Category Archives: Friday Features/Newsletters

Friday Feature – Chenin and Cidre – What More do You Need?

Hello and Happy Friday,
Our newsletters and selections are inspired by our lives, and most notably our travels.
Having settled back in from a recent trip to France, today’s newsletter was born out of nostalgia from this recent jaunt. While its true that we just traveled to Burgundy and Champagne, our dinner wines often veered away from the local wine.
To be honest we found ourselves drinking a lot of Chenin Blanc at dinner. There is no doubt that Chenin Blanc is one of the world’s most noble grape varieties. It also almost always over delivers for the price you are paying, and on any restaurant wine list it is likely to be one of the best quality-to-price-ratio wines.
Recently we tried a couple of absolutely outstanding Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley of France. This is one of the top places in the world for Chenin Blanc. It is sad for me to point out that in recent vintages, weather hasn’t been kind to the region. The wines featured on today’s newsletter were not made in the 2016 vintage due to catastrophe weather. So we call upon you to stock up on the wines today, as you won’t see them for a couple years. I’m surprised that CNN hasn’t run with a “CHENIN SHORTAGE” headline on the top of their feed.
We also decided to feature, for the first time ever, a cider producer on our newsletter. This is a “real deal” cider producer from Normandy in France. Cider is one of the best things to drink with food, and these in particular are must tries for any fans of the beverage. They are also extremely limited, with only about 120 bottles coming in the Chicago market per year.
Have a great weekend,
Craig, Jamie & Evie

Friday Feature
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2015 Domaine Marie Thibault “Premier Nez” Touraine Azay-le-Rideau Blanc
Despite not coming from a winemaking family, Marie Thibault-Cabrit has gained over a decade of experience honing her craft as a winemaker and sharing her passion of wine with others.
Marie began wine making in the early 2000s though studied the process long beforehand, obtaining degrees in biology and oenology in college. She also spent time working for François Chidaine in Montlouis, and it was during this time that she fell in love with the grape varietal of this wine, Chenin Blanc.
Marie has been working with Chenin Blanc, along with Gamay, Côt and Grolleau, on her 3.5 hectare domaine in Azay-le-Rideau since 2011. Azay-le-Rideau is not a very well known area in the Torraine appellation, however, we’re certainly excited about what Marie is doing there.
Once she obtained the domaine, Marie began immediately farming organically in 2011 and is now certified organic since 2014. Her parcel of 50 year old vines are on gentle slopes of white clay and limestone soil. These soils certainly produce a wine that is mineral driven and full of character.
The vines receive no chemical treatment, weeds are pulled out by hand, virtually every single aspect in the vineyard is done through manual labor. Once picked, the grapes see very little intervention in the winery, eventually seeing 18 months of aging in neutral barrels and bottled unfiltered. This non filtration really lets the fruit and terroir speak for itself, and boy does it ever.
The Premier Nez has ripe stone and tropical fruit notes on the nose, with hints of white flowers, chamomile tea and spice. There are similar notes on the palate with a strong underlying minerality which gives this wine such delicious complexity and a very satisfying finish.
You could enjoy this wine as an apéritif, as well as with chicken or grilled seafood. It could also pair well with goat milk-based cheeses and even a torchon of foie gras. Let’s face it, no one should deny themselves of a little foie and Chenin Blanc.
Very limited, so make sure to stock up now!
$28.99 BTL / $347.88 CASE
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2015 Le Sot de l’Ange “La Goujonnière” Touraine Azay-le-Rideau Blanc
