Friday Feature 2/27/15: The New 6 for $70 Something Sampler

6 for $70-Something
2013 Cantina di Montagna Cembra Schiava -Vigneti Delle Dolomiti, Italy

If you love light, perfumed, elegant red wines, this one is for you.

Schiava is a delightful variety that grows mainly in the porphyric sand and silt soils that are so prevalent in the viticultural regions of the Dolomite Mountains in northeastern Italy. Some of you may have had Elena Walch’s version of Schiava, a great producer and one we have used in our sampler pack before.


Cantina di Montagna’s version is so light, many of us will argue that it treads into rosé territory. Pale and transluscent, it is absolutely bereft of the tiniest inkling of tannin, and appears to have simply been kissed by the skins for a fleeting moment.


Further investigation into the subject has revealed that Schiava comes in many different hues, white, pink and red, and that this particular cooperative is utilizing all the different colors of Schiava that grow in their various vineyards. In this context its blush of color makes perfect sense. So please don’t be disconcerted.


For Sheb and her unquenchable thirst for all things light and alpine, it was love at first sip (ok ,maybe glug). This  is fantastic fish wine and is incredible with sushi.


$12.00 /BTL. $144.00/CASE OF 12


2013 Vina Mida Offida Pecorino-Marche, Italy


Vini Mida is a 3 hectare estate located in Castorano.  Winemaker Roberto Corradetti produces between 7,000 – 8,000 bottles of wine per year.  The history of Vini Mida began with Roberto’s father, who was passionate about wine and made small quantities for home use.  After the birth of Roberto’s son in 2000, they decided to take a more full-time approach and 2004 marked the start of the company.


Roberto is very connected to his vineyards, and has strong beliefs on farming and the health of the farm.  His vineyards are organically farmed, even certified as Agricoltura Biologica.


This hard work in the vineyard pays off in the wines.


A few months ago we did a successful campaign with their red wine made with Montepulciano. We had put the white out in our “value section” but you thirsty people started downing it with abandon, and we knew we wanted to have it in this sampler, so we hid it in the back until now.


When most of us think of Pecorino, we think of a spicy, firm cheese made from sheep’s milk. Pecorino does indeed refer to sheep, but in the grape’s case it is due to the shape of the bunches, which resemble the head of a sheep. This is a variety we really only see coming out of the Marche.


Mida’s rendition is quite full-bodied, even without the aid of oak, and there is an herbal quality as well as ripe peach and apple flavors to the wine.


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



2011 Calcu Cabernet Franc-Colhagua Valley, Chile


We are thrilled to see that wine drinkers are beginning to pick up on the charms of good old Cabernet Franc, an ancient grape with a long and storied history.


Cabernet Franc got its start in the Basque Country, an offspring of Hondarribi Beltza, one of the Txakolina grapes. From there is made it’s way up the Atlantic coast, into Bordeaux and then the Loire Valley, where it was referred to for years as Breton.


In 1830, a Frenchman named Claudio Gay set up a Chilean repository of pre-phylloxera vines at the University of Chile’s Quinta Normal department. These vine specimens served Chile well; its geographic isolation, due to the Andes, prevented phylloxera from entering the country. Today, Chile is the only major winemaking country to remain totally phylloxera-free; in the late 1800s the country was able to capitalize on Europe’s vineyard devastation and a large domestic consumption to advance its own industry.


Think of Cabernet Franc as a more herbaceous, plummier version of it’s more famous son, Cabernet Franc. Calcu, a label from the reputed Viña Maquis and much of the fruit does come from their estate in the heart of the Colchagua Valley. Aging is in stainless steel tanks for freshness, and neutral french oak for complexity.


$11.00/BTL-$132.00/CASE OF 12


2012 Domaine de L’Hortus “Le Loup Dans La Bergerie” Rouge- Vin de Pays du Val de Montferrand, Languedoc, France


One of France’s greatest treasures is the vast stretch of land called the Languedoc and all the delicious wine that comes from there. This region has more acres planted to vines than anywhere else on the planet and is responsible for 30% of all wine made in France!


Admittedly, a large percentage of this output is regular old wine (it used to be called “vin ordinaire” in France). But times have changed and as a younger, more quality-focused generation takes the helm, the conversation is more about specific terroirs and more vigorous vine management, which has resulted in a large shift. We are seeing some great wine coming out of these beautiful little villages, and less ordinary stuff.


Domaine de L’Hortus produces quality wines in the zone of Pic-Saint-Loup, and this bottling is a blend of Grenache, Syrah & Merlot. However, these particular vineyards lay outside the boundaries of the appellation. So the family makes a value driven red for everyday drinking that is tasty and expressive. It’s a soft, supple wine with a bit of black pepper and cheery purple fruit.



$11.00/BTL-$132.00/CASE OF 12



2013 Lagar de Darei Branco-Dão, Portugal


Darei is a place, a tiny village, where Carlos Ruivo, proprietor of Casa de Darei lives and works the vines.  There goal of authentic, handmade wines is realized in the four different wines they produce.


