Friday Feature 12/05/14: Gifts For Wine Lovers

Hello and Happy Friday!
This Friday Feature is all about gift giving.
There is something for everyone on this newsletter: amazing glassware from producers like  Zalto and Spiegelau, the world’s best corkscrew for opening older bottles of wine, rare bottles of wine for the collector that has everything, and even a couple items for the home cook and those that love to eat.
Keep in mind, many of these items are limited, and we will do our best to fill these orders promptly.
We look forward to helping you with all of your holiday wine needs!
Happy Holidays,
Craig & Sheb

Friday Feature: Gifts For Wine Lovers
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zalto
Zalto 
I couldn’t be more excited to announce the news that Perman Wines is the first retailer of Zalto in the State of Illinois.  What is Zalto?
In our opinion, Zalto wine glasses are the world’s best, handmade, crystal wine glassware.
We’ve had an opportunity both here in Chicago, and also in traveling around the world to use these glasses and taste some of the world’s finest wines out of them.  Let us say, they make a huge impact on the enjoyment and appreciation of fine wine. They are also pretty sexy looking too!
Founded in 2006 in Neunagelberg, Austria, the Zalto family has been producing hand blown crystal glassware for many generations.  They developed the Denk’Art glasses with the inspiration of Hans Denk, an authoritative figure in the study of tasting wines. Not only are these beautifully made, their is a unique philosophy of Zalto, best explained by them:
“The development of the  Denk`Art series was as influenced by the earth as by the universe beyond. The curve of the bowls are tilted at the angles of 24°, 48° and 72°, which are in accordance to the tilt angles of the Earth. The ancient Romans utilized this triumvirate of angles with their supply repositories, finding that produce stayed fresh for a longer time, and that it also showed improved taste. Due to these cosmic parallels, we believe that a wine can reach its utmost potential in a Denk`Art glass, developing everything that is possible in the nose as well as on palate, due to these cosmic parallels.”
All of this may be a lot to take in for most people, us included, but the reality is, we have been made believers.  We have found no other glass that both coaxes out the pure aromas of a wine, coupled with the perfect delivery of the wine on your palate, like these do.  They are simply incredible.
Zalto uses the finest materials for these glasses, they do not add lead oxide, and they are incredibly resistant against clouding.
They are dishwasher safe, although you will want to make sure that you have the right type of dishwasher to accommodate their size.  Personally, when we use them we simply wash them by hand, let them air dry for a few minutes, and wipe with lint-free towel.  All glassware breaks if you are not careful, and Zalto is no exception.  So keep them away from the clumsy people.
If you truly love wine, and spend money on the best of the best wines, these are an absolute must. Each stem comes individually boxed.
Zalto White Wine Glass $57.95/EACH
 
Zalto Champagne Glass $59.95/ EACH
 
Zalto Burgundy Glass $63.95/ EACH
 
Zalto Bordeaux Glass $61.95/ EACH

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speigelau

Spiegelau

 

Spiegelau is a historic glass company, with first mention of it going back to 1521.  Since the 1920’s they have been known for stemware.  Their reputation was so well thought of, that in 2004 they were purchased by Riedel, another famed glassware company.  If you can’t beat them, join them?

 

We have been long time proponents of these glasses, having used them at various restaurants in which we have worked, as well as currently using them in for our wine tasting events at the store.

 

The following glassware comes from their Vino Grande line.  They are machine made, but have beautiful elegance and great durability.  They are dishwasher safe, but you will want to use a mild detergent, and choose a cool, short dishwashing cycle.  When you polish them, just like the Zaltos, care should be exercised.

 

At their price point, they truly are a phenomenal value, and are great everyday glasses.
Spiegelau Crystal Stems
 
Burgundy, Bordeaux or All-Purpose 
 
$12.00/Stem
$72.00/BOX OF 6

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durand

The Durand

 

If you collect wine, they you know the frustrating experience of trying to open up an older bottle, only to have the cork disintegrate while doing so.  Nothing like a little “sawdust” in your ultra-precious wine that you have been keeping for a decade!

 

We have some good news, there is no better corkscrew in the world for opening bottles that could have a brittle cork like The Durand!

 

It is a combination Ah-So and Corkscrew, developed by a collector specifically to address the crumbling cork problem.  To see it in action, go to their website.

 

Collectors, you need one of these!

 

$125.00 EACH

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oil

2013 Pepita Olio Extra Vergine di Oliva
We absolutely love olive oil at Perman Wine, and one of the great things about our travels to Europe is often times we will encounter a great wine producer who also happens to make exceptional olive oil.
Such is the case with this olive oil from a small producer in the Marche region called Vini Mida.
From both an olive oil and wine perspective the Marche region is Italy’s greatest kept secret when it comes to high quality production of both.
Craig was simply blown away with this olive oil from Roberto Corradetti.  His organic farm is located on the outskirts of the village of Castorano in the sub-region of Ascoli Piceno.
Roberto blends two types of olives, Frantoio and Leccino, and the olives are collected by hand and brought to press within 12 hours of picking.
The color of this olive oil is extraordinary, incredibly green.  The aromas amazing, with hints of olive leaf, artichoke, butter, dried herbs, and spice.  This just glides across your palate, offering good fruit, a creamy texture and a long drawn out finish with a hint of pepper at the end.
This would be a phenomenal gift or stocking stuffer for the home cook.  Only 60 bottles imported into the United States – all by little ol’ us.
$24.99/ 500 ml Bottle
Only 60 bottles available.
 
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nuts
Mama’s Nuts
Our friend Adrienne Lo of Fat Rice fame leads a double life!
Aside from her restaurant life she also owns and operates Mama’s Nuts!  From an incredible array of Peanut Brittles to both sweet and savory spiced nuts, these are always a treat.
They are handmade here in Chicago, as Adrienne and team are hard at work on their off day producing these.
If you want to say a little thank you to all of your friends, family, co-workers and neighbors, nothing says thank you better than these fantastic brittles and nuts!
Due to the small size of the operation, we will work to get you your desired order.
Mama thanks you!
Almond Peanut Brittle $8.00
Chocolate Almond Peanut Brittle $12.00
Cashew Brittle $8.00
Pecan Peanut Brittle $8.00
Smoked Paprika Almonds $9.00
Gingersnap Almonds $9.00
 
Brittles in 4 ounce bags, Nuts in 6 ounce bags.
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polar
Polar Vortex Mixed Case
In a recent online Food & Wine article, yours truly, Craig Perman recommended the perfect case of wine to get you through the impending Polar Vortex!
We thought, what a great gift idea!  A case of wine, hand chosen, and accompanied by a copy of the article
What is in the Polar Vortex Mixed Case? Find out by clicking this link.
Come get your #OneCaseWonder wonder today as a gift to your favorite someone, or even yourself.
$394.00/Case
Only 3 Available.
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rarewines
Rare Wines:
Here is a short list of some of the stuff we have been squirreling away all year.
 
