The Wine Wire: More Baller Chateauneuf-du-Pape from Domaine Pegau.

Domaine Pegau is a legendary Chateauneuf-du-Pape property, and one of their greatest wines is the Cuvée da Capo, a blend of all 13 varieties (dominated by Grenache) and mostly from 100+ year old vines in three separate terroirs.


2010 Domaine Pegau  Chateauneuf-du-Pape “Cuvée da Capo”

$475/BTL.-100 POINTS W.A.


Posted in The Wine Wire

Friday Feature 07/17/15: Two From Cruse Wine Co.

Hello & Happy Friday!


Hope you are having a good week.


For those looking for upcoming tastings, we do have a sold out event this coming week, but never fear we will have some upcoming events in September.  We have two special winemaker events that month, so stay tuned!




We have a great Friday Feature for you today featuring the wines of Michael Cruse.  He produces a diverse range of wines from sparkling (more Ultramarine coming later this year), to white and of course great reds.


These are  small production offerings, with unique personalities and an overall aim at balanced, highly delicious wines.


Unfortunately, there is never enough of these to go around, so act fast on today’s newsletter, because these will be gone very soon!  Email us your order ASAP.


Have a great weekend,



Craig & Sheb



Two From Cruse Wine Co.

Michael Cruse is firmly entrenched in the “new California wine” movement; young and innovative and trying to make interesting, drinkable wines that are outside the “100 point Cabernet” box. A great introduction to Michael, and what he is doing, can be found here, in Elaine Chukan Brown’s terrific wine blog.


The winery is located in Petaluma, and he sources grapes from various small vineyards, the farmers of which he has cultivated relationships throughout the years. There he makes still and sparkling wines, the latter for which he has really become famous. We were able to procure a few cases of his Ultramarine Blanc de Blancs and Rosé earlier this year and they flew out of here. This is ultra-small production stuff.



2014 Cruse Wine Co. Pinot Gris “Delfino”-Sierra Foothills, CA.


Pinot Gris/Grigio may be one of the most mis-handled grapes on the planet. Capable of producing wines with nearly deliriously layered textures and complexity, it is often relegated to bottlings which bear more resemblance to water in which an old lemon rind has steeped for a few hours.


This is not that kind of Pinot Grigio.


This kind of Pinot Gris will show you that more generous, textural side of the grape; pressed using whole clusters and allowed to settle in older barrels during elevage, it offers breadth and weight, with an impression of sweetness even though it is completely dry.








2014 Cruse Wine Co. St. Laurent “Ricci Vineyard”-Carneros, CA.


We have talked about St. Laurent here in the past many times, but only in the context of Austria. It can be Pinot Noir-esque in character, light and fresh. In Austria, it achieves a velvety, peppery quality.


The Cruse Wine Co. version is somewhat extreme; a fresh, taut style, clocking in at only 10.9% alcohol. The last time California saw a natural ABV like that was probably sometime in the early 1970s. And even though we think of Germany and Austria as cold, the places in which St. Laurent grows tend to be warmer. The Ricci Vineyard’s proximity to the cool San Pablo Bay qualifies it as a very cool growing area; paired with Cruse’s famously restrained style- and you have a lean, mean fighting machine of a wine.






Posted in Friday Feature, Friday Features/Newsletters, Newsletter

The Wine Wire: Clos Saint Jean Chateauneuf-du Pape, From The Back.

One of the fun parts of this job (at times) is poking around back and finding some lost treasures that my friend Craig (aka the wine hoarder) has stashed back there. Although it may go against much of the modern, “big box” sales mentality, where aged inventory is is a crime against humanity, in a small shop like ours, it makes sense as it gives our selection depth.


Since we are having such a cool summer, mid-July seems like the right time to trot out these rare selections from Clos Saint Jean, a famed Chateauneuf-du-Pape producer who works in La Crau.

If you are concerned about points, I have included the ratings from the Wine Advocate. -Sheb


2011 Clos Saint Jean Chateauneuf-du-Pape “Deux Ex Machina” $170/98 Points

2012 Clos Saint Jean Chateauneuf-du-Pape “Deux Ex Machina” $170/98 Points

This cuvée has been made since 2003 and always the darling of the winery. The blend is 60% Grenache & 40 % Mourvèdre. It’s a silky, massive show boat of a wine.


2011 Clos Saint Jean Chateauneuf-du-Pape “La Combe Des Fous” $130/97 Points

2012 Clos Saint Jean Chateauneuf-du-Pape “La Combe Des Fous” $130/96 Points

This translates to the “combe of the foolish, or crazy”. A combe, in geological terms, refers to a basin at the base of a limestone or chalk escarpment. This is an ancestral plot that was planted by the grandfather. The blend here is 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Cinsau lt & 10% Vaccarèze, a minor Rhône variety you don’t hear too much about these days.