Though Quentin Bourse’s label Le Sot de l’Ange roughly translates to “Idiot Angel,” Quentin on the contrary could easily be described as a genius winemaker. He hasn’t been in the winemaking business for an extensive amount of time, but like all geniuses he caught on quickly.
Quentin spent time working in vineyards of various producers, including the famed Vouvray producer, Domaine Huet. After his time spent working with these different producers he became obsessed with winemaking and took over a friend’s 12 hectare estate in 2012.
It’s this obsession that has led Quintin to put in relentless work in the vineyard and be continuously innovative and meticulous in his winemaking to produce as perfect as a wine as he possibly can.
There is indeed some serious work that goes into each vine, as Quentin adheres to biodynamic practices in his vineyard, which is tricky and very rare in the area of Azay-Le-Rideau in the Toraine. In much of this area the soils are clay and silica with white silex stones peeking through.
By upholding the biodynamic practices, Quentin is able to capitalize on all the soils bring to the vines. He also ensures that the grapes reach peak phenolic ripeness by inspecting and picking the grapes, berry by berry, by hand with the help of only 20 or so of his close friends.
This “by hand” process doesn’t stop there. The grapes are then sorted manually four times before being whole-cluster fermented with indigenous yeasts in tank.
The wine is then gently pressed and aged in three different vessels, (this is where you see Quentin’s meticulous nature shine through) he uses a type of oak barrel made to his exact specifications deemed the “cigar” barrel, clay amphora, and terra cotta amphora. The terra cotta barrel actually adds a layer of texture to the  wine.
The final result is a wine with an expressive nose of stone and white fruit, orange blossom and  hints of baking spice. There are delicate fruit and citrus notes on the palate and has a velvety texture but still with plenty of acidity to make this a perfectly (and meticulously) balanced wine.
Only 60 bottles for the entire Illinois market, so speak now or miss out on this epic Chenin.
$31.99 BTL / $383.88 CASE
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Cidre 2 Table
There couldn’t be a more appropriate name in the world for a Cider producer. That is because Cider is one of the great adult beverages to pair with food. An artisanal, dry Cider like the two we are featuring today can work through a long meal, pairing with everything from seafood to steaks.
Cyril Zangs is obsessed with making great cider, and in his short time in the business, he has become well-known in the cider world for his delicious Normandy ciders. Their complexity comes from the diversity of types of apples grown in his orchards. They are hand harvested, separated by variety and ripened in their barns.
The apples are then grated, put into a hydraulic press for gently pressing and the juice goes into vat for a 6 month fermentation process. The unfiltered ciders go into bottle, stored, disgorged by hand and commercialized.
We have two excellent ciders for you to choose from. It’s impossible to choose, so just try them both! And remember to buy multiple bottles because they quickly disappear at the dinner table!
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Cidre 2 Table “Brut” 2015
This is an incredible blend of 69 different varieties of apples. Bone dry, beautiful fruit, but yet rustic. This has great texture, and will be really fantastic with more meat based dishes, from chicken to pork to steak.
$21.00 PER 750 ML BTL / $252.00 CASE 
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Cidre 2 Table “This Sider Up” 2015
Another beautiful cider, this time produced from 9 different varieties from a single orchard just off the coast in Normandy. Another bone dry cider, this with a more mineral and fruit driven style. Very elegant and perfect with seafood or just to sip. Super complex.
 