France
2007 Pierre Peters Champagne “Les Chétillons” ($123.99/btl) – one of the world’s best Chardonnay based Champagnes from a single vineyard in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger
2007 Agrapart & Fils Champagne “Vénus” ($184.99 btl) – the other of the world’s best Chardonnay based Champagnes from a single vineyard in Avize
2009 Chartogne-Taillet Champagne “Orizeaux” ($86.99 btl) – A 100% Pinot Noir based Champagne, a Craig Perman personal favorite
2012 Vatan Sancerre “Clos La Néore” ($78.99 btl) – The World’s greatest Sauvignon Blanc?  We think it is in the mix.
Mixed three pack of François Raveneau Chablis “Les Clos” ($1575 per pack) – includes one bottle each of 2009, 2010, 2011  – only one available – We don’t need to say anything
2005 Puffeney Arbois Vin Jaune ($83.99 btl) – for the Jura-head that has everything
2010 Domaine du Pegau “Cuvée de Capo” Châteauneuf-du-Pape ($475 btl) – It is only $4.75 per point, 100 Points from Wine Advocate, jokes aside, pretty amazing stuff
2012 Clos St Jean Châteauneuf-du-Pape “La Combe des Fous” ($119.99 btl) – Grenache, Syrah and others, both Wine Advocate and Wine Spectator 96 points.
2012 Clos St Jean Châteauneuf-du-Pape “Deus-Ex Machina” ($159.99 btl.) – Grenache and Mourvèdre, a big boy, 98 points from Wine Advocate
2012 Clos St Jean Châteauneuf-du-Pape “Sanctus Sanctorum” en Magnum ($699.99 magnum) – the rarest of the rare, all Grenache, only 200 magnums produced, 99 points Wine Advocate, big time collector wine
Italy
2009 Costanti Brunello di Montalcino ($74.99 btl) – Brunello is a great gift at the holidays, and this favorite of ours is always on point, 92+ points from Wine Advocate
2009 Cappellano Barolo “Piè Franco” ($141.99 btl)  – Mind altering Barolo, all from the Gabutti vineyard in Serralunga, and for all those vintage chasers, the 2009 is as good as the upcoming 2010
2010 Passopiciaro “Contrada Chiappemacino” Etna Rosso ($59.99 btl) – Everyone needs Nerello Mascalese in their life.  This is one you can drink now, although it will continue to age.  94 Points from Wine Advocate
California
2010 Dominus Proprietary Red ($249.99 btl) – 100 Points Wine Advocate, and well worth it
2011 Favia “La Magdalena” Red Wine ($151.99 btl) – equal parts Cab Franc and Cab Sauv, beautiful, highly rated stuff
2011 Favia Cabernet Sauvignon ($151.99 btl) – when you just need a Cabernet as a gift, you can’t do much better than this
Spanish Reds
2001 Viña Sastre Ribera del Duero “Pago de Santa Cruz” ($113.99 btl) – the master, Jesus Sastre, we got this re-release directly from the winery, incredible stuff!
2009 Descendientes de J. Palacios Bierzo “Moncerbal” ($89.99 btl) – 93 from International Wine Cellar, really elegant
2009 Descendientes de J. Palacios Bierzo “Las Lamas” ($89.99 btl) – 94 from International Wine Cellar, amazing balance
Portugal – Red Wines
2011 Quinta da Pellada Dão ($68.99 btl) – the icon of the Dão region in Portugal, really elegant, but full of flavor, fans of the best of Burgundy and Barolo will love this!
2011 Quinta Vale D. Maria “Curriculum Vitae” Douro ($99.99 btl) – one of the great estates of the Douro, 85+ year-old vine field blend, remarkably this drinks well now with decantation
2011 Quinta Vale D. Maria “Vinha da Francisca” ($99.99 btl)- very special parcel on the property, the most elegant of the three offerings
2011 Quinta Vale D. Maria “Vinha do Rio” ($139.99 btl) – a powerhouse, a recent tasting of this showed greatness, but needs cellar time, just 1900 bottles produced
2008 Gravato “Tinto Garrafeira – Touriga Nacional,” Beira Interior ($31.99 btl) – the best of the best from our friend Luis.  This will age for a while, but you can drink now, showing rich fruit, mineral and spice.
2008 Casa de Saima Baga “Garrafeira” Bairrada ($39.99 btl) – this is for the cellar, a monumental wine from Bairrada.  Had the last release, 2001 in Portugal, and it was still a brick.  Fans of Barolo, if you don’t start cellaring wines from Bairrada and from the Baga grape, you are missing out.
Portugal- Ports & Dessert Wine
2011 Dow’s Vintage Port ($84.99 btl) – this year’s Wine Spectator #1 wine
2011 Quinta Vale D. Maria Vintage Port ($59.99 btl) – another spectacular 2011 vintage Port from the Van Zeller family
2011 Quinta do Vesuvio “Capela” Vintage Port ($129.99 btl) – one of the rarest, single vineyard Ports from the legendary 2011 vintage, just 200 cases made, all individually numbered.  Spectacular.
2011 Quinta do Ameal “Special Harvest ($59.99 btl – 375 ml bottle) – one of the greatest dessert wines I’ve tasted in many, many years.  Passito style, 100% Loureiro from the Vinho Verde region of Portugal.  Wow! Sauternes fans take note.
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Posted in Friday Feature, Friday Features/Newsletters, Newsletter

Friday Feature 11/29/14: The New 6 for $70-Something Sampler, Holiday Edition.

Hello and Happy Friday!
To most of the commercial world this is known as Black Friday.  Here at Perman Wine Selections we call it Alcohol Friday.  We hope you had a wonderful Turkey Day yesterday, and know that many of you may have seriously depleted your stocks.
Good news – we have more wine for you – time to replenish!
Besides your own consumption, today marks the first day that most of us start thinking of gifts for the holidays.  We remind you that nothing makes a better gift than booze!
With the way the calendar falls this year, if you plan to ship wine gifts to friends or customers, please note that we only have three full calendar weeks before Christmas.  While many of us wait till the last minute to take care of gifts, when shipping wine, temperature can be a factor.  Every year we have a week or two where it is too cold to ship.  So we urge you to get in your orders as soon as possible, so we can get them there safely.
We also should point out that we can’t ship to every state, each has its own rules and regulations regarding wine shipments.  Please feel free to reach out to us to see if the state you want to ship to allows wine & spirit shipments.
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In other news, we are excited to announce the newest version of your 6 for $70-Something sampler!

The 6 for $70-Something is Chicago (and the planet’s) best monthly value wine sampler!

 

This month’s sampler is our post-Thanksgiving Edition and frighteningly enough, our last sampler of 2014! We think the value on this particular sampler is very high, so in a way it is our “Black Friday” sampler. Except no trampling people for a flat screen or coffee machine. You can expect to walk into the store unmolested and calmly buy your wine.

 

If interested, simply stop by the store, or send us an email and we can coordinate delivery or shipping.

 

Craig & Sheb

 

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6 for $70-Something Sampler
 

2013 Vendrell-Rived “Miloca” Garnatxa- Montsant, Spain
One of the things that makes the 6 for $70-Something so interesting is the opportunity to learn about grape varietals and their terroir.
When I heard that Josep was starting to make the Miloca wines I jumped at the chance to order them.
Vendrell-Rived is a producer that some of you are familiar with at this point, as we have been steadfast supporters for many years.  His wines Sère and L’Alleu from the appellation of Montsant in Spain, are blends of Garnatxa (Grenache) and Samsó (Carignan).  These are grapes that are typically blended together in Montsant and the neighboring appellation of Priorat.
In 2013 Josep decided to create a label called Miloca, and from it he makes single varietal examples of Garnatxa and Samsó.  So here is a great educational experience – same producer, same vintage – a way to taste and see what these varieties are all about in their pure form.
Grenache is one of the world’s most important red grape varieties.  Its origins are still being debated, with one camp claiming it to be the province of Aragón in Spain and others the island of Sardegna, where it is called Cannonau.  We will save this debate for a late night at a bar and instead tell you about its characteristics.
Grenache needs warmth.  It tends to bud early, but then needs a long season to fully ripen.  It has a natural tendency to be very productive, although it is usually at its best when the yields are kept in check.  As a warm climate variety, its acid levels tend to be moderate, therefore it needs specific types of soils. Gravel, sand or stony soils, as sometimes found in Châteauneuf-du-Pape can benefit Grenache, or in this case, limestone and clay, which help give an added lift.
The “Miloca” Garnatxa is really a textbook example of the variety.  On the nose you get that suggestion of overripe red berries along with black pepper and a hint of nutmeg.  Texturally this is incredibly silky, with medium weight and a long, elegant finish.
This is A LOT of wine for the money.  A seriously amazing value.  A good match for duck confit.
$13.00 BTL. / LIMITED AVAILABILITY – REQUESTS FOR ADDITIONAL WINE WILL BE TAKEN, AND OFFERED AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE SAMPLER
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2013 Vendrell-Rived “Miloca” Samsó- Montsant, Spain
Samsó, which is also known as Mazuelo in Spain, and Cariñena / Carignan in other parts of the world, is said to have also originated in the Aragón region of Spain.
Truth be told, growing Samsó is kind of a pain in the you-know-where.  It is highly productive, so the vines need to be old, or yields have to be methodically restricted for it to attain quality.  It is late ripening, so it, like Garnatxa, needs a warm climate.  It’s berries are what is known as “vine-huggers”, clinging to the vine, making it essential to hand harvest.
The Miloca Samsó is grown on granitic soil.  It is an amazingly pure expression of the variety.  I love the aromatics on this wine.  It shows notes of red currant, cranberry, mineral, hay and subtle baking spices.  Delicate on the palate, it offers more brightness than the Garnatxa, and has great length for a wine at this price point.  Get your “tagine on,” and pair this with a chicken tagine made with apricots, figs and olives.
$13.00 BTL. /  LIMITED AVAILABILITY – REQUESTS FOR ADDITIONAL WINE WILL BE TAKEN, AND OFFERED AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE SAMPLER
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2011 Herència Altés Garnatxa Blanca “Benufet”-Terra Alta, Spain
This is a very unusual wine. Made from 100% Garnatxa Blanca (Grenache Blanc), it defies what one would expect from this variety.

 

Grenache Blanc tends to make soft, somewhat billowy white wines when it is not blended with other grapes. It it used in the making of white Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and all the white wines you would find in the Côtes du Rhône and its surrounding villages.

 

When we tasted the Benufet, we were surprised by the lively, vibrant nature of the wine and also its intensely fresh structure. We happened to be tasting with Ramon Parera, a Catalan winemaker (at Celler Pardas) who was visiting us and he too was surprised and impressed by the wine.

 

One of the keys to the unique quality of this bottling may be the age of the vines. They are all centurion vines, over 100 years old. Yields naturally lessen as vines age and the fruit produced by these older vines is more concentrated with a greater skin to juice ratio. All the fruit is hand harvested, and kept at very cool temperatures.