2012 Clos Saint Jean Chateauneuf-du-Pape “Sanctus Sanctorum” $800/Magnum Only/99 Points

This is a true cult wine, only bottled in Magnums and always very limited in production, elaborated from an ancient plot of Grenache vines in La Crau.

Posted in The Wine Wire

The Wine Wire: 2001 Viña Sastre Ribera del Duero “Pago de Santa Cruz”

The Sastre Family work in La Horra, in the famed Ribera del Duero region of Spain, where you will find some of the most intensely structured and concentrated expressions of Tempranillo. Pago de Santa Cruz is their best vineyard site, located at 900 meters altitude and planted with 65+ year old vines. Pago de Santa Cruz spends 18 months in American oak, and is a wine made for long term aging.


This was a re-release we received directly from the winery about a year ago; 60 bottles came into the country, after being bottle aged in the immaculate cellars at Sastre. We received 12 of these coveted bottles and have 9 left.


This is the perfect wine to plan around an evening of roasted lamb.






Posted in The Wine Wire

Friday Feature 07/10/15: Introducing Lupinc & Selvagrossa

Hello & Happy Friday!



With summer time in full swing, many of our customers are traveling around the globe discovering new places, new restaurants and of course, new wines.


We love to do the same –  and it was just last year that Craig traveled to Italy and visited two producers that you need to know about.


Italy is such an incredibly diverse wine country.  We sit here today with many years in the business, yet learn about new producers, varietals and obscure appellations all the time.  It is exciting and keeps us on our toes.


Matt Kramer of The Wine Spectator recently wrote in an article “The absolutely worst thing that you can do today-at least if you insist to yourself and others that you really love wine-is to reach for the familiar.”


That quote summarizes a lot of what we do here at Perman Wine Selections, and it certainly is cogent in regards to this newsletter.  These are two wineries that you probably would never see in the pages of a magazine, and certainly aren’t being “Instagrammed” by wine fashionistas.


Yet they merit a place on your table as much, if not more, than the familiar, and that is why we are talking about them today.


Enjoy the newsletter and have a great weekend,


Craig & Sheb




In 2011 I took a wine trip with my father.  We landed in Munich and drove through Austria visiting many great producers.  After finishing the Austrian portion of the trip, we drove through Slovenia and into Italy, to a small, relatively unknown region called Carso.  On the agenda, a visit to its the region’s most well-known producer, Edi Kante.


Prior to our arrival, and upon the suggestion of Kante’s importer, we booked a room nearby at a B & B.  At the end of our stay at the B & B, we were discussing our trip with its proprietors.  They quietly informed us that they too made wine, and asked if we wanted to try.  We went down into their traditional, rustic cellar and tasted through a range of white wines that were impressive.


Over the next couple years I would occasionally think back upon that tasting, and how good the wines were.  On my trip to Italy last year, I made it a point to reach out to that producer and ask if I could come back and taste again.


That small family estate is called Lupinc, and its young, talented winemaker Matej Lupinc, is the current generation and proprietor of a cellar that dates back to 1913.



The appellation of Carso D.O.C. (Karst) is located in the broader region of Friuli Venezia Giulia.  The Lupinc family resides in the village of Prepotto, about a 25 minute drive from Trieste.


Carso is a unique appellation.  To plant vineyards, dynamite is often used to break into the hard limestone/clay soil.  It is a luminous region, offering great warmth, but with its proximity to the sea plenty of cool breezes.  It is often so windy that producers will shield the vines, with its most resistant and strongest vine, Vitovska.


Lupinc works with the classic native varieties of Carso – Vitovska,, Malvasia Istriana, and Terrano.  In 1970, they were one of the first to estate bottle. This is a very hands on winery with owner and winemaker Matej Lupinc taking on the majority of the work in both the vineyard and the winery.  In total, average production is around 20,000 bottles per year.


Today, we feature the single varieties on the newsletter, as well as one very special dessert wine.


These wines like oxygen, and while you certainly can open a bottle, pour a glass and enjoy, we’ve noticed incredible changes with aeration.  So while decanting a white wine may seem strange to you, we certainly encourage it if you have time.


These are truly brilliant wines, and incredible values.  If you have never heard of them that is because we are the first to work with the wines in the United States.  They are must try wines.



2013 Lupinc Malvasia


Easily one of the best examples of Malvasia we have ever had.