$23.00 PER 750 ML BTL / $276.00 CASE
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Introducing Champagne Piollot

Hello and Happy Friday!
Every April, Craig travels to France to visit with producers in Champagne and Burgundy. Due to his travels, the store will be closed the following dates:
Store Closed Monday, April 17th
Store Closed Monday, April 24th
 
Today’s newsletter is the result of Craig’s extensive travel in the Champagne region. We are very excited to release for the first time in Illinois the beautiful Champagne of Roland Piollot of Champagne Piollot. These incredibly expressive bubbles are not only delicious, but also true reflections of their terroir, and also incredible values.
We can’t recommend them enough!
Have a great weekend,
Craig, Jamie & Evie
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Champagne Piollot
There are few more historic regions in all of France than Champagne. Despite its long history, the last two decades have brought an incredible amount of change.
The backbone of the Champagne region has always been its thousands of family growers. Historically the majority of these growers sold their fruit to larger Champagne houses, called négociants.
One of the most significant changes over the last 20 years has been the emergence of grower Champagne houses, those that don’t sell their fruit, instead producing their own Champagne from these grapes.
There are a lot of benefits to the grower Champagne movement. The first and most significant is that there has been an increased focus on organic and sustainable viticulture.
The second most significant benefit is that we as the consumer now have a better concept of the “terroir” of Champagne. We know what a Pinot Noir based Champagne from the village of Cumières taste like. We can compare different expressions of Chardonnay Côte des Blancs. And even underdog regions like Montgeux and the Aube are getting their deserved share of praise.
Which leads me into the focus of our newsletter today, the brilliant Champagne of Roland Piollot of Champagne Piollot.
Over the last few years I’ve had the opportunity to taste with Roland and visit his winery located in Polisot, a beautiful and idyllic village in the Aube region of Southern Champagne.
Roland is a 5th generation grower, and for years his family had sold much of their fruit to négociants. Shortly after Roland joined the family business after his studies, they stopped selling their fruit, and instead became a grower Champagne house.
There are many reasons why these wines are special, but I wanted to highlight some of the most important.
  • Terroir. We have true expressions of terroir in these single vineyard Champagnes.
  • Organic viticulture. There are no chemical products or fertilizers used in the vineyards. Piollot has gone through the exhaustive process of certify the vineyards as organic, and also applies Biodynamic principles to his work.
  • Massal Selection. All of the vines are Massal Selection, no clones. Roland’s father, Robert, was the leader in the region for Massal Selection, having started a grafting business in the 1950’s. This genetic diversity in the vineyard is widely thought of as producing grapes with more complexity.
  • Old Vines. More than half of the vineyards are over 40 years-old.
  • Passion. You can’t underestimate the passion that Roland has for growing grapes and producing Champagne true to its roots. You can really feel the energy in these wines.
Needless to say we are very excited to introduce these to you. Not only are they great Champagnes, they are exceptional values given the work that goes into them.
Please do not miss these!
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2011 Champagne Piollot “Champs Rayes” Blanc de Blancs Brut Nature 
This is one of two Blanc de Blancs produced at the estate. This one made entirely of Chardonnay from Noé-les-Mallets, an area just 18 kilometers northeast of Polisot. Roland blends from two vineyards for “Champs Rayes,” the majority of the cuvée from a vineyard comprised of striped marl.
It is a gorgeous Champagne, with very elegant bubbles, ripe stone fruit, citrus and hazelnuts. Incredibly complex and crowd pleasing.
$49.99 BTL / $599.88 CASE
 
*Magnums (2013 vintage) also available $99.99 BTL, please inquire
 
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2013 Champagne Piollot “Colas Robin” Blanc de Blancs Brut Nature
robin
The other Blanc de Blancs from Piollot is made entirely of Pinot Blanc, a speciality of the Aube region. The vineyard of Val Colas Robin in Polisot was planted by hand in 1955.
It is rare in Champagne to find an entirely Pinot Blanc based Champagne, and this one, along with the beautiful expressions from Gerbais and Bouchard, is a must try for any Champagne enthusiast.
Apple and citrus combine with notes of spice and mineral. It is both concentrated and fresh, with a finish that goes on and on. Absolutely beautiful.
$51.99 BTL / $623.88 CASE

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2012 Champagne Piollot “Les Gravelées” Rosé Brut Nature 
Roland’s smallest production, a foot-tread Rosé made entirely of Pinot Noir from a south-facing parcel in Polisot.
This Rosé Champagne is both pure and discreet, with aromas of rhubarb, dark cherry skin and hints of licorice. Good breadth in the mid-palate without ever feeling heavy, it finishes long with warming baking spices.
A truly impressive Rosé Champagne
$58.99 BTL / $707.88 CASE – ONLY 40 BOTTLES AVAILABLE
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4/7/17 French Underdogs

Hello and Happy Friday!
 
Last night we had a fantastic tasting at the store focused on the “underdogs” of France. The idea for the tasting was born out of March Madness. In the tournament, we all love to root for the underdog.
So we began to think, what if we did a tasting that focused on the “underdog” appellations of France?
Last night’s tasting proved that there are so many great wines produced in France outside of the famous wines from Bordeaux, Burgundy, Alsace and the Rhône Valley.
Today’s newsletter is a recap of last night’s tasting. It is full of unique and delicious wines that we highly recommend to you. Some of these are quite limited, and we’ve noted those with few remaining bottles. Email us to secure your bottles today.
Have a great weekend,
Craig, Jamie & Evie
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French Underdogs
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2014 Domaine Les Poëte Blanc, Reuilly
We love the brilliant wines of Guillaume Sorbe of Domaine Les Poëte. This fantastic example of Sauvignon Blanc displays perfect balance, with citrus and herbs well integrated in a medium-weight frame. This shows what great farming can do for Sauvignon from this humble appellation.
$26.99 BTL / $323.88 CASE