 

We also need now, to talk about wind. Yes, wind. There are two important winds at play in the vineyard: one called Cerç that is cool and helps the grapes retain acidity, and one called “Garbí” which is a mild sea breeze that promotes proper ripening.

 

Now that we are experts in the subject of Catalan wind systems, we can unwind with a delicious glass of this wonderful white!

 

$12.00/BTL.-$144.00/CASE OF 12

 

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2013 Pandolfi Orsini “Fanelli”- Marche Bianco, Italy
 
One of the highlights of the year was my trip to the Marche region of Italy.  I asked my friend Alberto Taddei of Selvagrossa winery to help put together an itinerary of top producers from the region, that also happened to be so small that they would rarely be seen outside of Italy.
I scored big time when I visited with Andrea Orsini of Pandolfi Orsini, in the very tiny region of Pergola.  Pergola is located around 30 kilometers inland from the Adriatic coast in the Cesano Valley, and part of the province of Pesaro and Urbino.  It is the most recent region to be given D.O.C. status by the government.
Pandolfi Orsini was founded in 1894, and today brothers Andrea and Luca are the six generation in charge of the estate.  They make 5 wines in total, including “Fanelli” their only white wine made, from the local indigenous grape variety, Biancame.  Since Pandolfi Orsini lies just outside of the boundaries for the appellation Bianchello del Metauro, they label this white Marche Bianco.
Like all the wines of the Pandolfi Orsini, this is an incredibly aromatic, floral wine.  The fruit flavors lean more towards apricot, and combined with the floral aspect, it reminds us in a way of Viognier, although with a lighter palate feel and more freshness.
Typically wines with this mouthfeel and complexity cost way more, making this a superb value.  Pair it alongside pan seared salmon.
$13.00 BTL. / LIMITED AVAILABILITY – REQUESTS FOR ADDITIONAL WINE WILL BE TAKEN, AND OFFERED AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE SAMPLER
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2010 Château Puy Servain Bergerac-Southwest, France

 

Just to the east of Bordeaux lies that rather large wine zone of Bergerac, straddling the north and south banks of the Dordogne River. Bergerac announces a departure from that buzzing commercial epicenter to the more bucolic and rustic villages of the Southwest.

 

While Bordeaux can boast of aristocratic stateliness, Bergerac is ground zero for the gastronomically inclined, a rural landscape teeming with black truffles, foie gras, walnuts and a host of other rich and delicious delicacies. Bergerac wines share a similar encepagement (the French word for blend) to Bordeaux, in this case, 60% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon & 20% Cabernet Franc.

 

This particular Bergerac Rouge boasts supple, plummy fruit and a nice, mineral core. It drinks like a much more expensive bottle, so feel free to load up on a case or more. As a bonus, it is packed in wood, so case purchases come in a fancy (and heavy) wood box.

 

$12.00/BTL.-$144.00/CASE OF 12

 

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2007 Fattoria Cabanon Bonarda “Boisée”-Lombardia, Italy

 

This is one of our all-time favorite reds of Lombardia, made by Fattoria Cabanon, a winery founded in the early 1900’s and brought to prominence by Giovanni Mercandelli.  His daughter Elena began as the winemaker in her early teens, not only was she one of the first female Italian winemakers, but also one of the youngest.

 

The “Boisée” is made from 85% Bonarda (which is locally referred to as Croatina) and 15% Uva Rara.  These are late harvested grapes, low-yielding, fermented in oak with natural yeasts.

 

It yields an exotic, rich, and silky red with many aromas and flavors that will remind many of Barbera.  We sometimes call this “Twizzler wine”, as the aromas and flavors evoke red licorice like no other. At this point in its life it also has a vast array of tertiary aromas and flavors going on. We can think of no other wine at this price point that offers this kind of complexity and nuance (although it is normally a $20+ wine).

 

$13.00/BTL. / LIMITED AVAILABILITY – REQUESTS FOR ADDITIONAL WINE WILL BE TAKEN, AND OFFERED AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE SAMPLER

 

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Posted in 6 for $70-Something, Friday Feature, Friday Features/Newsletters, Newsletter

Friday Feature 11/21/14: The New 6 for $120-Something Sampler, Holiday Edition

Hello and Happy Friday! 

Less than a week before Thanksgiving and we are all stocked up for great wines to make your Turkey dinner a huge success!

 

This month’s 6 for $120-Something sampler offers some great pairings, but as we thought about it, we wanted to mention a couple other offerings in the white and red department that are going to be well suited to your holiday meal.

 

2013 Thurston Wolfe Pinot Gris / Viognier ($18.99 BTL.) – An unusual Washington State blend of 69% Pinot Gris and 31% Viognier.  Floral and citrus aromatics combine with a silky, rich texture.

 

2013 Merkelbach Riesling Urziger Würzgarten Spätlese ($23.99 BTL.) – Off-dry Riesling is one of the world’s greatest wines. We never miss an opportunity to share with you one of our favorite producers in Germany.  Great with the huge diversity of dishes at the Thanksgiving tasting.

 

2011 Pandolfi Orsini “Il Peggiore” Barbera ($39.99 per Magnum) – Yes, possibly the coolest find from Craig’s trip to Italy this year, and it’s in Magnums!  Perfect for Thanksgiving, juicy, rich Barbera from the Marche!

 

2012 Matello Pinot Noir “Lazarus” ($24.99 BTL. – Available this coming Monday 11/24) – Seriously good Oregon Pinot from great vineyard sites such as Whistling Ridge, Durant and Bishop Creek.  This is a steal, especially since it is from the great 2012 vintage.

 

Please let us know whatever we can do to try and make your Thanksgiving a success!

 

We will keep normal business hours this week, except for Thanksgiving day when we are closed.

 

Cheers,

Craig & Sheb

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6 for $120-Something


2013 Celler Pardas “Rupestris”- Penedès, Spain

 

This last week we spent an awful lot of time trying to convince Ramon Parera, of Celler Pardas, that Chicago was not a barren tundra of inhospitable cold. We also drank a lot of Champagne and tasted (multiple times) through the range of his great wines.

 

Ramon was here to change the conversation about Penedès.  Some of you joined us for a tasting of his wines last Saturday and this was a great cultural exchange. His most important message? There exists a great potential for still wines, and for high quality bottlings in a region that is frankly known for a largely commercial pursuit of inexpensive sparkling wine.

 

The Rupestris is a great wine to begin to understand the work they are doing at Celler Pardas. Xarel.lo is the noble white  rape for Ramon, and in his eyes, capable of making world class wine.

 

Rupestris blends Xarel.lo with a local grape called Malvasia de Sitges and a little Macabeu. Xarel.lo reminds of Chardonnay in weight and texture, but also allows the great minerality of Pardas’ particular area to shine through. This is a clean, delicious wine, aged in tank and imbued with dry peach, apple and pear fruit.We thought it was a great (and affordable) choice for your upcoming Holiday dinners, as well as something delicious to bring to parties.

 

$15.00/BTL.-$90.00/CASE OF 6

 

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2013 Domaine La Madura “Classic” Blanc- Vin de Pays d’Oc, France

 

The story of Domaine La Madura has been well documented in these newsletters, even recently.  So I won’t repeat details on the producer, rather give you a passionate plea of why this is year in and year out one of my favorite Sauvignon Blancs from France.

 

For a long time, I’ve been as guilty as anyone in saying that Sauvignon doesn’t differ a lot in style.  Yet, I’ve come full circle, as my understanding of wine grows.  Sauvignon Blanc can offer a detailed report of its terroir, and producers such as La Madura, make a wine that is both true to the varietal, and also highly nuanced.

 

The 2013 La Madura “Classic” Blanc is a very elegant, pure style of Sauvignon.  It shows fruit, both typical citrus, but also pear.  It has weight, as one would expect from a Mediterranean climate such as Saint-Chinian.  It also has an underlying minerality that will come out as it ages.

 

The only problem is that most likely you won’t allow it to age, because it is so good now, it will be hard to keep your hands off it!

 

This is a great bottle to drink on its own, but if pairing with food, please pair with very simple prepared shellfish or even goat cheese.

 

I don’t think there are many Sauvignon Blancs we’ve tasted this year, that are under $20, that are as good.  Grab some while it is still around!

 

$15.00 BTL. / $90 SIX-PACK CASE – ONLY 100 BOTTLES AVAILABLE

 

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2011 Casa de Saima Bairrada Tinto Grande Reserva-Bairrada, Portugal

 

When I tell people that Baga is one of my favorite varietals in the world, a blank, sometimes “crazy” stare is usually steered in my direction.  Baga is one of Portugal’s most important grape varieties, a speciality to the coastal Bairrada region.

 

Almost extinct, a group of diligent producers have tirelessly began to reclaim older vineyards and promote the variety, despite a lack of local interest in it.

 

Recently we promoted the Casa de Saima “Colheita” Tinto, which is predominately Baga, although a much softer style than we offer today.