Produced from Malvasia Istriana, a grape that is spread over the Istria Peninsula, spanning Croatia, Slovenia and Italy.  It was brought to this area by the Venetians who brought in cuttings from Greece.


It is a notably difficult variety to produce, as balance can always been in question.  Matej does a short maceration with the skins, and 50% of the wine is aged in old oak and the rest on its lees in stainless steel tanks.


Malvasia has a floral characteristic to it that can often be overpowering.  That is not the case here,as the floral notes are in the background, along with notes of citrus, quince, mineral and spice.  It is a wine that will work throughout the course of a meal, so keep it in mind for an alternative to pair with chicken or pork.


Only 3,000 bottles produced.


$26.00/BTL. – $156.00/6 PACK CASE



2013 Lupinc Vitovska


The great native white grape varietal of Karst.  This strong vine naturally clings to its environment and puts on display the Carso terroir in every sip.  The Lupinc version is magnificent.


Vitovska is said to be a cross between Prosecco Tondo and Malvasia Bianca Lunga.  Only about 40 hectares of the grape planted in the entire region, and shared by around 30 growers.


The soil for Vitovska is the native limestone, so hardened that  in order to plant vines, a producer needs to utilize the aforementioned dynamite.  This is a soil that can only be worked by hand, and given its difficult nature, making wine here is a struggle.


The Carso climate is unique.  Summer spring and fall are warm and temperate, followed by harsh winters, and very cold temperatures (sound familiar?).  And then there is that wind that I previously mentioned, so strong it can be measured at up to 125 miles per hour.  Vines are attached to stakes and miraculously withstand the beating.


To say the vines struggle is an understatement, but as often the case, vines that struggle yield wines of great character.


Lupin’s Vitovska sees a short maceration, and 20% is aged in barrel, with the rest in stainless steel on its lees for 9 months.


There is a wonderful discretion to this wine, it is slow to emerge from the glass, showing light citrus and herb notes at the beginning.  With aeration the mineral keeps coming, giving it a salty quality.  We highly recommend you decant this if possible, use big glasses and serve it around 52 degrees.


This is a perfect example of why Carso is so exciting!


Only 7,000 bottles produced.


$26.00/ BTL. – $156.00/ 6 PACK CASE



2012 Lupinc Terrano


Terrano or Teran is one of Italy’s most unique red wines.  It is a relative of Refosco, a red grape seen in Friuli.  It is a dark skinned grape, and notably high in ferrous compounds.


This really will be one of the most acidic reds you will ever try.  Its taut, nervy quality really showcases the mineral character of the wine.


The Lupinc Terrano is fantastic.  A severe selection of the grapes takes place at harvest, and the wine is pressed and fermented in old oak barrels, where it spends 20 months aging.


If there ever was a food wine it would be Terrano, and classically it is paired with soups, with Prsut (Prosciutto) and other porky items.  The acidity really can cut the fat and it is said Terrano is good for you, aiding in digestion.


Don’t miss this truly unique and exciting red wine.  Warning: this isn’t for the faint of heart.  If you aren’t a fan of acidity, this is not for you.


7,000 bottles produced


$26.00/BTL. – $156.00/ 6 PACK CASE



2011 Lupinc “Dulcis in Fundo”


France gets a lot of hype when it comes to the great dessert wines of the world, but we have a soft spot in our hearts for many of the great Italian dessert wines.


This is a truly amazing dessert wine, produced from Malvasia Istriana.  The grapes are harvested late, and then berries are hand selected, then dried on mats in the open air over a three month period.  The drying concentrates the sugars, but maintains acidity.  The grapes are pressed, and the wine is fermented and aged in old oak barrels.


Incredible notes of honey, citrus peel, stone fruit, and thyme.  There is density to this dessert wine, but the natural acidity of the Malvasia gives it balance.


Fans of sweet wines should not miss this.  Only 24 bottles came to the US and only 1000 bottles were produced.  These are bottled in 500 ML bottles.


Don’t miss this!


$45.99/ 500 ML BTL. 





Selvagrossa , located on Pesaro’s foothills facing the Adriatic coast of Le Marche, is a very small estate with only five hectares of vineyards where Sangiovese, the area’s predominant vine, along with select international varietals , find a terroir favorable to the production of great wines with character.


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


During the following years more Sangiovese was planted as well as Merlot and Cabernet Franc in order to exploit the advantages of the Adriatic terroir of the area, one marked by cool summer nights with soils rich in clay.  The results of these conditions yield wines with  great acidity which is especially important for Cabernet Franc.