While it has become somewhat trendy in the Dão to produce wines solely of Encruzado, Darei still does what has almost always has occurred, and that is to blend white varieties.  This wine is a blend of Encruzado, Malvasia Fina, Cerceal, Bical and Gouveio.  These are native grapes, each playing a role in the complexity of this wine. And yes, there will be a quiz. At the end of the newsletter.


Some of you may have tried the “Private Label” white on our last 6 for $120- Something Sampler, an oak aged version. Our selection for the 6 for $70-Something Sampler is a steel aged version, fresh with a nice texture and plenty of clementine and peach fruit, as well as mineral and freshness.


$13.00/BTL-$156.00/CASE OF 12



2011 Bodegas Vinae Mureri “Xiloca” Garnacha- Vino de la Tierra Ribera del Jiloca, Spain


The Ribera del Jiloca is a growing region located in the province of Zaragoza, in the  mountain geographic center of the ancient kingdom of Aragón. What rich history once existed in this region has since been replaced by a remote, bucolic landscape, sparsely populated and shielded from modernity by its treacherously graded terrain.



Ok, that’s nice but what about the wine?


When we reach out to our vendors for great values we can place in the samplers, there always seems to be a Garnacha in the mix. And not  flabby or dilute ones either, but high-quality, delicious wines like this Xiloca, that comes from high-altitude, older vines, perched happily on sunny mountain sides in beautiful, exposed slate that is peppered with trilobite fossils from the Cambrian era.


So, it is with happiness that we present to you another lovely, silky Garnacha, laden with raspberries and white pepper, aged in tank and bottled for the sole purpose of your nightly enjoyment.


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


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

Friday Feature 2/20/15: The New 6 for $120- Something Sampler

2013 Weninger Blaufränkisch “Horitschoner”-Burgenland, Austria


As unlikely as it seems, whenever we happen upon a nice Blaufränkisch to feature in our samplers, it sells like hotcakes. This is probably because Blaufränkisch is often referred to as the Pinot Noir of the east. Unlike Pinot Noir though, it is deeply colored and often produces wines with a noticeable tannic profile. There is an ample richness to its fruit and fragrant aromatics.


Weingut Weninger is located in Mittelburgenland where Blaufränkisch has a long viticultural history. They work biodynamically, in harmony with nature. The grapes are grown in Horitschon, ground zero for this variety, and aged in concrete and wooden tanks.


Very versatile and food friendly, this Blaufränkisch is welcomed to the winter table, especially friendly with vegetarian stews, chili and braises.


In case you have not noticed, the umlaut count is at 4 right now.
$19.00/BTL.-$228.00/CASE OF 12




2013 Vincent Paris Crozes-Hermitage- Nothern Rhône Valley, France


We have had our eyes on the young Vincent Paris for awhile now; a native of Cornas his first vintage was in 1997 after having purchased, from his uncle, a very coveted plot in the famous climate of Reynard. We have been impressed with Mr. Paris’ Cornas for several vintages now; he works with a lovely parity that balances the region’s propensity for overly rustic wines with a clean but not overtly polished sheen.


As his name has grown in reputation, so has his ability to forge relationships outside the tiny hamlet of Cornas. The Crozes-Hermitage we bring to you today is born of one of these.


Crozes-Hermitage is across the Rhône river from Cornas, and also focuses on Syrah based red wine. Crozes has always provided great value, but never achieved the cult status of its famous neighbors, Ermiatge or the aforementioned Cornas. Paris continues his traditional of a light touch here, so even though this wine is very young, it does not present a monolithic, undrinkable wall, but rather an approachable correct and tasty Northern Rhone Syrah.


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


2012 Matello Chardonnay “Durant”- Dundee Hills, Oregon


We are of the opinion that there there is no better salve to soothe one’s wounds than Chardonnay. It is a variety that can be magical, full of mystery and promise. Too bad so many versions are so uninspiring.


Why is this?


How can one grape run a gamut of such extremes? From the sublime, immeasurably pleasurable wines of Chablis, to the oaked, alcoholic drink of choice by the maxi-dress wearing Orange County Cougar set, there are  a million different versions of this most neutral grape, one whose personality is dictated by winemakers, often more than it should be.


To add to this morass, Oregon, famous for its Burgundian-like climate and success with Pinot Noir, has historically failed, on a grand scale, to produce note-worthy Chardonnays.


Enter Marcus Goodfellow of Matello: agent of change.


With his Durant offering, we finally have an Oregon Chardonnay that is luscious, crisp and compelling. He employs a light touch and the resulting is inspiring.


$27.00/BTL.-$324.00/CASE OF 12



2012 Owen Roe Syrah “Ex Umbris”-Columbia Valley, WA


As much as we tout cool climate red wines with their zippy acidities and fresh flavors, we know that at this time of year sometimes you just want to feel your wine, deep inside.


So we present this bold and jammy Syrah from the established house of Owen Roe.


The grapes come from four different single vineyards in the Columbia and Yakima Valleys, and after fermentation spend 16 months in mostly used French barrels. It’s smoky and chock full of purple and blue fruit, a drink-me-alone whopper that will warm you up as you try to survive this grim and frigid winter.


