Six for $120-Something – 5/22/15

6 for $120-Something
2014 Dominique Cornin Mâcon-Chaintré” “Serreudières,” France

It is widely joked about in Craig’s household that when he travels, he really doesn’t give any itinerary of where he is going.  After all, itineraries are so 1990’s.
But just in case anyone wants to know, Craig was recently in Burgundy, and came back talking about a really epic tasting and lunch with Romain Cornin.  In Craig’s humble opinion this is a producer that is really firing on all cylinders right now, and what he tasted from 2012, 2013 and 2014 was nothing short of breathtaking.

We know that when one speaks of Burgundy, its all about Montrachet this and Montrachet that, but please take our word for it, appellations like Mâcon and its subregions are producing some ultra exciting Chardonnay. Just like the heart of Burgundy one can speak of terroir and really taste it in the wines.

Here is a perfect example, the 2014 Cornin Mâcon-Chaintré, a wine made entirely from Chardonnay, and from various plots near the winery at the foothills of Chaintré.  The soil is clay-limestone with some alluvial pebbles.  Romain Cornin talks about this wine, likening drinking it to biting into a green apple.  It’s fresh and vibrant, with apple, citrus and floral notes.  Its the type of White Burgundy that puts a smile on your face and doesn’t encourage a lot of thought.  Don’t get us wrong, its complex, but its freshness and drinkability make it go down way too easy!

Please don’t miss this and future offerings from Cornin, they are great wines (Hint – please ask about the special 2012 Pouilly-Fuissé that just came in!).

$22 BTL. / $264 CASE
2013 Central City Pinot Noir, Santa Maria Valley, CA 

There are always stories behind the wine you are drinking.  In the world of California wine, that story can often times come from the marketing department of Winery X, and often times be pretty much be full of “you know what.”

Our job here at Perman Wine Selections is to weed through the “you know what” an introduce you to and support people that are doing things the right way.

We really have a lot of respect for what Stephen Sullivan is doing here in Chicago.  He owns and operates a small distribution company that focuses on Central Coast wines.  We now carry a lot of his wines, because not only are they good, but most offer excellent value.

Stephen came to us recently with a Pinot Noir that he tasted on one of his trips to the Central Coast this past February.  He was visiting a winery in Happy Canyon, and was really excited about a few barrels of a Santa Maria Pinot Noir that he was tasting.  While he didn’t have any intention on buying a barrel of wine, when he found out the price of what he viewed as a really exciting and complex Pinot Noir, he took a leap of faith and bought 5 barrels.  Winemaker Ryan Roark helped him from there, finishing the wine and getting it to Chicago.

In total there are 128 cases of this excellent value Pinot Noir, and we know its going to sell out quickly.  This is a terrific example of Santa Maria Pinot Noir.  It has richness, pure red fruits, impressive texture, and finishes with great balance.

We know you like Pinot Noir, we do to.  If you prefer it from California, or even just appreciate the amazing diversity of the grape, we will whole heartedly tell you that you really aren’t going to find a much better value than this.  Bravo to Stephen and Ryan, you’ve got a good one on your hands.

$22 BTL. / $264 CASE

 2011 Celler Pardas Xarel-lo, Penedès, Spain

When you write thousands of descriptions of wines over the course of your life, you have a difficult time really highlighting something you wish each of your customers would try.

Sometimes you repeat yourself, offering said wine each and every vintage and making sure you use words like “the best” and “greatest” over and over again.

We’ve done it many times with the wines of Celler Pardas, a producer that we have been championing for many years.

Guess what?  We are going to do it yet another time.

The new arrivals of Celler Pardas just landed, and we are excited to share the new vintage of the flagship wine of the winery with you, their truly spectacular Xarel.lo.

Celler Pardas is located in the Alt Penedès region of Catalunya, just south of Barcelona.  They are huge proponents of the white grape varietal Xarel.lo, which is notably used in Cava production.

They don’t produce a Cava, rather focuses on three white wines made from Xarel.lo.

We know that their isn’t much of a reference point for this type of wine, but we liken it to a Mediterranean version of White Burgundy.  It has texture and weight, but still feels refreshing, and often times offers some of those hazelnut notes that White Burgundy can give off.  Yet its distinctly Catalan, and those herbs and spices you smell are characteristic of the Alt Penedes and the Pardas home called Can Comas.