 

The Saima Grande Reserva Tinto is the truly traditional, uncompromising style of the varietal.  Produced from old-vines Baga, it is foot trodden and fermented in stone lagares (open top cement tanks), then aged in old large oak vats.

 

There are many people, including us, to whom Baga reminds of young Nebbiolo.  The nose is brooding, with lots of licorice, dark berry and earthy aromas.  On the palate, this is full-bodied with good tannic structure, and a long fresh finish.

 

Decant this when you open it, and pair with braised short ribs or a grilled dry-aged steak.

 

$29.00 BTL. / ONLY 60 BOTTLES AVAILABLE

 

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2011 Vendrell Rived “L’Alleu” Vinyes Velles-Montsant, Spain

 

What inspires us, and truly drives Sheb and I as wine people, is representing producers who are real, honest and passionate.  Of course it is great when you visit a beautiful winery, great architecture, fancy surroundings.  It just doesn’t give me the same feeling, and great pleasure as it does when I walk into a winery such as Celler Vendrell Rived.

 

I met Josep M. Vendrell because of my friend Albert, the dynamic winemaker of Acústic Celler.  The very first vintages of Acústic were producer at Josep’s small winery near the village of Marçà, in the Montsant region of Catalunya, Spain.

 

The Vendrell family had long produced grapes, selling them to producers in Catalunya.  They still do sell grapes today, but some of their finest plots are kept for their own wines, under names like Seré, Miloca, and the flagship bottling and feature today, L’Alleu.  The wine production started in 2000, actually before the creation of the Montsant D.O.  It was simply a wine of Tarragona then.  Now with the explosion of interest in appellations like Priorat, and the surrounding Montsant, there is more notoriety to the region.

 

As I alluded to earlier, there is absolutely nothing fancy about this small winery of Josep.  They produce around 20,000 bottles per year, in this gravity fed winery, with small stainless steel tanks, presses and other equipment on the upper level, and the barrel room and bottles on the lower level.

 

What is most important though are the great vineyards that are used to make these great wines.  The vineyards are split between three different locations, all featuring the Garnatxa and Samsó (otherwise known as Grenache & Carignan) varieties.

 

L’Alleu is a blend of 60% Garnatxa and 40% Samsó from vines between 40-80 years of age.  The naturally low yielding fruit, gives incredible complex and balanced grapes.

 

There is a gentle hand in the vinification process, and the hallmark of these wines is a balance between rich, ripe fruit, subtle use of oak, and good overall balance and freshness.

 

This wine consistently over performs for the price, it is one of the great values of the Montsant appellation.  There are plenty of wines from that appellation that are two, three, four times the price that aren’t as good.

 

Grilled leg of lamb is a good match or a cast iron-seared hanger steak would also do the trick.

 

 

Don’t miss this one Rhône varietal fans!

 

$22.00 BTL. / $264.00 CASE of 12 

ONLY 80 BOTTLES AVAILABLE

 

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2013 Giovanni Rosso Barbera D’Alba “Donna Margherita” -Piemonte, Italy

 

When we were preparing for our Piemonte tasting a few weeks ago, we opened this wine to taste and both had a “wow” moment. We taste a lot of Barberas, some very good, some just ok. This one was more than very good, exhibiting great texture and finesse.

 

Rosso is a well-established family winery located in the commune of Serralunga D’Alba. They are famous for their Barolos, but also make this dynamic Barbera from vineyards in Damiano, Costa Bella and Cerretta, as well as Valle del Mondo in the commune of Roddino. The vines range in age from 55 to 8 years.

 

We feel confident in saying that this is one of the best tasting Barberas on the market and can happily report that is comes in at a very attractive price. Soft tannins, and fresh, dried and baked cherries, with a nice velvety mouthfeel that is immensely satisfying. We are sure you will love this as much as we did.

 

$20.00/BTL.-$240.00/CASE OF 12

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2013 Lapierre Morgon-Beaujolais, France

 

Cru Beaujolais may  still be the single last great deal coming out of Burgundy. However, if you are a lover of cool climate Pinot Noir, and have not yet inured yourselves to the charms of Gamay, we may be unable to help you at this point.

 

The late Marcel Lapierre was one of the people responsible for making sure Beaujolais’ quality and terroir were not buried by the avalanche of commercial bottles (most with flowers on the labels) that clogged the category in the 1980s and 1990s. His son Mathieu now continues the charge.

 

Morgon is one of 10 recognized crus in the region. The soils here are composed of schist and granite, and the cru itself sees a spike in altitude. These factors contribute to the unique qualities of well-made Morgon.

 

As a result, the Gamay grown here produces a more structured version of Beaujolais, and offers the drinker complexity and nuance, nary a banana-eque aroma to be found. And it is really an ideal wine for that day when we all eat more Turkey meat than should be allowed. This wine can be sipped during the cooking, dinner and on the couch afterwards, as it will neither maim you with alcoholic gravity or syrupy fruit.

 

$28.00/BTL-$336.00/CASE OF 12

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Posted in 6 for $120-Something, Friday Feature, Friday Features/Newsletters, Newsletter

Friday Feature 11/14/14: The Wines Of Norman Hardie

Hello and Happy Friday!

Do you like White Burgundy?  How about Red Burgundy?
Then you must and we mean must, buy as much of the two wines on today’s newsletter as you can!
This is one of the most important newsletters that we’ve written all year, so please read on because the wines of Norman Hardie have arrived!
Oh yeah, and by the way, these aren’t from Burgundy they are from Southern Ontario, Canada.
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In other news, I’m super pumped up because winemaker Ramon Parera from Celler Pardas arrives in Chicagotomorrow!
We still have space available for this Sunday’s dinner at Fat Rice.
Chef Abraham Conlon has put together a truly world class menu for the event.  While I’m not a Michelin inspector, I would say this is going to be 3 Star dining all the way!
Hope to see you there!

Have a great weekend,

Craig & Sheb

Friday Feature: The Wines of Norman Hardie.
 
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Norman Hardie Winery – Prince Edward County: “The Other Great Terroir”!
The wines of Norman Hardie rank as one of my greatest wine discoveries in my 18+ years in the business.
One of my best friends is from Montreal.  Years ago he introduced me to the fantastic city, and with it came friendships with some of its best sommeliers and restaurateurs.  When I travel there, I’m often given wines to try in a “blind tasting.”  Montreal is a huge consumer of French wine, and incredible amounts of Burgundy.  It is a natural guess to call many of these beautifully elegant Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays, Burgundy (at least that is what my nose and mouth are telling me).   Imagine my surprise when they turn out to be a wine from Prince Edward County in Southern Ontario!
That is right – there is something very special going on in Prince Edward County, Ontario and Norman Hardie Winery is producing some of the most exciting Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in the world from his estate!
In fact if you talk to Norm (and I have), he will tell you that outside of Burgundy, there is no other place in the world that he would rather make his Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Outside of France, there are very few wine growing regions in the world that have the fractured limestone soil that Prince Edward County (P.E.C) has.  It is a mixture of young limestone and clay, with a very high active calcium content.  These are the type of soils that you will sometimes find in Chablis, parts of the Côte d’Or, and parts of the Loire Valley.
Norman spent years searching all over the world before deciding on P.E.C.
So much work has to go into vineyard management at Norman Hardie Winery.  It is not uncommon for winter temperatures to reach -25 degrees Celsius.  These type of extreme temperatures will kill the vines.  Norman and his dedicated crew actually have to bury part of their vines in winter to prevent this frost damage.  With between 150,000 – 200,000 canes in the vineyards, this is an incredible amount of work.
Yet all of this work results in incredible fruit.  Norman is able to get physiological ripeness, yet with lower sugars and thus lower alcohol.
In the winery, his crew practices Old World traditions.  Only indigenous yeasts from the vineyards are used for fermentation.  There is no malolactic fermentation till the Spring, and they sit sulfur free on the lees, which in Norman’s words really allow the wines to “blossom.”
I know a lot of people will read this newsletter and think that we are offering a Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from Canada more as curiosity.  That is the furthest thing from the truth.  These are world class wines, that I personally love to drink, and would say are in my top 5 favorite North American wines.
They are not for you if you like a more overripe style of Pinot and Chard, but if you find yourself as a fan of cool climate Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays, then these are definitely for you!
These are limited, so don’t miss them!
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2012 Norman Hardie County Chardonnay- Prince Edward County, Canada
One night when I was dining at Nora Gray in Montreal, proprietor and sommelier, Ryan Gray opened a bottle of Norman Hardie’s  County Chardonnay alongside a Antoine Jobard Meursault “Genevrières.”  Both were fantastic wines, with aromas that were nearly identical.
It is really amazing when one finds a Chardonnay that balances intensity and richness with freshness and length.  That has to do with the unique climatic qualities of Prince Edward County and the fact that the region achieves physiological ripeness with relatively low sugars.
2012 is a fabulous vintage for this wine.  Weighing in at 12.5% alcohol it offers bright citrus fruit and mineral on the nose alongside a rich textural element.  This will age nicely through 2017+.
This is a great food wine, and in its youth I would  pair with simply prepared seafood. Seared scallops would be a good match.
$34.99 BTL. / $419.88 CASE 
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2012 Norman Hardie County Pinot Noir- Prince Edward County, Canada
We are lucky to be able to get this in Chicago, as it is sold out at the winery, and virtually sold out in Canada.  I had a chance to taste this earlier in the year when I was in Montreal, and it is the style of Pinot that I could drink on a daily basis.
Very red fruit in style, with cranberry / cherry fruit on the nose and palate. Silky and fresh, with a continuation of these red fruits and lots of underlying minerality.  Delicious now, it will be great to taste this through the years.  Drink now through 2019+.
Don’t miss this!
$34.99 BTL. / $419.88 CASE
Posted in Friday Feature, Friday Features/Newsletters, Newsletter

Friday Feature 11/07/14: The Champagne Value Of The Year and Introducing Emmanuel Brochet

Hello and Happy Friday!