$26.00/BTL-$312.00/CASE OF 12



2013 Emilio Moro Finca Finca Resalso-Ribera Del Duero, Spain


Those of you familiar with the Moro name and reputation will be thrilled by this most affordable offering.


Finca Resalso is made from young vines in the Moro Estate, from vines that range in age from 5-15 years old. New oak is not a bad word in Ribera, and the Resalso sees four months in 100% French oak.


It is tempting to lump Rioja and Ribera del Duero together but they really could not be more different. The wines of Ribera, due to climate, tend to be more luscious and jammy and structured than those of Rioja. For such a small region, the quality level is outstanding. This is truly one of Spain’s greatest wine regions, planted almost exclusively to Tempranillo.


This is fantastic lamb and steak wine. It is full-bodied, with loads of black fruit and spice.


$14.00/BTL.-$168.00/CASE OF 12



2013 João Portugal Ramos Alvarinho-Vinho Verde, Portugal


At Perman Wines, we have always championed the smaller estates of Portugal.  In large part that is due to our focus on terroir, and our desire to not only bring you delicious wine, but tell you about the story of the place and the people involved in making it.


The question is, can large producers deliver terroir?  The short answer is yes, and while the human and historical side of larger producers is usually less interesting, we would be remiss if we didn’t show you the whole story of Portugal.


João Portugal Ramos is one of the big names in the wine business of Portugal.  They own property and have various projects in Alentejo, Douro, Tejo, Beiras, Vinho Verde and more.  This impressive range allows them to share with their customers the diverse terroirs that make up Portuguese wines.


Their entry into Vinho Verde is the most recent project started by João Portugal Ramos.  Vinho Verde is well-known for being a region, as well as the name of a wine, often thought of as a light, low-alcohol, slightly spritzy white.  As we have shown you, there are many world-class wines of the region that have nothing to do with the aforementioned style of wine.


Many of you know the grape varietal Loureiro from purchasing the wines of Quinta do Ameal at the store.  That is the most important grape of Lima sub-region.  Just to the north lies the sub-region of Monção and Melgaço.


A neighbor to Galicia and the Spanish appellation of Rías Baixas, it is no wonder then that Monção and Melgaço is known for Alvarinho (known as Albariño in Spain).  The grape varietal is one of the most noble white grapes of the Iberian Peninsula, and shows wonderful when fresh and young, but also has the potential to age.


2013 marks the first vintage of Alvarinho from João Portugal Ramos, and their interpretation has its own distinctive character.  Harvested from various vineyard sources with its distinctive granite soil, the grapes are harvested by hand in the morning for freshness.


Part of the fermentation takes place in new French oak barrels (20%) and the rest in stainless steel tanks.


Very expressive nose, combining peach pit, orange peel, and a hint of sweet baking spices.  Texturally this has both richness and freshness to keep it very well balanced.  Above all it is delicious.


Try this with simply prepared Langoustines, they are a match made in heaven.


$21.00/BTL.- $126.00/ SIX-PACK CASE

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

Friday Feature 02/13/15: Left Bank/Right Bank! A Couple of Bordeaux.

Left Bank/Right Bank! Two Bordeaux For You!

2009 Château Fonréaud Listrac-Médoc

The greatest names in Bordeaux are mostly concentrated within the Médoc, a 60km long region that contains the historic communes of St. Estèphe, St. Julian, Margaux and Paulliac. These are the great gravel beds that produce some of the world’s most sought after wines, yet there are two tiny communes nestled within this area, just north and to the west of Margaux that barely get mentioned: Moulis and Listrac.

We plan to rectify this oversight today.

Château Fonréaud is one of those impossibly preserved ancient castles with a famous spring that purportedly once quenched the thirst of King Henry II Plantagenet, the husband of Eleanor of Aquitaine, in the 12th century. Henry was thirsty and needed a drink!

Today, you can still take a drink from this spring that is now surrounded by vineyards.

Although we are seeing more and more ecologically minded vineyard practices in Bordeaux, it is still the exception rather than the rule. At Fonréaud, there is a system employed called Méthode Cousinié, a service which uses biological and organic compounds to solve problems in the vineyard, with an eye on the implementation of environmentally sound systems.

Their Listrac comes from a single 32 hectare block planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot & Petit Verdot. A traditional harvest and fermentation take place, after which the wine spends 12 months in oak barrels, a third of which are new.

The wine displays a classic left bank sensibility with plums, and a minerality reminiscent of a #2 pencil. If you recall, 2009 was a ripe vintage in Bordeaux, producing pleasurable, juicy wines. This is a great candidate for medium-term cellaring, or better yet, decant and do your steak a favor and drink this Listrac alongside it tonight!