So here we are again, making sure that we encourage you to try the Cellar Pardas Xarel.lo.  It is a real wine, made by hardworking, dedicated people, farming the way a good vigneron should.  It’s the type of wine you should and would want to support, and we feel so lucky to be able to offer it to you.

One of the highlights of the year and really my foodie life, was when Abraham Conlon of Fat Rice paired the 2010 vintage with a dish composed of fresh matsutake mushrooms, apple and foie gras.  This is a gastronomic wine, and so play around with it, because it will surprise you in how it goes with many types of foods.

$28 BTL. / $168 SIX-PACK CASE

 2013 Deltetto Barbera d’Alba Superiore “Brame’,” Langhe, Italy
If you say the word Barbera to an Italian wine lover, they will probably start thinking about their next meal.

That’s because Barbera, one of the great grape varietals of Piemonte in Northwest Italy, just happens to be one of those wines that you always want at your dinner table. Brambly fruit, soft tannins, freshness all in a distinctly NW Italian package, well its got us salivating over here.

Craig goes way, way back with the Deltetto wines.  Back when he lived in Oregon these were widely found at some of the best restaurants in Portland.  That’s because aside from Oregon Pinot, Portlanders love their Piedmont!

So needless to say, Craig was extra stoked to know that the wines of Deltetto come to Chicago, and they are clearly wines you need to know.  Located in Canale in the Roero, Carlo Deltetto produces a wide range of excellent Sparkling Wine, White Wine and of course Red Wine.  You really should try them all.

But to start, go with this Barbera that comes from higher elevation vineyards, and is vinified simply, with maceration for 7 days in tank and aging in large oak casks to bring some oxygen, but not wood flavors.

Now lets talk about food.  Of course this goes with pasta, something classic like a tajarin with a ragù.  But don’t hesitate to put this against meats such as poultry, veal or even pork.  It really is versatile, and most of all delicious.

$17 BTL. / $204 CASE
 2013 Bodegas Bouza Tannat Reserva, Uruguay

We know that many of our customers have been firing up their grills on a more routine basis as of late.  So we wanted to think outside the box and bring you a red to pair with those steaks and burgers that you are cooking.

When was the last time you tried something from Uruguay?

There is a lot of potential in the wines of Uruguay.  With a climate similar to Bordeaux and regions with proximity to the sea, their is both the terroir and climate necessary to make great wines that have potential to age.  There are a variety of grapes planted in Uruguay, but in our opinion, Tannat has been the most exciting of those varieties.

Bodegas Bouza is one of the most respected wineries in Uruguay. The winery is located in Melilla, and one of the two vineyards used for this wine comes from just outside the winery.  The other vineyard is called Las Violetas, and is just 39 kilometers from downtown Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay.

The 2013 Bouza Tannat Reserva is an excellent introduction into both the grape and Uruguay itself.  It offers dark fruit, plum, cassis and even cocoa notes on the nose and palate.  It is medium bodied, with a slight hint of tannins in the mid palate, but finishes with fruit and overall good balance.

So next time you think grill, think Bouza Tannat.  Expand your horizons.

$20 BTL. / $240 CASE

 2014 Emile Beyer Pinot Blanc “Tradition,” Alsace, France

Guilty as charged.  That is right, we admit our guilt when it comes to not giving the wines of Alsace their due in our store.  A little explanation though – how many times do we have people come through on a routine basis and ask for Alsace?  Let alone, how many times would they be willing to drop $30-$50 on a bottle on a weeknight?

So it’s refreshing to us when we try wines from Alsace that can be enjoyed on an “everyday” type basis.  So let us introduce you to the wines of Emile Beyer, located in beautiful village of Eguisheim.

Any starting point in trying the wines of a good Alsatian producer will start with their Pinot Blanc.  Often times the Pinot Blanc will include a little of the lesser known varietal Pinot Auxerrois.  Pinot Blanc is a very neutral grape variety, and can range from overcropped and very light, to well made, with good dimension, but still an elegant, fruit forward style.  The Beyer version is the one you want to try, as its pure, with floral, citrus and pear notes, and offers that dimension that we want in any wine.

In general, the wines of Alsace are so flexible at the table, and that is true to form with this Pinot Blanc.  I’d be happy to bring this to a diverse group of BYOB’s, it will work with fish, poultry and even pork.

Always a great value.

$14 BTL. / $168 CASE