Hard to believe it is November, but that crazy time of year is upon us.

 

It is a time when a lot of us gather to celebrate holidays, the productivity of the year, or just to be amongst good friends and family.  As you know, we are Champagne-crazy here at Perman Wine, and we believe that the best way to celebrate the aforementioned moments is with a good bottle of Champagne!

 

Each year in November, I introduce what I feel is one of the finest Champagne values around.  In the past we’ve offered names like Larmandier-Bernier, Brigandat, Ledru and more.

 

This year’s big winner – the fantastic Blanc des Blancs from Champagne Guiborat!

 

Yet, I’ve done things a little differently this year.

 

Not only are we introducing our Champagne value of the year from Guiborat, we also want to introduce a Champagne producer to you that has never been sold in Chicago.

 

It has been almost 3 years in the making that I have been working to bring in the wines of Champagne Emmanuel Brochet.  Finally, two Champagnes, just 90 bottles of each have come to Chicago, and all to Perman Wine Selections.  While Brochet might not offer the same price point of Guiborat, it too is an incredible, top echelon producer, and we are excited to tell you more.

 

So stock up for the holidays, because these won’t be around very long!

 

-Craig

 

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In other news, we wanted to brief you on the current parking situation at Perman Wine.

 

We do have a three car loading zone in front of the store, which for years has been easily accessible and available to our customers.  With the increasing traffic in the West Loop, and an unfriendly neighbor who likes to park their cars illegally almost all day, the loading zone isn’t as convenient as it once was.

 

While we try to rectify that situation, we would like to remind our customers that if you are in a hurry this holiday season, please email your order in advance, or call over the phone.  We are able to keep our customers’ information on file, and can easily process your order for quick pick up.

 

Call us from your cell phone, we can even run the wine out to your car, almost the “wine drive thru” that we dream about.

 

So while traffic in Chicago, and parking can be chaotic, we do want to make it as easy for you as possible.  If you have any issues please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

 

And remember – we do offer local delivery for $15 per order, Monday-Friday, from 12-3pm.

 

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In other news, in case you didn’t see it, Craig had a nice little write-up in the online edition of Food & Wine Magazine.  In it he lays out his suggestions for the perfect case of wine to have ready for the Polar Vortex.

 

Soon we will be emailing you with the opportunity to buy this mixed case.  It would make a great gift for your favorite wine lover, or a great gift to yourself.

 

Enjoy the newsletter and have a great weekend!

 

Cheers,

Craig & Sheb

Friday Feature: The Champagne Value Of The Year & Introducing Brochet!
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NV Guiborat Champagne Blanc de Blancs

 

This year’s Champagne Value of the Year is none other than the NV Blanc de Blancs from Champagne Guiborat.

 

Champagne Guiborat is a small grower Champagne house located in the village of Cramant.  Champagne is a region of growers, and the great, great grandfather of the current owner Richard Fouquet, founded the estate in 1885.  The vines of Guiborat were rented out until Richard Fouquet began producing Champagne from the estate in 1996.

 

Currently the family owns 8 hectares of vines, of which half are Chardonnay from the Côte des Blancs, in villages such as Cramant, Chouilly and Oiry.  The other half are Pinot Meunier vines in the villages of Mardeuil and Verneuil.  Of these 8 hectares, only 2 are used for the estate production, and the rest sold off.  This is a very small producer, with around 20,000 bottles produced per year.

 

The NV Blanc de Blancs, is composed entirely of Chardonnay from three different vineyards, one in Cramant and two in Chouilly.

 

This Champagne is the perfect choice to stockpile during the holidays because in our view, its a style that almost everyone can enjoy.  It is complex with hints of citrus and tropical fruit on the nose, and has a long, bright finish that is complemented with mineral notes.  Even your most educated, finicky Champagne friends will be in awe of it.  On the other hand, it is also a quaffable, dry style that even the least experienced Champagne drinkers will enjoy.  There is really something for everyone in this Champagne.

 

Now to the business of Champagne.  Over the last 10 years, we’ve seen a decrease in quality on the NV level at much of the Négociant houses.  I won’t name names, but some of these producers are almost undrinkable.  On the other hand, you have dozens of small grower houses that are turning out incredibly complex and delicious Champagne that also happen to speak of a sense of place, and not just a house style.  If this were Olympic basketball, the Champagne Growers would be USA and the Négociants, well, maybe Angola.  The difference is that clear.

 

The NV Guiborat Champagne Blanc de Blancs is truly an exceptional value that we are more than excited to offer our customers as our choice for the Champagne Value of the Year!

 

Production is limited, and so is our allocation – so don’t wait to put in your order!

 

$45.99 BTL. / $551.88 CASE OF 12

 

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Champagne Emmanuel Brochet

 

As we mentioned in the introduction, it has been a long journey to get the Champagne from Emmanuel Brochet here to Chicago.  It involved two trips to the region, dozens of emails, and lots of patience.

 

And was it worth it?

 

Absolutely!

 

For a few years, Craig had been hearing about the Champagne from Emmanuel Brochet, an incredibly small grower, with less than 10,000 bottles of year in the sleepy village of Villers-aux-Noeuds.

 

In the last couple years, Craig has been traveling to Champagne to attend a tasting put on by a small group of grower houses.  At those tastings, Craig finally met Emmanuel Brochet, was able to taste and learn all about the producer.

 

Wine production at Brochet just began in 2002, although Emmanuel had been working a portion of his family’s vines since 1997.  Previous to that the vines were always rented, and have been in the Brochet family for a few generations.

 

The winery and vineyard itself lie just South of the City of Reims.  Vines are sparse in Villers-aux-Noeuds today; only around 30 hectares total.

 

Emmanuel Brochet owns and farms 2.5 hectares of a vineyard called Le Mont Benoit.  The soil is a clay and chalk topsoil with more chalk lying beneath.  Brochet grows all three varieties here, 37% Pinot Meunier, 30% Chardonnay and the rest Pinot Noir.  The vines are farmed organically.

 

This is an incredibly small winery, in one room you have the beautiful vertical press, and next to the office a small room for fermentation and aging. At Brochet,  all fermentation is done in old oak barrels, as well as aging.

 

Brochet’s NV Champagne is made with different dosages.  Sometimes he will offer two wines in a year, one an Extra Brut, and the other a Brut.  Sometimes he will only make one.

 

Our current allocation, actually two year’s worth, are both from the Le Mont Benoit vineyard and both NV Champagne.  The years of the base wine are different and so are the dosage.  Both are spectacular, and different, so make sure you try them both!

 

I hope you are as excited about these as we are!

 

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NV Champagne Emmanuel Brochet “Le Mont Benoit” Extra Brut

 

This bottling comes predominately from the 2010 vintage, with a percentage of 2009 included.  He only made an Extra Brut NV in 2010.  It is a blend of 50% Pinot Meunier, and 25% each Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.  It spends 11 months on its lees in oak barrels, and 3 years on its lees in bottle.  There are 4 grams per liter of dosage.

 

Of the two offerings, this bottling is one that I think everyone will love.  The Meunier is so transparent on the nose, with a beautiful wild strawberry / cherry element mixed with a hint of white chocolate.  The palate is both rich and fresh, with some exotic spice elements mixed with a combination of red fruit and citrus.

 

This drinks like a Champagne twice its price.  What a spectacular Champagne!

 

$68.99 BTL. / ONLY 85 BOTTLES AVAILABLE 

 

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NV Champagne Emmanuel Brochet “Le Mont Benoit” Non Dosé

 

This bottling comes predominately from the 2008 vintage, with a percentage of 2007 included.  It is a blend of 40% Pinot Meunier, 35% Pinot Noir, and 25% Chardonnay.  It spends 11 months on its lees in oak barrels, and 3 years on its lees in bottle.  There is absolutely no secondary dosage.