$24.99/BTL-$299.88/CASE OF 12


2011 Château Montviel “La Rose Montviel” Pomerol
With many wine consumers turning up their noses when they hear the word Merlot, its always a wonder when we hear about the popularity of Pomerol, an appellation on the right bank of Bordeaux that specializes in Merlot.  It’s pretty much the equivalent of consumers who state their dislike for Chardonnay then buy a nice bottle of Chablis.
The European appellation system certainly doesn’t make it easy, but then again that is why you have us, your trusty wine companions to help educate and dispel wine myths.
The truth is Merlot is one of the most noble grapes on earth, and the appellation of Pomerol gives us some legendary wines that can age for decades, as well as some good drinkers for early appeal.
Château Montviel is a 10 hectare property located on the north-eastern mid-hillside of the Pomerol plateau near Château Clinet.  Merlot makes up 80% of the plantings, which are composed of clayey gravel with some iron deposits in the subsoil.
“La Rose Montviel” is the winery’s second label, and the 2011 is blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc.  It was aged for 16 months in oak, 50% of which was 1 year-old barrels, and the other half in 2 year-old barrels.
The aromatics on this wine are really stunning with beautiful cherry, wild strawberry and irony/earthy notes emerging.  This is a medium-bodied wine, with well-integrated tannins and a long, balanced finish.  It will be a great wine for the table, preferably with roasted lamb loin.  It drinks beautifully now, and will continue to evolve through 2020.
Pomerol = Delicious Merlot!
$35.99 BTL. / $431.88 CASE OF 12
Posted in Friday Feature, Friday Features/Newsletters, Newsletter

The Wine Wire: 2013 Do Ferreiro “Rebisaca”

Because the wine zone of Rias Baixas is synonymous with Albariño,  we often forget there are a host of accessory grapes allowed, Iberian charmers such as as Loureira, Treixadura, Caiña Blanca, Torrontés & Godello.

Do Ferreiro’s Rebisaca is a blend of Albariño, Treixadura & Loureira, grown in the sub-zone of Salnes. This wine is a perfect friend for fish baked in parchment with good butter and fresh thyme.

2013 Do Ferreiro “Rebisaca”-Rias Baixas, Spain

$21.99/ BTL.

Posted in The Wine Wire

Friday Feature 02/06/15: Current Releases From R. López de Heredia

R. López de Heredia 


I’ll never forget the first time I met María José López de Heredia.  It was around 2002, and I had been eager to meet María José as I had been selling her incredible wines for a couple years, already had a love affair with Spain, and could just tell by drinking the wines that there was so much passion put into them.


We greeted her with some sparkling wine, and set for an hour discussing the wines, Rioja, Spain, and the history and tradition of her family winery.


It was soon after that I took my first of a few trips to the winery.  Visiting the cellar in Haro, touring the Tondonia vineyard, it blew my mind.  There is something magical about what they do, much of it I still can’t explain.


Now that I’ve been entrenched in selling Rioja for over a decade and a half, I realized that there are certain struggles.  Typical Rioja doesn’t have much to do with terroir, more house style.  And with a multitude of producers, the challenge for Rioja has been identity.


The reason I bring this up is that for a long time R. López de Heredia has been ahead of their time.  These are wines of terroir.  You can go walk through the Tondonia, El Bosque, Zaconia and Viña Cubillas vineyards.  All located in Rioja Alta, they each produce a wine specific to the identity of their soil and microclimate.


So here we are 13 years after that first meeting, and things have changed.  The wines of R. López de Heredia are cult wines.  The worldwide demand now outstrips supply, and the wines are allocated to accounts.  They should be. World-class wines deserve this.


Yet if you talk to María José, her sister Mercedes, or brother Julio César the passion is unbridled, the respect for tradition and refusal to change still unwavering.


These are exciting wines, those that test your preconceived notion what Rioja tastes like.


They have an excellent website, that I encourage you to read about here.



We believe here at Perman Wines that they are wines that you must try once in your life.  Supply is limited, so email us today!




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


This white wine is produced from grapes from the famed Viña Tondonia.  It is one of two vineyards that supply the Viura and Malvasia grapes that make up their whites and one of the most beautiful vineyards I 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 varietals.


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.


The 1999 is the current Reserva Blanco vintage.  This may not be a wine suited to everyone’s palate.  Some refer to it as having an almost fino-like, oxidative character.  While that is true, it also reminds me, in a way, of an old Graves Blanc from Bordeaux. 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.


The length and overall complexity is truly outstanding.


A wine to be paired with very simply prepared seafood, in particular shellfish.


Only 4 cases of this was allocated for Illinois.






2004 R. López de Heredia “Viña Bosconia” Rioja Reserva


The El Bosque vineyard that produces the grapes for “Viña Bosconia” is a much smaller vineyard than Tondonia. Spanning only 15 hectares, it is a south-facing vineyard on the foothills of the Sierra Cantabrian mountain range.  The average age of the vines are 40 years-old.  The soil is a mixture of clay and limestone.


We love everything that López de Heredia does, but really have a particular fondness for Bosconia.  It has wonderful finesse, typically high-toned red fruits with an underlying “sous bois” (just read as earthy) note.


The 2004 Bosconia Reserva is a blend of 80% Tempranillo and 15% Garnacha with the remainder composed of Mazuelo and Graciano.  It was aged for 5 years in wood and then rested in the cellars until its release this year.


Put this in a Burgundy shaped glass, and enjoy the incredible aromatics of wild strawberry, iron, mushroom and spice.  On the palate it toes the line, showing great finesse but with impact of flavor.