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2013 Vin des Fossiles “Cuvée Adrien” Chardonnay, Saône-et-Loire
 
Jean-Claude Berthillot is doing brilliant work in the Saône-et-Loire from his 8 hectare esteate. This may be one of the greatest Chardonnay values we have in the store, a wine that has fresh stone fruit qualities, medium weight, and a long, dry finish. Its simply delicious.
$21.99 BTL / $263.88 CASE -26 BOTTLES AVAILABLE
 
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2015 Domaine des Marnes Blanche Savagnin, Côtes du Jura
We are convinced that the Fromont family is making some of the best wines in the Jura today. This Ouillé style of the local Savagnin grape is really fantastic, displaying the richness of Savagnin, along with flowers, pear and earth notes. It is a truly gastronomic wine, and also has a great future ahead of it in bottle. Jura fans should not miss this.
$34.99 BTL / $419.88 CASE – 24 BOTTLES AVAILABLE
 
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2014 Jean-Baptiste Arena “Grotte di Sole,” Corsica
Very few names are as famous in the Corsican wine scene as Arena. This stunning and complex white wine from Jean-Baptiste Arena comes from he Grotte di Sole vineyard or “sunny grotto,” which is a South-facing vineyard in the Patrimonio region. Old-vine Vermentino, this has layers and layers of citrus and herbs with an underlying minerality. Exceptional and very rare.

$53.99 BTL / $647.88 CASE – 11 BOTTLES AVAILABLE

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2010 Mas Jullien Pays d’Hérault Blanc

I’ve always felt this to be one of France’s greatest white wines. A humble Pays d’Hérault from one of the great winemakers of the Languedoc, Olivier Jullien. A blend of Clairette, Carignan Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Roussanne, and Grenache Blanc. Fresh and dried stone fruit, flint, honey, and a finish that goes on forever and makes you salivate. Stunning wine, and worth every penny.

$49.99 BTL / $599.88 CASE – 24 BOTTLES AVAILABLE
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2013 Domaine Sérol “Les Millerands,” Côte Roannaise

50 kilometers west of Lyon, crossing the Loire River you arrive in Roanne. The Côte Roannaise AOC was born in 2004. Yet the Sérol family has been growing grapes for 5 generations. This delicious, juicy red wine is pure Gamay Noir grown on granite. Its fresh and elegant, but also complex and ready to pair with a wide array of foods.

$21.99 BTL / $263.88 CASE
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bugey

2011 Thierry Tissot “Mataret” Mondeuse, Bugey
Last call on this fantastic wine from Thierry Tissot in Bugey. Restoring the Mataret vineyard, which locals knew as an excellent vineyard back in its day, it then fell into disrepair. Tissot has luckily began to restore it, planting Altesse and Mondeuse. This red made from Mondeuse is one you should decant, because with a little air it displays its beautiful red fruits with just a touch of rusticity that makes it so food friendly.

$15.00 BTL / $180.00 CASE
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cayrou

2012 Château de Cayrou “La Tour du Cayrou,” Cahors
A name to know in the appellation of Cahors. Located in Southwest France, Cahors has seen a resurgence alongside the world wide popularity of Malbec, locally known as Côt Noir. Julien Goursaud has done brilliant work with this well-situated property, right on the Lot river. “La Tour du Cayrou” shows beautiful dark fruit, medium-plus weight, with earthy, spice and freshness on the long finish. One of the better Cahors we have tried in some time.
 