While in oenology school in Tuscany, Alberto had the opportunity to work at the famed, three star Michelin restaurant Enoteca Pinchiorri in Florence, an experience that allowed him to taste and appreciate the world’s most significant wines and to meet so many influential people and producers from Italy as well as abroad like the Mondavi family who gave him the opportunity to work a harvest in Napa after earning his degree in 1999.


During Alberto’s time in Tuscany he met Vittorio Fiore, friend of the Pinchiorri family, and one of  Italy’s top wine consultants. Today Vittorio along with his son Jurji from Poggio Scalette in Greve in Chianti  provide Selvagrossa with some critical winemaking consultation, allowing Alberto and Alessandro to make some of the most stylish yet representative wines of the region.


After Alberto’s harvest with the Mondavi family, he moved to New York as Wine buyer and General Manager of Falai Restaurant  in Manhattan’s lower east side while his brother Alessandro was executive chef in one of Pesaro’s most prestigious restaurants, as well as working for one of Pesaro’s better butcher shops. This connection with the wine industry from both the wine buying and culinary sides has given the Taddei’s  a wealth of experience and perspective that have created a foundation for the Taddei’s as wine growers and producers.


We here at Perman Wine Selections believe that the Marche is the last of the great and undiscovered regions of Italy.  The wines of Selvagrossa are a prime example.  They are wines that bring great pleasure, and like the greatest Italian wines, are really great partners for the table.



2011 Selvagrossa “Trimpilin” Marche IGT Rosso


Sangiovese is a grape that needs no introduction.  It is one of Italy’s most well-liked grape varieties, having achieved great fame in appellations such as Chianti Classico and Brunello di Montalcino.


Sangiovese from Selvagrossa is a completely different experience. This does display some of those classic cherry notes, a hallmark of the varietal, but if offers savory notes, suggestions of mint, licorice and mineral.


Yet our favorite reason, the one that makes us really love this wine is that it will appeal to many palates.  It has structure and body, appealing to those that love a good Brunello, but it also offers freshness and finesse and makes you come back for a taste, again and again.


The food of the Marche is amazing, and this would be flexible enough to pair with classic regional dishes like squab or a fattier fish with tomato sauce.


Really an outstanding value given its quality.


$25.99 BTL. / $311.88 CASE OF 12



2011 Selvagrossa “Poveriano” Marche IGT Rosso


“Poveriano” is one of the great red wines of the Marche region.


Made entirely of Cabernet Franc from a densely planted vineyard, and harvested late into September.  There is a careful selection of grapes at harvest and then again at the winery.  The grapes are pressed very gently. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks, and aging occurs in new barriques.



As great fans of the Cabernet Franc varietal, we count this expression of one of our favorites.  Fuller than an example from the Central Loire Valley of France, more elegant than one would find in California, and distinctly Italian in its flavor profile.


Spice driven, this has a brooding nose with classic peppercorn, plum, fig and floral notes.  Rich on the palate, without feeling heavy, this has both black and red fruits, and well integrated spice notes.  The length on this is really incredible, and that is the mark of a really great wine.


We must get this wine into your glass.  It truly is fantastic.  Drink it now, hold it for 5 or 6 years.  Whether you are a fan of great Bordeaux, an Italian wine fanatic, or just love great wine, this is going to become a instant favorite of yours.


Don’t miss it!  This is an insane value for the quality, and only 180 bottles came to Illinois.


$32.99 BTL. / $395.88 CASE OF 12


Posted in Friday Feature, Friday Features/Newsletters, Newsletter

The Wine Wire: 2008 Occhipinti Cerasuolo di Vittoria Classico “Grotte Alte”

They may be no winemaker as beloved as Arianna Occhipinti, the Sicilian dynamo who works in Vittoria. She makes a lovely range of wines, but the Grotte Alte is her top wine, a blend of Frappato & Nero D’Avola, from a single vineyard near this famous archeological site.  The wine undergoes a 40 day maceration and then spends 4 years in Slovenian oak. Textured and rich, it is truly stunning. This wine always takes a while to open up, so it is nice to have some bottles available with a little bit of age on them.




Posted in The Wine Wire

The Wine (Booze) Wire: St. George Green Chile Vodka– Best Bloody Mary Partner Eva’!


Not being an overly avid cocktail drinkers, this was something of a revelation to us. The Bloody Mary is a Sunday morning staple, but there seems to be a trend of exciting garnishes (sometimes they are almost a whole meal) and a rather “meh” bloody.

This Green Chili Vodka from St. George Distillery in California will take you from “meh” to “yay!

