for “Prima Pils” this June and, for fans of this deliciously crisp lager (like myself), we couldn’t be happier.
  2. “Cleansing” is an experience of contrast. Refreshing beers served icy cold, like lagers such as Prima Pils, are my choice for the best Shower Beers. Think of it like a little dish of sorbet after a particularly rich course at a fancy restaurant. Your senses need relief from the bombardment of flavor, no matter how delicious. Similarly, as you enjoy the steamy jets, keep your internal temp in check with a slug of beer from time to time.
  3. It’s not a baby…don’t nurse it! Not to rush anyone’s good time, but Shower Beers are not for sipping and contemplating. They are a functional creature. So put away your tasting booklet and stop preoccupying yourself with your skincare regimen. Drink that beer until your head is clear!

Sound like a good idea? Great! Come on down and grab a 6er and you’ll be squeaky clean all over, including that exhausted space between your ears. -ZM


Victory Brewing Co. “Prima Pils” Pilsner 12oz Cans- $1.99 per Can/ $11.94 per 6PK


Posted in The Wine Wire

Friday Feature 07/15/16: Two Terrific Rhone Wine Values!

As always, we are excited by this weeks newsletter. One new great arrival, and one last call, both wines from one of our favorite, classic Southern Rhône producers, Rabasse Charavin. These are great summer values!

Have a great weekend,
Craig & Zach

One Family’s Hobby Becomes A Celebration of Rhône Tradition

The tale of this small and humble house begins as one of casual viticulture. At the end of the 19th century a young hat maker named Edmond Rabasse bought the small cottage he was living in from the aging General who owned it. In addition, he also purchased the surrounding land which was planted with vines.

Some thirty years later his son Marcel, an electrician who dabbled in winemaking, added another 5 hectares. More land was added over the years through marriages, business deals and the like so that by 1950 the family, now known as Rabasse-Charavin, had the beginnings of winery. It was then that the family decided to seriously try making wine for public consumption. Could anything be more French than starting a winery without ever really intending to?

While wine might not have been the focus of the Rabasse-Charavin family originally, it surely is now. With 40+ hectares of land under vine and 8+ different wines Rabasse-Charavin have established a solid reputation as a high quality and traditional producer. Whether it be their white, red or rosé wines, each are attended to with the utmost care and respect for the region’s history.

2015 Rabasse-Charavin “Cuvée Laure” Côtes du Rhône Blanc, Cairanne, France

The “Cuvée Laure” Côtes du Rhône Blanc gets it’s name from the youngest addition to (and now head of) the Rabasse-Charavin operation, Laure Couturier. The blend is 60% Clairette and 40% Roussanne sourced from the middle of their hillside vineyard. Fermentation and aging occurs in enameled concrete vats which are traditional in this region.

The resulting wine is a creamy mouthful of pear, quince, apples and persimmons with a touch of custard filling and graham cracker crust. A wine like this is remarkably versatile for a fuller-bodied white, working seamlessly with anything from roasted poultry and creamy cheese dishes to rich seafood fare. -ZM

$16.99 BTL./ $203.88 CASE

2012 Rabasse-Charavin Côtes du Rhône Rouge, Cairanne, France

We wanted to give last call on a wine we featured before. This wine is absolutely singing right now!

This is a wine that proves that Côtes du Rhône is stylistically versatile. A classic blend of 80% Grenache, 15% Syrah and 5% Mourvèdre from vines as old as 40 years. All the vines for this blend are from the middle and lower parts of the slope with a directly southern exposure to maximize ripeness. After pressing the wine begins fermentation in cement tanks.

It’s been 4 years since the harvest for this wine and it’s only just beginning to show it’s full potential. Absolutely brimming with fresh raspberry and wild strawberry flavors, the true genius of this wine is the cut and mineral structure. Restrained winemaking, eschewing the use of high-tech tricks or overpowering oak, is a pleasure to enjoy any time of year. -ZM


Posted in Friday Feature, Friday Features/Newsletters

Friday Feature 07/08/16: Two Incredible Summer Wines from the Iberian Peninsula

Talk about perfect timing, this Friday Feature is great news for those looking for a refreshing white wine or Rosé for this summer heat!