$23.99 BTL / $287.88 CASE – 22 BOTTLES AVAILABLE
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moulin

2013 Domaine du Moulin “Florentin,” Gaillac
We love the work the Hirrisou family of Domaine du Moulin is doing in Gaillac. This humble appellation that sits Southeast of Cahors and due east of Fronton, produces wines made from the local Braucol grape. “Florentin” is one of the top wines of the domaine, made entirely of Braucol, fermented and aged in oak. It is hearty, with dark fruit, spice and structure. A wine to enjoy with red meat, this will also age for a decade in bottle.
$38.99 BTL / $467.88 CASE
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2013 Domaine La Madura “Grand Vin” Rouge, Saint-Chinian
One of our favorite wineries in the Languedoc, Cyril and Nadia are making excellent wines in the Saint-Chinian appellation. This, their top red is predominantly made from Syrah and Mourvèdre, with a little bit of Grenache and Carignan. The brand new 2013 just arrived and we had a sneak preview, look for this in the upcoming 6 for Everyday, $30 and under edition. It’s fantastic.
$29.99 BTL / $359.88 CASE
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3/17/17 – Quinta Vale d. Maria Releases

Hello and Happy Friday!
 
One more call out for anyone interested in a fun, informal walk-around tasting in the store on Thursday, March 23rd with a fantastic California producer:
WHEN: Thursday, March 23rd from 5:30PM to 7:00PM (you can arrive at any point in that window of time)
WHERE: Perman Wine Selections, 802 W Washington Blvd.
WHAT: Hobo Wine Company tasting, with owner-winemaker Kenny Likitprakong.
People are always asking us for values from California. Most of the great value wines that come from California tend to be bulk juice with questionable origins marketed to the masses. Those are not wines we stand behind at Perman Wine Selections.
One of the most exciting discoveries on my trip to California last year were Kenny’s wines. They come from real places, he has great relationships with the farmers, and his excitement and passion come from wanting to deliver great wines at every day price points. It is a refreshing change of pace from the California mainstream.
COST: $10 per person
SIGN UP: Secure your spot by calling the store with your payment information. Even though this is not a sit down tasting, space (and wine) is limited and must be reserved ahead of time. 312.666.4417
Tickets are $10.00/Person. This is a walk-around tasting and limited to approximately 30 people. Tickets are fully refundable with 72 hours (Monday March 20th). Tickets must be secured with payment. Please call the store at 312-666-4417.
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Quinta Vale d. Maria
Just recently returning from a work trip to Portugal, its perfect timing to announce the new releases from one of, if not THE, top producers of the Douro Valley in Portugal.
We have a lot of exciting new releases in this newsletter, including two new incredible, world-class white wines, and a line-up of Tawny Ports that are very rare and incredible!
Don’t miss these!
Have a great weekend,
Craig, Jamie & Evie
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Quinta Vale d. Maria

The Douro Valley is a UNESCO World Heritage site for a reason, the twists and turns of the valley, the incredible steep, terraced hillsides all along the Douro river are a sight to be seen.
Beauty, however, is not responsible for making great wine. The terroir and those who carefully farm, harvest, and make the wine are responsible. Quinta Vale D. Maria ranks as one of the most beautiful vineyards I have ever visited, as well as one of the most torturous to farm and work in.
The history of Quinta Vale D. Maria starts in 1996, when it was acquired by Cristiano Van Zeller and his wife Joana. The property had been in Joana’s family for many years. A huge restoration of the property needed to take place, as well as increasing of vineyards through new plantings and long-term leases.
Today, Quinta Vale D. Maria has 31 hectares of vineyards. The family owns 16 hectares and they are planted to vines 60-80 years old.  There are 10 hectares which have a long lease with vines between 25 and 80 years, and new plantings of 5 hectares occurred in 2004 and 2007.
With each new vintage it is important to remember that generalizations about the vintage don’t paint the whole picture.  If you have ever been to the Douro you know it offers many different expositions, elevations, and even slight changes to the soils.  Different Douro estates, within a few kilometers, all experience variations in vintage that ultimately impact their wines.
A range of wines is made at Quinta Vale D. Maria, from their value range called “Rufo” to the estate red, Curriculum Vitae, single vineyard wines, and of course Port. This year they released to new white wines to the market that we are very excited about. The estate wines and Ports are very limited in terms of quantity can often be difficult to find.
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2013 Quinta Vale D. Maria Douro Tinto
This is the flagship wine of Quinta Vale D. Maria.
There are over 40 different traditional grape varieties blended in this wine, with an average vine age of 60 years.  The vineyards are co-planted with these indigenous varieties and harvested together.  Some of the names include Tinta Amarela, Rufete, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Francisca, Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional and Sousão.
After harvesting, the grapes are foot trodden in traditional lagares, or open top stone tanks, with this process typically lasting 1 to 3 days.  There is temperature controlled lining in the lagares to ensure a fermentation range in the 22 to 27 degree Celsius.  Malolactic fermentation takes place in oak casks of two different sizes, and then the wine is aged for 21 months in barrique (75% new, 25% 1 year).
This has the concentration you would expect from a Quinta Vale D. Maria wine, but finishes with more freshness and great length.  I had a chance to taste a 2004 vintage with Cristiano, which was a cooler vintage, and it was still in great shape.
The best part about this wine is that it can be opened now (give it a little time in a decanter) and will age nicely over a decade.
We are the only source for this wine in Illinois, because of its big press, it quickly sold out worldwide.
$59.99 BTL / LIMITED