A wine for the table, to be matched with grilled rack of lamb, squab or duck.


Very rarely do you have a winery age the wine for you until it is in great condition to drink.  R. López de Heredia does that for you!


Don’t miss the excellent 2004 vintage.



Posted in Friday Feature, Friday Features/Newsletters, Newsletter

The Wine Wire: 2006 Fratelli Alessandria Barolo Monvigliero

Barolo is easy to love, but any fan of Nebbiolo knows that the patience and time required to get a Barolo to a place where it begins to let go of its terse, infant qualities often requires years, if not decades. This is a wine whose phlegmatic evolution seems out of step with our rapidly changing world.

That’s why it is always exciting when one of our vendors finds a case or two of a mature Barolo that they may have forgotten about (this often happens around inventory time, in January).

Fratelli Alessandria is a family-run winery in Verduno, and produce about 6,000 bottles from the cru of Monvigliero annually. The wine is aged in tonneau and traditional botti.


2006 Alessandria Barolo “Monvigliero”



Posted in The Wine Wire

Friday Feature 01/30/15: The New 6 for $70-Something Sampler

2011 Château du Cros Bordeaux-France
The history of Château du Cros is long and storied one, involving Richard the Lion Heart and other famous figures. The property is located in Loupiac, in between the Landes forest and the city of Bordeaux. The actual castle here still stands and is a stunning relic from the 12th century, a gentle reminder that these wines and this land existed long before any of us.
Many of the simple, pleasurably everyday Bordeaux we drink come from a large swath of clay soils that make up what has become known as the “right bank”. The terroirs here in Loupiac are a bit different however; a little more limestone suited to a variety of grapes including, and most importantly, for Loupiac, Semillon.
But this is red Bordeaux we are talking about, a nervy little blend of Merlot & Cabernet Sauvignon.
It differs from some of the others we have offered before in that the aromatics are a bit heightened and the body a bit lighter. It boasts lovely red fruit, both dried and fresh as well as a touch of cinnamon and vanilla.
All in all a lovely little bottle to compliment more than the obligatory New York strip that always seems to be the for pairing for a bottle of claret like this.
$12.00/BTL-$144.00/CASE OF 12
2013 Quinta do Ameal Loureiro – Ponte de Lima, Portugal
There are wines we are excited about, and then wines we love. This falls into the latter category.
Take a look at the label and try to find the appellation. First you find the name of the producer, quickly followed by the grape – Loureiro, and its sub-region Ponte de Lima. You finally stumble upon the appellation, Vinho Verde, which unfortunately is more synonymous with light, very low alcohol, carbon dioxide injected white wine.
Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with the typical celebrated Vinho Verde, but it has little to do with the quality wines that are happening in various sub-regions of Vinho Verde such as Ponte de Lima where producers like Quinta do Ameal and Aphros are making some seriously great wines.
Pedro Araújo is the man behind these fantastic wines. His dedication to his historic property, which dates back to 1710, and the varietal Loureiro is infectious when you hear him talk and explain the wines. It all revolves around the belief that Loureiro is a noble variety, that has beauty and freshness in its youth, but can also develop, put on weight, and increase in complexity like a great dry Riesling.
Having visited Ameal, having had the pleasure of tasting older wines, and now drinking them as much as I possibly can, I can attest to the work that they are doing.
We want you to experience this wine. The 2013 is outstanding, showing a combination of citrus, lemon and orange, all in a linear, fresh package. It is light on its feet, but the finish goes on and on.
Fantastic with simply prepared seafood such as hake and octopus, as it develops in bottle it can be paired with richer foods, even meats.
This is a wine you should – no – must buy by the case. Stick a few bottles away too, trust me, its worth it. And all of this for $15! We are selling this for a stupidly cheap price so that everyone can experience it, and like us, get hooked on it.
$15.00/BTL.-$180.00/CASE OF 12
2010 Failoni Esino Rosso
There is no doubt that Perman Wine customers are some of the most authoritative experts on the Marche region of Italy.
Craig’s summer adventure in the Marche forged relationships with several authentic, small-production wineries scattered throughout this gorgeous region.
On last month’s sampler we introduced you to Antonio Failoni and his fantastic wines from the village of Staffolo. Verdicchio is one of the most famous wines of the region. Yet his red wine from the Esino Rosso appellation was a highlight for Craig.
A blend of Sangiovese (60%) and Montepulciano (40%), drinking this wine brings us closer to our memories of sitting in a small village at the local trattoria, drinking a versatile red that seemingly works with everything at the table. It truly is the perfect Italian table wine.
Classic cherry aromas, with some brooding dark berry and licorice notes lying underneath. Soft and plush up front, with structure coming in the mid palate, and a long, juicy finish.
We can’t recommend this wine enough – it is really the type of table wine you need to match with a wide range of foods from fish, to poultry, to meat.
$13.00/BTL.-$156.00/CASE OF 12
2012 Albino Rocca Dolcetto D’Alba “Vignalunga”-Piemonte, Italy
The Rocca family has been producing in the commune of Barbaresco since 1960. They have 18 hectares, and their main focus is Nebbiolo of course, but have a couple of hectares of Dolcetto.
We sometimes despair a bit that we cannot convert as many Pinot Noir drinkers to Dolcetto as we would like; after all the two grapes share many characteristics Lovely, cherry fruit, low tannins, and earthy undertones.
Despair, however, is not the catalyst for change! It’s on you if you remain resistant to Dolcetto’s infinite charms and its silky, fruity nature. I think Eric Asimov put it best, when nearly a year ago today he wrote in the New York Times, “Yet with wine, we sometimes overlook a mountain of potential pleasures for the peak experience.”,
The mountain of pleasure to which he was referring?
$12.00/BTL-$144.00/CASE OF 12
2011 Lagar de Darei Tinto, Dão, Portugal
On the most recent Six for $120-Something we waxed poetic about the wines of Carlos Ruivo from Casa de Darei in the Dão region of Portugal.
So now it is time to continue your master class on Portugal and the Dão and try this incredible red wine value from Casa de Darei.
The 2011 Tinto is a blend of Touriga Nacional (44%), Jaen (41%), Tinta Roriz (7%) and Alfrocheiro (8%). While none of those grapes may sound familiar to you, you may have tried Jaen which is called Mencía in Spain. We are pretty sure that you’ve had Tinta Roriz, which is a synonym for Tempranillo.
Carlos Ruivo and his family believe in blends. Through their experience they realize that each grapes adds complexity to the wine. So while there is a mono-varietal trend in Portugal, Darei stays true to their philosophy.
So how does it taste? Spice driven nose, with notes of fennel, dark red fruit and allspice. Medium-bodied, with structure in the mid-palate, it offers a combination of richness, fruit, earth and freshness. We recommend decanting this to let it open up for at least 15-30 minutes.
This was quite the compliment to Cabrito (roasted baby goat), and would work with many heartier meat dishes, particularly stews.
Amazing to still be able to find a value like this in today’s wine world!
$13.00/BTL.-$156.00/CASE OF 12
2012 Palazzone Orvieto Classico Superiore “Terre Vineate” -Umbria, Italy
Orvieto, situated in Central Italy, has been historically significant since the times of the Etruscans. It sits on the flat summit of a large butte of volcanic tufa about an hour and a half drive north of Rome.
It is a quintessential Mediterranean stone village, cobbled together by the ancients and left suspended in time. Magnificent churches dot the landscape and throughout the village a serious of intricate labyrinths have been carved out of the tufa underneath the city; escape routes in times when escaping was necessary and inevitable.
The wine zone of Orvieto is responsible only for white wine, made mainly from a variety named Grechetto, although Procanico, Verdello, Drupeggio and Malvasia can play an important role.
As with most of the whites of Central Italy, producer is key; and Palazzone has long been known as one of the best producers of the appellation. When managed properly, an Orvieto Classico can deliver both the thirst quenching freshness characteristic of the appellation along with richness and complexity.
“Terre Vineate” is the flagship wine of Palazzone, a blend of 50% Procanico, 30% Grechetto and the remainder from Verdello, Drupeggio and Malvasia. The 2012 has beautiful aromas of citrus peel, mineral and flowers. It offers medium weight, with more mineral than fruity flavors, and finishes with good structure and length.
This really can stand up to meat dishes such as veal or pork, along with fish such as grilled mackerel. Serve at around 53 degrees, as it needn’t be overly cold.
$13.00/BTL.-$156.00/CASE OF 12
Posted in 6 for $70-Something, Friday Feature, Friday Features/Newsletters, Newsletter