I’m excited to announce the newest release of one of Portugal’s greatest, if not the greatest white wine, the 2015 Casal Figueira “António.”

I’m also super pumped to welcome the newest release of one of our favorite Rosé, the Celler Pardas Sumoll Rosat!

Stay cool Chicago, and check out these great summer wines!

Have a great weekend,
Craig & now welcoming Zach!


2015 Casal Figueira “António” Vinho Branco, Lisboa, Portugal

Over the last four years, I’ve spent weeks traveling through Portugal, visiting wineries, all with the goal of discovering what the “real” Portuguese wine scene is all about.

Portugal boasts an embarrassment of riches when it comes to great wine terroir as well as unique, indigenous varietals.

For a long time what the wine world saw, drank and knew from Portugal were the high volume “brands” of the country. This is no different than an other emerging wine country.

The “real” Portugal that I was hoping to find, shared the same values as the producers that we work with from France, Italy, Spain, the United States and beyond. I was looking for people in love with wine, not in love with business. I was looking for people that believe in quality over quantity. I was looking for real stories, and wine can tell a story like no other adult beverage.

I found this and way more when I first visited with Marta Soares of Casal Figueira. Her late husband António, for years was making wine in relative obscurity from vineyards in the hills of Montejunto, an area that is part of the Lisboa appellation, just a short drive north of Lisbon.

He worked with the local white grape variety Vital, and as the only commercial producer making a wine from 100% Vital, this was important work. After his passing, his wife Marta Soares has carried on the dedicated work started by António.

When I visited with Marta not only did we taste at the winery, visit the cellar, have lunch at a local restaurant, but more importantly we went to visit those magical Vital vines. We met the farmers, we visited the local villages, we lived what this wine is all about.

In February of this year, I went to an annual tasting held in Porto featuring so many of those “real” Portuguese wineries that I was originally looking for.

From that tasting it was clear that the 2015 Casal Figueira was one of THE best Portuguese white wines I’ve ever tasted. This is one of Portugal’s most important wines.

It is not a simple wine, it is a mountain wine, with incredible complex aromatics of citrus peel, flowers, wild thyme and mineral. It is medium weight, with mineral underpinnings, incredible intensity and length. Decant this wine, put it into some big Burgundy balloons, and serve it at a temperature similar to White Burgundy.

This is an incredible white wine value. 60 bottles came into Illinois, 48 for Perman Wine and 12 for Fat Rice. I’m going to try to get some more from the importer, but I urge you to order some before its gone!


2015 Pardas Sumoll Rosat, Catalunya, Spain(?)

Rosé fans, I’ve got some exciting news for you! The new vintage of Sumoll Rosat from our friends at Celler Pardas is here!

For those of you new to our newsletter, Celler Pardas is one of our absolute favorite producers from Spain. I’m sorry for calling it Spain, anyone from Catalunya, the region that surrounds Barcelona will tell you that they are not part of Spain, but for our reference, lets just go with it.

Pardas is located in the Alt Penedès region of Catalunya, just a short distance Southwest of Barcelona. Well-known for being the heart of Cava (Spain’s sparkling wine) country, Celler Pardas does not make any sparkling wine, rather they focus on still wines produced from the local Xarel.lo and Sumoll varietals, as well as Cabernet Franc.

The red grape varietal Sumoll is an indigenous varietal that several years back faced extinction. A handful of growers, including Celler Pardas have dedicated themselves to this varietal, and Pardas makes three different wines entirely from Sumoll.

Their Sumoll Rosat is one of my absolute favorite pink wines around. The 2015 is one of the more “open” versions of this Rosat that I have tasted, as normally it is a Rosé that likes some time in bottle.

Pretty aromatics, featuring intense black cherry, lime zest and spice. Ultra bright and refreshing on the palate, with cherry, strawberry and citrus notes on the long finish. It doesn’t get much more refreshing than this!

Rosé fans stock up!

$17.99 BTL. / $107.94 SIX-PACK CASE

Posted in Friday Feature, Friday Features/Newsletters