 

This wine isn’t for the faint of heart!  It is spectacular – one of the best bottles I had this year.  As a Champagne with a little more bottle age, and as a Non Dosé, this is a total expression of terroir and the chalky minerality that comes from Le Mont Benoit is elevated throughout your experience.

 

Did I mention mineral?  This has it in spades, yet the subtle tropical notes of the Chardonnay, and elegant red fruits from the Pinot Noir and Meunier poke their head through in the subtlest of ways.

 

All in all, the complete package, and a Champagne for the wine nerd that has had it all!

 

$68.99 BTL. / ONLY 85 BOTTLES AVAILABLE

 

Posted in Friday Feature, Friday Features/Newsletters, Newsletter

Friday Feature 10/31/14: Introducing Champs Fleuris and the New Releases from La Madura.

Hello and Happy Friday,

 

As many of you already know, this is a very exciting time of the year for us.  Each and every day we are getting in new wines from around the globe.

 

Many of these are wines that we have sourced on our trips to Europe this year.  We are excited to share with you the fruits of our labor of love.  We are proud to represent many of these small, independent wineries here in Chicago.  We know that once you taste them, you will share in the excitement too!

 

On today’s newsletter we are excited to release the new wines from one old favorite, and one new producer that has never been in the Chicago market.

 

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Please Note, we will be closed Tuesday, November 4th! So please vote and exercise your civic duties!

 

 

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In other news, we still have spots available for two wine dinners that we are doing in conjunction with Fat Rice restaurant in Logan Square.  As many of you know, Craig is the wine director of the restaurant, and has worked hard of the last couple years to source many of their wines directly from Portugal.  There was even this great article recently written about the building and sourcing of the list.

 

See our upcoming events here.

 

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Finally, as the snow today will tell you, the holiday season is rapidly approaching.  Before you know it Thanksgiving, then Christmas will be upon us.

 

Please consider Perman Wine for your personal and corporate gift giving needs.  We deliver locally, ship nationally, and will give you the attention to detail your orders need.

 

We love to include descriptions of the wines in gift packs, it really makes the gifts special and helps the recipient understand what a great wine they are getting!  Because descriptions take time to write, we do ask that you give us 5 business days in advance of when you would like to ship, deliver, or pick it up.

 

Have a great weekend,

Craig & Sheb

Friday Feature: Things We Find When We Drink In France.
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fleuris

Domaine Des Champs Fleuris-Saumur Champigny

 

Last March, I found myself flying down some French highways, being perpetually misled by a psychotic GPS named Zelda, exploring the small villages that dot the beautiful Loire river and all its majesty. As I traveled through Nantes, Angers, then Tours, I noticed a bookish, youthful quality to the people, friendly and polite and curious. Plus all the Cabernet Franc and Melon de Bourgogne one can drink.

 

I was on a mission to find a producer that we could convince one of our distributors to pick up, to supply us with an endless stream of Cabernet Franc, and perhaps a great Crémant.

 

On a sunny day, in the impossibly tiny village of Tourquant, I found what I was looking for. Impeccable Cabernet Francs, delicious dry Chenin Blanc (which we hope to bring to Chicago soon) and incredible Crémant, which we will feature soon, on another newsletter.

 

Domaine des Champs Fleuris is the labor of love of four friends who decided to commit their lives and financial resources to these 44 hectares of vines. The winery is small and clean, and adjoining is a modern tasting room. The vineyards have good exposure and sit on the classic soils of the region called tuffeau, a porous, sedimentary rock that is prevalent in this region.

 

 

I tasted through the range with Patrice Rétif, a quiet, compact gentleman whose passion was evident, despite his reserved, very French manner. This is a man, who at the age of 15, dreamt of the rocks in this vineyard, and how they had parties at night when no-one was looking.

 

Those of you who love classic, Loire Valley Cabernet Francs, will be ecstatic about these wines.

 

-Sheb

 

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2013 Domaine des Champs Fleuris Saumur Champigny”Audace”

 

Audace is a dangerous wine. I tell you this because its quaffability factor is at Def Con 1. It is so delicious it occupies a dangerous place along with mini Reece’s Butter Cups and Doritos. This is a soft, super mellow version of Cabernet Franc; it only sees a three days maceration and then is aged in tank. Fresh, lively and imbued with soft plum flavors. The packing on this is a little flashy, but the wine is wonderful. Put a slight chill on this, and bombs away!

 

$14.99/BTL.-$179.88/CASE OF 12

 

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2013 Domaine des Champs Fleuris Saumur Champigny “Vieilles Vignes”

 

This is an age-worthy and more structured style of Cabernet Franc, and comes from various parcels across the estate whose vines are mature and whose topsoils have eroded. The wine is aged in tank for one year before release. Classic favors of damson plum & bell peppers, as well as earth and mineral. This would be amazing with Thanksgiving dinner!

 

$19.99/BTL-$239.88/CASE OF 12

 

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2010 Domaine des Champs Fleuris Saumur Champigny “Les Roches”

 

This is the mack Daddy of the line, a single, old-vines parcel whose soils are purely stones.

This wine is elevated in barrique and designed to be cellared for several years. Copious  tannins and dense purple fruit abound. Give this bottle five years and you will be richly rewarded.

 

$35.99/BTL.

30 BOTTLES AVAILABLE

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madura

Domaine La Madura-Saint-Chinian

 

It has been around 4 years since I first visited and started working with Cyril and Nadia Bourgne of Domaine La Madura.  I was visiting the Languedoc region for my first time, driving hundreds of kilometers so that I could check out as many appellations as possible.

 

The trip was significant in two ways.

 

First, after the many years that I had been working with wines from the Languedoc, I finally realized that not only was the potential incredible, there were actually wineries that performed at a level of producers that were ultra-famous in regions such as Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Hermitage.

 

Secondly, the trip was significant because I got a chance to visit what I feel is the best producer in the appellation of Saint-Chinian in the Western Languedoc – Domaine La Madura.

 

What is special about this region is that it offers a variety of different types of soils, expositions and elevation levels.  It allows an estate like La Madura, who has several parcels planted with different varieties, the ability to blend.

 

Cyril spent years as technical manager of Château Fieuzal in Pessac-Léognan, where blending Bordeaux varieties is the norm.  He returned to his native Languedoc, purchasing an estate along with his wife Nadia.  I won’t go into too much detail since they have this excellent website that will tell you all you need to know.

 

What I need to relate to you though, is a recent anecdote.  I was tasting wine this week for a wine list that I am writing for a new restaurant.  I had a bunch of wine open, including a bottle of the “Classic” rouge.  I was able to taste it alongside another wine, similar varietal breakdown, albeit from a different country.  When you have the ability to taste wines like we do, often side by side, or several within the same week in a similar category, it is wines like La Madura “Classic” Saint-Chinian that make you realize at what level a producer is.

 

Domaine La Madura is an incredible producer.  Their white wines made from Sauvignon Blanc (with a touch of Piquepoul), and their reds made from a blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre and Carignan, are without a doubt world class reds and among the best in their respective category.  I’m honored to work with them, and really would like you to try them.

 

Many of you are already fans, so here is your chance to grab the new vintages.  For those that are new to them, you are going to be converted into a huge La Madura fan!

 

-Craig

 

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2013 Domaine La Madura Grand Vin Blanc

 

We opened a bottle of this a few days ago, to evaluate the vintage and see how the wine was showing. It was a little too delicious because we ended up polishing it off in about an hour. Then we were a little too happy at work.

 

In texture, the wine is certainly reminiscent of white Bordeaux from Graves, but with slightly more body and a Mediterranean ripeness not found in the gravel beds of the left bank. The wine is 90% Sauvignon Blanc and 10% Piquepoul, aged in 225L cask, but with great integration and without oaky distraction.

 

This is truly amazing – and such a steal at this price!

 

$27.99/BTL.-$167.94/ 6 PACK CASE

 

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2011 Domaine La Madura Saint-Chinian Rouge “Classic”

 

If you love Rhône varieties, and have been a fan of Côtes du Rhône and Chateauneuf-du-Pape, this will will make you extremely happy. Composed of 33% Grenache, 37% carignan & 16% Mourvédre, the wine is dense and tactile, with fresh and baked red fruit, and loads of baking spices. This is a wine you can cellar for several years, or drink right away.

 

It really is the complete package.

 

 

$17.99/BTL.- $215.88/CASE OF 12

 

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2010 Domaine La Madura Saint-Chinian Rouge “Grand Vin”

 

This is one of the top wines of the Domaine and made a great choice for mid or long-term cellaring. The varietal composition here is 32% Mourvèdre, 44% Syrah, 13% Grenache, and 11% Carignan. The wine is aged in 225L barrels, and delivers a powerful yet fresh flavor profile of black and red berries, coffee and coca notes.

 

Nadine & Cyril recommend this wine with hare à la royale. If you have access to some hares, this is an incredibly labor intensive dish that involves at the aforementioned hare, pork, goose liver, a truffle, marc de bourgogne, eggs and foie gras. If that seems a little too involved, some pan seared duck breasts with a few figs will do just fine.