It’s not overly spicy, but has a distinct capsicum flavor that lends itself well to this particular drink. Please start with some good tomato juice, and add some horseradish, tamari (or if you must, soy sauce), Frank’s hot sauce, lime juice, black pepper and celery salt.  Use this vodka. You will no longer require salami, cheese, pickles, a lobe of foie gras or any other ridiculous garnish to make your drink delicious.


St. George Green Chili Vodka


Posted in The Wine Wire

The Wine Wire: 1999 Lopez de Heredia Rioja Blanco Viña Tondonia Reserva



This white wine is produced with grapes from the famed Viña Tondonia.  It is one of two vineyards that supply the Viura and Malvasia grapes that make up Lopez de Heredia whites. It is one of the most beautiful vineyards we have visited, nestled along the Ebro river, a dividing line between Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa.  The soil is alluvial clay with a high proportion of limestone.  Spanning 100 hectares, there is great diversity within the vineyard, which lends itself to producing both white and red grape varieties.

The 1999 is made from predominantly Viura (90%) and the rest Malvasia.  Fermentation and aging occurs in old oak barrels.  It was aged for a total of six years before bottling, and then aged further in bottle.

This may not be a wine suited to everyone’s taste.  Some refer to it as having an almost fino-like, oxidative character. The primary fruit characteristics have definitely evolved and this is a mature white wine.

Aromatics of lemon, fresh cut mushroom, flowers and mineral.  On the palate it is amazingly vibrant for its age, with lots of fresh citrus and citrus peel along with a intense mineral component.


1999 R. López de Heredia “Viña Tondonia” Rioja Blanco Reserva

$38.99/ BTL


Posted in The Wine Wire

The Wine Wire: 2014 Dirty & Rowdy Mourvedre “Familiar”

Dirty and Rowdy’s Mourvedre is always a fruity delicious pleasure, and we are happy to have a case available again this year. This is pure Mourvedre, from a collection of vineyards throughout California: Santa Barbara Highlands, Shake Ridge Ranch, Antle Vineyard, Skinner White Oak Flats and Skinner Stoney Creek.


2014 Dirty & Rowdy Mourvedre “Familiar”-California



Posted in The Wine Wire

Friday Feature 07/03/15: Two For Your Grilling Pleasure..

Hello & Happy Friday! 

It’s July 4th weekend, and for many of you that means firing up the grill and enjoying time with friends and family.


To honor that tradition we are featuring on today’s newsletter two outstanding wines, perfect to match with grilled food and good times.


A quick reminder of our holiday hours:


Friday July 3rd: OPEN 12-8PM

Saturday July 4th: CLOSED

Sunday July 5th: CLOSED

Monday July 6th: CLOSED

Tuesday July 7th:12-8pm (And Back To Regular Business Hours).


Have a great Holiday!


Craig & Sheb


Two For The Grill!

2013 Domaine Champs Fleuris Saumur-Champigny “Audace”-Loire Valley, France


We got our first shipment from this wonderful producer in the Loire Valley last autumn, and things went fast! One of the most popular wines was this funny little Cabernet Franc they make called “Audace”. We did not order enough and it sold in a few weeks.


We have rectified the mistake this year,  and doubled up on the Audace.


What makes this wine unique is that the skin maceration time is shortened, and the result is  fresh and chock full of plums, just a touch of leafy herbs and a lovely, supple texture. This wine is even better with a slight chill on it.


This is THE wine for grilled chicken, especially if you decide to season with salt, pepper, and a bit of pimenton d’esplette. You can accompany this dish with a bowl of salted cucumbers, adorned with large chunks of good feta and copious amounts of olive oil.


$15.00/BTL.-$180.00/CASE OF 12



2013 Château de la Liquière Faugères Rouge “Vieilles Vignes”- Languedoc, France


This is another property of which we are incrediblely fond, and from which we get a bunch of stuff once a year, then it sells out quickly. They are responsible, among other things, for the delicious and sparkly “Gaz de Schiste” which you thirsty people drink like  water.


The Vieilles Vignes is a serious red wine, from the oldest vines on the property. The blend is 40% Carignan, 40% Grenache and 20% Syrah.


Because we always are strict about quality control, we tasted this for you: it’s a beautiful silky thing with notes of raspberry jelly, bramble, white pepper, all the while maintaining a great mineral edge to it. While it is a somewhat robust wine, there too is a sense of restraint and suppleness.


This would be a great burger or sausage wine.


An incredible Rhône varietal value!


$18.99/BTL.-$227.88/CASE OF 12


Posted in Friday Feature, Friday Features/Newsletters, Newsletter