Friday Feature 01/23/15: The New 6 for $120 Something Sampler and Tastings!

Hello and Happy Friday!
It’s January, and that means some new arrivals and special deals are hitting our shelves.
Today’s newsletter introduces our newest 6 for $120-Something Sampler.  We have to say, this may be our best one yet!
If your unfamiliar with our sampler, the second to last Friday of the month, we release the new Six for $120-Something Sampler.  Six different bottles of wine, from around the world, tasted and approved by your crack wine staff here at Perman Wine.
We always try to anticipate what you want to drink with these samplers, so during the winter, we are red wine heavy, this month with 4 reds and 2 white wines.
The best part of the sampler is that not only are you getting delicious and unique wines, you also have a mini wine lesson when reading our descriptions alongside.
So what are you waiting for – reserve yours today!
Keep in mind, many of the wines are available in small quantities and when the wine is really limited we reserve them for the sampler first, then selling any remaining quantities at the end of the duration of the sampler.
In other news, we had such a big response to our Old-School Italian tasting, instantly selling out, that we decided to open a second night.
So if you missed it, now we are offering the following:
“Old School Italian” Wine Tasting
Friday, February 20th
7 pm – 9 pm
$50 per person
Space Still Available – All Reservations Confirmed with Credit Card – 72 Hour Strict Cancellation Policy (meaning if you cancel with less than 72 hours notice, no refunds will be given, but you are welcome to send someone in your place.)
Call 312-666-4417 or email with your reservation and phone number and we will call you for payment information.
Come “Cin cin” with us as we explore some of Italy’s most classic names in wine. The Old School is coming back, as we are tasting better wines than ever before from the classic names like Soave, Valpolicella, Chianti Classico, Barbaresco, and much more. We will feature 9 wines and guide you through the exciting world of Old School Italian – hope you can join us!
And now, introducing our newest tasting:
“Je Heart France: A Wine Lover’s Tour”
Thursday, March 12th 
From 7:00-9:00 PM
14 Spaces Available
$55.00 Per Person
Call 312-666-4417 or email with your reservation and phone number and we will call you for payment information.
72 Hour Strict Cancellation Policy (meaning if you cancel with less than 72 hours notice, no refunds will be given, but you are welcome to send someone in your place.)
Have a Great Week-End!
Craig & Sheb