 

$29.99/BTL.- $179.94/CASE OF 6

 

Posted in Friday Feature, Friday Features/Newsletters, Newsletter

Up-Coming Dinners at Fat Rice.

Fat Rice Wine Dinners


Get ready, because this will become a monthly tradition.  As many of you know, Craig moonlights as the Wine Director of Fat Rice restaurant.  For years he has been working alongside its owners Abraham Conlon and Adrienne Lo, putting together wine and food dinners.

 

Now we have joined forces once again to promote the best wines of Portugal and Spain.  Each month we will introduce a new six-course dinner paired with wines.  Some months will focus on a single producers wines, and others will be a focus on wine regions and their classic dishes.  Each menu will be completely unique, and we are excited to offer both Fat Rice’s customers as well as Perman Wine customers a special evening of wine and food.

 

For information and to make a reservation for any of these dinners please click on the link below.

 

Don’t hesitate to email with any questions.

 

The line-up

 

 

Nit del Senglar – Night of the Boar – Celler Pardas Dinner – Sunday, November 16, 2014

 

Down with the Dão: An Exploration of the Cuisine & Wines of the Dão – Sunday, December 14, 2014

 

Posted in Newsletter, Tastings & Events

Friday Feature 10/24/14: Announcing The New 6 for $70-Something Sampler!

Hello and Happy Friday!
Today’s newsletter brings an announcement that was a long time in the making.
We’ve decided to change the name, and thus the pricing structure of our ever-popular monthly sampler, formerly called 6 for $60-Something.
Erase that from your minds because those days are gone, and now we introduce:
The 6 for $70-Something sampler.
Since I opened the store 7 years ago, my dedication to wine has always been about quality first.
Over the last couple years, much of the wine that has been presented to us by distributors to sell in the $10 a bottle range has been almost undrinkable.  Why is that?
Most wine values in the world come from Europe or South America.  The shipping of wine, in particular for the smaller producers we like to represent, is not cheap.  I can tell you from personal experience, that laid in costs for small pick ups from Europe are often $3-4 per bottle.  That is just for shipping!
Obviously the producer has to charge something for the wine- lets say that is 3 or 4 Euro.  While the dollar is stronger today than it has been, that still amounts to almost $4 or $5 USD before it even leaves the winery.  So add $4 or $5 for the wine, $3 or $4 for the shipping, add county and state liquor taxes and already you are at $7.35 – $9.50 for the bottle before any mark up on the distribution and retail end.
This means that realistically, most of the good values that we taste today retail in the $11 – $15 range.
My commitment to you the customer, is to provide delicious and complex wine at a great price.  The new 6 for $70-Something sampler has nothing to do with raising prices or margins, it has everything to do with making sure that you will come back over and over again.
We realize that each customer has budgetary concerns, and if your wine needs involve those wines that sell at $10 and below, we are happy to source for you the limited amount of those that we would recommend.
We encourage feedback and want to hear from you.
Thank you for your business!
Sincerely,
Craig Perman
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It ithe last Friday of the month, and that means time to unveil another Six for $70-Something sampler!

 

The 6 for $70-Something is Chicago (and the planet’s) best monthly value wine sampler!

 

This month’s sampler is our deluxe Thanksgiving Edition, tailored to pair with everyone’s favorite holiday meal. And although you may not be ready, we are, so stock up and get one or two samplers early so all your relatives remain happy and drunk. It is also nice to have some affordable bottles on hand to grab as a hostess gift or party offering.

 

If interested in a sampler, simply stop by the store, or send us an email and we can coordinate delivery or shipping.

 

Craig & Sheb

 

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6 for $70-Something Sampler
macabeo

2012 Castell d’Age Macabeo Penedés, Spain


We have enjoyed much success with the Brut Nature Cava from Castell d’Age, a high quality, organic producer working in Penedès. So we were happy when when learned they made a still Macabeo.

 

Macabeo was most definitely born in Catalonia, and through its migration patterns settled in Rioja (where it is called Viura) and France’s Roussillon (where it is called Maccabéo). Admittedly, this grape can produce some overblown, blousy and forgettable wines, but now would we offer you something like that at Perman Wine Selections? Nor way, we would not.

 

Castell d’Age’s version is produced from older vines, whose yields are naturally restricted, and the result is a clean, delicious white with dried peach and tangerine flavors, super clean and mellow. This wine does not maim you with acidity, but will impress with a degree of concentration normally not found at this price point.

 

Your family with thank you for this.

 

$10.00/BTL.-$120.00/CASE OF 12

 

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garnacha
2012 Príncipe de Viana Garnacha Roble, Navarra, Spain

 

If you asked 10 people to name a wine region in Spain, 10 out of 10 would not name Navarra.

Rioja? Yes. Sherry? Sure. But probably not Navarra.

 

Navarra’s viticultural history is impressive though, a hotbed for winemaking in Roman times and famous throughout the ages. In a very familiar tale, when phylloxera wiped out the great, old vineyards of Europe in the late 1800s,  Navarra did not possess the resources to re-plant as other regions did. And so the vineyards fell fallow.

 

In the  ’80’s and ’90’s things started to change economically, as more money was dedicated to oenological pursuits. We saw more varieties being planted, and producers emerged that made high quality white, red and rosé.

 

So what better way to reintroduce it than by giving you an excellent value from Bodegas Príncipe de Viana, a winery founded in 1983.  This winery was founded as a project of an agricultural lending institution that was looking to promote sustainable viticulture in the region.

 

This bottling is made from three vineyard sites suited perfectly to Garnacha; large alluvial swatches dotted with pebbles and boulders alike.

 

It is a very easy drinking style, smooth and studded with berry flavors, and we can see this going nicely with a wide range of food. But mainly it won’t dry out your Meemaw’s special 8 hour roasted turkey.

 

$10.50/BTL.-$126.00/CASE OF 12
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tufolies
2013 Domaine Champs Fleuris Saumur Champigny “Les Tufolies”- Loire Valley, France

 

Back in March, I (Sheb) spent almost three weeks in France, getting some R&R, but also in search for a Loire Valley producer who could supply us with with both Cremant (bubbles) and a large amount of Cabernet Franc. I tasted with several producers, and fell in love with the work they are doing at Champs Fleuris.

 

Champs Fleuris is a 44 hectare estate run by four friends, all working in some capacity at the winery. They are located in a tiny village called Tourquant, and to get there you need to cross a rather spindly bridge, that despite its wobbliness, affords a spectacular view of the Loire River, right before it splits in two.

 

The Cabernet Franc in the vineyards are at a nice altitude with good exposure and sit on classic tuffeau soils. As for the bubbles, we will talk about those in the weeks to come. We have several different cuvées of Cabernet Franc, but on today’s sampler we are offering “Les Tufolies”. This means “rock party” and was based upon a dream owner/partner Patrice Rétif had as a teenager, and how the rocks threw a party in the vineyard while he slept. Somehow this sounds very different from the dreams of most American teenage males. It is a stony vineyard site and the wine shows great minerality, as well as the classic damson plum/capsicum flavors of well managed Cabernet Franc.

 

$15.00/BTL. -$180.00/CASE OF 12 

 

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collianored
2011 Colliano Cuvée Red- Goriska Brda, Slovenia

 

We featured a Ribolla Gialla from this producer on our 6 for $120 something last week, and were happy when our distributor gave us a good price on this delicious red.

 

Goriska Brda is two miles away from where Slovenia borders Italy’s Friuli. The vineyards here, in both countries are well-renowned and produce world class wines. Cuvée Red is a blend of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot, fermented in stainless steel and aged in barrels. Bordeaux drinkers looking for something slightly different and affordable will be drawn to this, as well as those of you who love red wine from Friuli and beyond.

 

This particular wine is a dynamite pairing option for vegetarian dishes, and it would do well besides a custardy casserole with winter greens, roasted winter squash, or pumpkin soup spiced with dukkah and topped with good yogurt.

 

$12.50/BTL. $75.00/ CASE OF 6

 

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leitz
2013 Johannes Leitz “Leitz Out” Riesling-Rheingau, Germany

 

A Thanksgiving focused wine sampler would be incomplete without an off-dry Riesling. This style of wine, with it’s crisp acidity and fruity flavors does wonders for almost every traditional dish you could set on your table.

 

The young and dynamic “Josi” Leitz is a serious producer of Riesling.  Meticulously Germanic, each vineyard parcel is carefully farmed and noted for its particular soil type, of which he has identified four. Leitz’s website is full of pie charts, and oenological data, but he has an arty, playful side too, as evidenced by play on words name for this wine.

 

So in essence, serious Riesling with a less than serious packaging.

 

We urge you not to fear the little bit of sweet fruitiness Josi has left here in this wine. The high acidity and mineral content benefits and rounds out a bit with this unexpected burst of sweet lemon, candied lime peel and fresh lively texture.

 

$13.00/BTL.-$156.00/CASE OF 12

 

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saimatinto

2012 Casa de Saima “Colheita” Tinto, Bairrada, Portugal
Over the last two samplers we’ve introduced to you wines from Casa de Saima, a well respected, yet very small production winery located in the Bairrada region of Northern Portugal.
Let’s just say the reaction has been good, as we sold out the Rosé and White with customers still coming back for more!  This occasion will be no different.
If there is one wine that Bairrada is known for, particularly in the inner-geekdom of wine nerds it is the red wines made from the Baga grape.
Baga is a varietal that isn’t easy to work with.  It has tannin, it has acidity, it demands attention in the vineyard site.  Many within the region, well knowing of its difficulties, started taking the easy way out, and ripping up their Baga vines for easier to grow varieties.
Luckily several of the small, quality growers of the region understood the potential and history of Baga and continue to grow and produce the varietal.  Heck, there is even a group of eight producers calling themselves Baga Friends (@bagafriends) that are dedicated to its promotion.
Casa de Saima and winemaker Graça Miranda are also dedicated to this varietal, and make a range of wines, some for drinking now, and one in particular to age for a long time.
The Casa de Saima “Colheita” Tinto is an excellent introduction to the varietal.  Miranda does blend this wine, including 70% Baga, with 20% Merlot and 10% Touriga Nacional.  This is her only red that blends the varietal, but she does so to help bring a softness and plushness to the wine, which makes it oh so drinkable!
Very aromatic with notes of dark cherry, anise, and spice.  It is a medium-bodied red that delivers with Baga’s distinctive blend of structure and refreshing acidity.  We love this wine with grilled skirt steak, the tannins can cut through some of that fat, and the acidity keeps you coming back for bite after bite.
$13.00 BTL. / $78 SIX-PACK CASE – DUE TO LIMITED QUANTITY, WE ARE RESTRICTING SALES TO THE SAMPLER ONLY, REMAINING QUANTITIES WILL BE SOLD AT END OF SAMPLER – PLEASE PUT IN YOUR REQUESTS SOON
Posted in 6 for $70-Something, Friday Feature, Friday Features/Newsletters, Newsletter

Friday Feature 10/17/14: The New 6 for $120-Something Sampler

Hello and Happy Friday!

It’s not often that we send out two newsletters on a Friday, but please be on the lookout for a second today!

That announcement will focus on some recently added wine dinners in which we’ve partnered with Fat Rice and a special tasting held at Perman Wine Selections featuring one of our favorite Spanish winemakers.

Our events are always well received, and often sell out quickly, so be on the lookout!

One small housekeeping note: We will be opening at 2PM on Monday, October 20th, and remain open, as usual, until 8PM.

Now to the news of the moment:

It is is that time again, the second to last Friday of the month, when we introduce our latest Six for $120-Something Sampler.

This month’s box contains a couple of lovely, fuller bodied whites, and 4 delicious reds. We keep in mind the changing seasons when we put these boxes together so bake your squash, braise your greens and proteins and feel safe knowing you have got you covered on the wine front.

Keep in mind that while you are welcome to choose some of the wine à la carte, but as completionists, we say you should just do the whole sampler, you can drink it this month if you really try! We know you can do it.

Do not wait- come on down today to pick yours up!

Cheers,

Craig & Sheb

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6 for $120-Something
colliano1

2011 Colliano Ribolla Gialla- Goriska Brda, Slovenia

 

Goriska borders Italy at Collio, and you will find great vineyards on both the Italian and Slovenian sides. Both cultures successfully grow a range of grape varieties with great biodiveisty and Ribolla Gialla is one of these.

 

An ancient grape, Ribolla first appeared on oenological writings around 1200. Ribolla never really migrated very far from this area, although there is a bit planted in Napa, California, in wines that we have featured in the past.

 

Ordinarily Ribolla, especially at this price point, created a fresh, citrusy sipper, nothing too complex, so we were really impressed by the honeyed breadth, rich texture and complex minerailty this wine exhibited.

 

Those is search of a full bodied white that is not oaken (this is fermented and aged in giant neutral casks, will be very pleased by this wine.

 

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

 

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calme
2012 Matin Calme “Mano À Mano”- Languedoc Roussilon, France

 

In 2006, Véronique Souloy and Anthony Guix bought a rustic, ancient spate of vineyards in a lonely stretch of French countryside in the small village of Belesta, just 3 drive hours inland from Banyuls and 2 hours from the Spanish border.

 

This is a labor of love for the couple, and each daunting task is performed by hand, from pruning, to tilling to harvest. Souloy and Guix work as naturally as one can, employing very little to no sulfur, farming organically and letting nature take her course with their wines.

 

The Mano À Mano bottling is composed of 80+ year old Carignan vines and Grenache, and undergoes a semi-carbonic fermentation to soften some of its edges. It is unfiltered and unfined.

 

Mano À Mano presents a nice contrast of earthy, feral flavors and a purity of red fruit. While the wine does benefit from oxygen, I prefer to let this one decant in the glass. It is a good pairing for braised oxtail, pork shoulder or a rich, fall soup.

 

$24.00/BTL.-$288.00/ CASE OF 12

 

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achaval
2012 Achaval Ferrer Malbec-Mendoza, Argentina

 

There is a deep well of unending affection and love for Malbec, and even after all these years this enduring adoration shows no sign of abatement. It’s easy to see why though; Malbec entices with a fleshy, pleasurable and rich taste. This grape is a giver!

 

The team at Achaval Ferrer mean business when it comes to their Mendoza bottling. The grapes are sourced from three very notable vineyards: Mayor Drummond, La Consulta & Medrona. It spends a lavish 9 months in oak, an international crowd pleaser with a lot of panache.

 

$23.00/BTL.-$276.00/CASE OF 12

 

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flavus
2013 Viña Sastre “Flavus” -Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y León, Spain

 

The Sastre Family is famous for their intense structured bottlings of Tempranillo, but they also make this delicious white, from a single parcel called Viñedos Viejos Mezclados.

 

The story goes that when Jesus Sastre bought the estate, he noticed, interspersed amongst the Tempranillo vines growing in Viñedos Viejos Mezclados, some white grapes. This vexed him, to the point where he considered pulling them out. Gerardo Mendez, owner of Do Feirreiro and a close friend told him just to make a white wine and so he did!

 

The grape  was identified as Jaén, which sometimes is also known as Cayetana Blanca but honestly, sometimes it doesn’t matter what it is, but what it is like. Flavus is fresh and clean in its youth, with a hint of the textural richness that develops if you age it, and amazingly this wine ages very well. So maybe you will want to buy two; one for now and one for the future.

 

$20.00/BTL.-$240.00/ CASE OF 12

 

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touriga
2006 Gravato Touriga-Interior Beiras, Portugal

 

Surprise! We are back in Portugal.

 

Our unending love for this country brings us to another wine that Craig found on his travels last year in the sparsely populated Interior Beiras.

 

As many of us have learned, Portuguese reds are often a blend of many many grapes, all growing happily together in their respective growing regions. It is rare to see a mono-varietal wine.

 

Gravato, does, however, make a Touriga Nacional. They explained to Craig the difficulties of working with Touriga alone, and striking the right balance. It’s a beast of a grape, and needs to be aged in oak.  Eight years of bottle age have also benefitted this wine; mellowing and softening its intense nature.

 

The wine is in a beautiful place right now, but could well keep on aging. Those of you who like structured California Cabernet will gravitate towards the wine, but so will old-world die hards who enjoy Barolo or Rioja. Please please please promise you will decant this wine though.

 

$26.00/BTL.-$156.00/ 6 PACK CASE

 

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uvarara
2012 Frecciarossa Uva Rara -Oltrepo Pavese, Italy

 

Now we come to the tender and fragrant portion of our sampler.

 

Obscure Oltrepo Pavese sits at the southwest border of Lombardia and is home to some super weirdo grapes. They make white Pinot Noir here, for starters. The region is responsible for a good amount of sparkling wine production as well. So let’s get talking about Uva Rara.

 

Uva Rara once has an important job, and that was calming the tannic monster known as Nebbiolo. But now you have an opportunity to taste this shy, aromatic blending grape on its own.

 

Snappy acidity and freshness define the palate but there is a nice textural element to this.

 

Who knows, maybe Uva Rara is the next Pinot Noir!

 

$18.00/BTL.-$216.00/CASE OF 12

Posted in 6 for $120-Something, Friday Feature, Newsletter

The Wine Wire: 2013 Domaine de la Pépière Muscadet “Clos de Briords”

We get a few cases of this wonderful, single-vineyard Muscadet from Marc Ollivier, from very old vines of Melon de Bourgogne planted on schist soils. A memorable, lovely wine.

 

2013 Domaine de la Pépière Mucadet Sèvre et Maine ” Clos de Briords

$17.99/BTL.

36 BOTTLES AVAILABLE

Posted in The Wine Wire