6 for $120-Something
2008 Antoniolo Gattinara-Piemonte Italy

Fans of Nebbiolo should be excited by this entry in our feature; the DOCG of Gattinara produces fragrant and compelling renditions of this beloved variety.


Gattinara is located about 60 miles due north of Asti. The soils and topography are much different here than those found in Barolo and Barbaresco. Gattinara is much closer to Switzerland and the soils are higher in acidity and the climate very much influenced by this village’s proximity to the Alps. Mountainous, and imposing the vineyards are steeply terraced and somewhat difficult to work. There is no “easy button” here. The vines are maintained and harvested by hand, this made even harder by the clamorous rocks on which you must tread to get to the vines, called “osso” in the local dialect, which translates to bone.


The Antoniolo Family has been working these difficult slopes since 1949 and work with 14 hectares. The resulting wines are firm and powerful, yet also have a delicate fresh quality with the kind of beguiling rose petal/dried cherry aromatics that only Nebbiolo can provide. Even though this has a few years on it we would still recommend a vigorous decant. And go ahead and make that beef stew you’ve been waiting to make all winter- here, finally, is the right wine!


$26.00 BTL/$312.00 CASE OF 12





2013 Cruse Wine Co Syrah “Charles Heintz” Sonoma Coast, CA


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.


Charles Heintz is one of the more celebrated vineyards in the true Sonoma Coast; 900 feet above sea level and famous for its Chardonnay, Pinot Noir & Syrah. This is definitely a cool, coastal climate, and the view from the vineyard are breathtaking- a panoramic expanse of the Pacific Ocean at one of its most feral points.


The fruit for this bottling was partially de-stemmed and left on the skins for 14 days. Punchdowns were all done manually (actually by foot) after which it was lightly pressed and left to age in used french oak barrels.


What’s nice about this Syrah is that, while ripe and fleshy, it still manages to exhibit all the smoke, green olive, purple flowers and other tertiary notes that are often most associated with Syrah from the Northern Rhone Valley.


$29.00/BTL.-$348.00/CASE OF 12




2013 Tiago Teles “Gilda” Vinho Tinto- Bairrada, Portugal


Tiago Teles, the person, and the wines represent something different in the world of Portuguese wines.


Tiago started his winery in 2012.  A passionate wine lover like us, he had previously spent some years as a wine critic.  He realized along his journey that he wanted to produce wine.  Just like a Chef tells a tale of food through his/her palate, the wine would be in a style that he would want to reach for on a daily basis, drinking alongside good food and in the company of family or friends.


What makes Tiago different is that instead of being from a place, growing up there, and dedicating himself to something that was typical of that place, he had an idea of what his wines would taste like and searched for that place and opportunity to make it.


Bairrada was the chosen region, its Atlantic influence and range of grape varietals lent itself perfectly in his quest.  Fortunately for Tiago, he was able to access great fruit, and then have the ability to make the wine in a state of the art wine winery.


He philosophy in the cellar is something we here at Perman Wine greatly believe in.  Explained here by Tiago:


“In the Cellar we opted for techniques and materials that do not distort the wine, vinifications respecting the grape, conducted with indigenous yeasts, no enzymes, acidification, filtering or clarification.


We accept the differences, keeping the curiosity and mind open to new methods. We try to be meticulous in the different actions. We do co-fermentation of the blends up to 6000 litres, with gentle mechanical steps, without pumping, aiming for greater harmony and cohesion of the blend. The wine rests for at least 6 months in used oak barrels.”


“Gilda” is a wine that blends a high proportion of Merlot alongside of Tinta Barroca and Tinta Cão.  If you put this in a blind tasting it would be difficult to not call it Right Bank Bordeaux, although the mid-palate lends itself to a richer style, and the Portuguese varietals add some spice notes unique to Bairrada and Portugal.


We love the aromatics on this wine, with notes of green peppercorn, plum, and mineral.  This is a wine of freshness, and at 12.5% alcohol it glides across your palate.  We even recommend bringing down the temperature of the wine to around 58 degrees.


It is such a versatile wine, perfect to not overpower a beautiful steak or lamb loin.  Yet also good for a chicken fricassée.  It is an excellent value!


$17.00 BTL. / $204.00 SIX-PACK CASE



2012 Lagar de Darei Branco “Private Selection,” Dão, Portugal


Coming home from my last trip to Portugal in July, I couldn’t stop thinking about the wines of Casa de Darei.


Not only were these wines that I personally loved drinking, I knew at the time that they were going to be incredibly well-liked by our customers.


The Dão region is spectacular in both its scenery and its ability to produce world-class wines.  Located in Northern Portugal, in the center part of the country it is notably protected on all sides by mountains.  The Atlantic influence does not reach the Dão, nor does the continental climate.  Although not a huge region, there are dramatic differences in terroir.


Darei is a place, a tiny village, where Carlos Ruivo, proprietor of Casa de Darei lives and works the vines.  There goal of authentic, handmade wines is realized in the four different wines they produce.


We have decided to feature first an incredible white wine, one that I could drink virtually every day, the 2012 “Private Selection” White.  While it has become somewhat trendy in the Dão to produce wines solely of Encruzado, Darei still does what has almost always has occurred, blend white varietals.  This wine is a blend of Encruzado, Malvasia Fina, Cerceal, Bical, Verdelho, and Arinto.  These are native grapes, each playing a role in the complexity of this wine.


After grape selection and crushing, the fermentation takes place in both wood and concrete.  It also sees just 2 months of aging in oak casks.


This is a wine I could smell all day!  Notes of orange, pineapple and lemon peel leap from the glass.  Texturally similar to a White Burgundy, it coats the palate with dried citrus, tropical and spice notes.  It has richness, while at the same time great freshness and length.


It is a wonderful accompaniment to many types of seafood, but I would recommend cooking something very simple, such as a simple prepared piece of sea bass or prawns cooked on the plancha.


If this was a White Burgundy it would be $50, but instead, it’s an incredible Portuguese value!  Do not miss this!


$19.00 BTL. / $114.00 SIX-PACK CASE



2012 Graci Etna Rosso-Sicily, Italy


We have written before, with great admiration about Alberto Graci. He is a dynamic and talented winemaker, who focuses on native grapes and traditional winemaking. His mantra? “The land decides, not us”.


Consequently, when we start thinking of Graci, we are perpetually astounded that viticulture is even possible on Mount Etna,  and that it is possible for grapes to find the nutrients they need in the steep lava beds of this still active volcano. Nerello Mascalese is the name of the variety that flourishes here, a thin-skinned relative of Sangiovese and Gaglioppo that takes on a unique identity in the pumice-y soils here.


Graci’s Nerello is provocative wine; heady with the sweet fragrance of macerated pie cherries that contrasts with a backbone of earth, mushroom and mineral. It’s a fascinating wine, complex, delicious, and meditative.
This wine pairs well with a variety of foods. Sicilian cuisine is informed by many years of conquest and colonization, and as a result there are many influences uncommon to the mainland. Vegetarian and middle eastern dishes are enhanced greatly by a bottle or two of this at the table.


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




2013 Rabasse-Charavin Côtes du Rhône Blanc “Laure”-Southern Rhône Valley, France


We’ve written with great regularity about this producer on past newsletters, so we are not going to bore you again with all the details. But ask yourself this: When is the last time you had a great bottle of white wine made from Rhône varietals? We find that this category is often clogged with awkward wines that seem to dissipate much too quickly, into a vaporous cloud of disappointment. Not this one.


The “Laure” bottling is composed of Clairette & Roussanne, keenly textured and imbued with lovely orchard fruit to accompany its savory herb, tinged edges. The winery recommends drinking with all manner of seafood, but the wine is firm and structured enough to work with white fleshed meat as well. To us, that sounds like the opposite of a vaporous cloud of disappointment, more like a rainbow of happiness to grace your dinner table.


$15.00/BTL-$180.00/CASE OF 12


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

The Wine Wire: Manzanilla the way its meant to be drunk!

Bodegas Hildago “La Gitana ‘En Rama'”

Manzanilla, a type of Fino Sherry from Sanlúcar de Barrameda is one of Spain’s national treasures.

The key to Manzanilla is drinking it fresh.  It is typically meant to be drunk within a year in bottle.

Many Manzanilla are filtered and fined in order to help it last for that year in bottle.

We are now starting to see some “En Rama” bottlings from producers, a style that highlights freshness, with only a gentle filtration.

This is Manzanilla in the purest form, and it is critical that it is drunk young, within 4 months of bottling.

We had special ordered a six-pack since it isn’t normal for the distributor to “carry this” – after all they must sell it fresh.

Don’t miss your chance to try this.  It is special stuff!

Any good dinner party should start with some tapas and a bottle of En Rama from Hidalgo!

$26.99 per bottle – only six available, so claim yours today!

Posted in The Wine Wire

The Wine Wire: Chartogne -Taillet 2008, À Merfy


This is the kind of delicious heartbreaker that seems like it should much more expensive than  it is. All culled from one vineyard called “Les Couarres” and a 60/40 blend of Pinot Noir & Chardonnay. It’s thrilling Champagne, sleek and generous, complex and imbued with both levity and gravity. We have about 7 bottles left, and it kills me to report about this here, as I would just as soon buy them all, but I am a sharer, so here you are.


2008 Chartogne-Taillet Champagne-Merfy $67.99/ BTL


Posted in The Wine Wire