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2014 Quinta Vale D. Maria “Curriculum Vitae” Tinto
Before Cristiano decided to make his two single vineyard wines, Curriculum Vitae was considered the top wine of the house.  Today, it is one of the top three, but still one of the most impressive wines made in Portugal.
The grapes are grown in one of their vineyards along the river Torto.  It is a North-facing vineyard, very old vines, with more than 80 years of age.
The grapes are foot trodden at Quinta Vale D. Maria for 2 days at a cool temperature between 16 and 18 degrees Celsius.  50% of that juice is fermented in the same lagares, and the other 50% in stainless steel vats.  Aging is done in barrique, 75% new and 25% one-year barrels.  Production is usually around 5,036 bottles.
It leans toward dark fruits, with notes of black cherry and plum, and also shows some baking spices from the oak, yet the finish has soft tannin and great length.
I have no problem with someone opening and decanting a bottle right now.  In fact I would ask that next time you need a gift bottle for someone that is over immersed in wines like Napa Cabernet or even Châteauneuf-du-Pape, that you bring a bottle of this to try!
This of course will age nicely in one’s cellar for 10-20+ years.
$99.99 BTL / LIMITED
 
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2014 Quinta Vale D. Maria “Vinha da Francisca”
A single plot on the Quinta Vale D. Maria estate, the vines for Vinha da Francisca were planted in 2004. The 4.5 hectare vineyard is planted with Tinta Francisca (an old variety introduced in the Douro in 1756), Touriga Franca, Sousão, Rufete and Touriga Nacional.
Like the others, the grapes are foot trodden in lagares, but also fermented in those lagares. The wine is racked into Allier oak, undergoing malolactic fermentation in those barrels and aging.
The hallmark of this wine is its aromatic exuberance, always teeming with beautiful red fruits, mineral and spice.  It has a very seductive, silky texture that firms up a bit at the end.
Only 7,800 bottles produced, and this will be very rarely seen in the United States.
$99.99 BTL / LIMITED
 
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2014 Quinta Vale D. Maria “Vinha do Rio”
The amazing thing about the Quinta Vale D. Maria estate is that every plot is identified and many vinified on their own.
It was this knowledge of the different terroir within the property that led Cristiano Van Zeller to make a special wine from his oldest parcel on the property.  Called Vinha do Rio (River Vineyard) it sits at a lower elevation, very close to the river.  The vines were planted over 100 years ago.
The wine is fermented and aged in the same manner as Vinha da Francisca, but the flavors and identity are completely different.
Compared alongside the Vinha da Francisca, the aromas introduce a dark cherry, red currant note alongside darker berries, notes of mineral and cocoa.  Texturally, this is much richer and more full-bodied than Vinha da Francisca, but again with that hallmark balance and complexity.
With only 2696 bottles produced, this is very rare stuff indeed. This is always the wine that sells out the fastest from the winery and usually from our store as well.
Cellar and drink from 2020 through 2036+.
This is one of the greatest red wines of the Iberian Peninsula.

$149.99 BTL / LIMITED

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2015 Quinta Vale D. Maria “Curriculum Vitae” Branco
Only the second release of this new wine from Quinta Vale D. Maria.
Since we are offering this alongside the following wine “Vinha de Martim” we should explain the differences as if you are (and should be) tasting them side by side.
The best white wines of the Douro are grown in old-vine, high altitude vineyards. Both the Curriculum Vitae white and the Vinha de Martim white come from different parcels/vineyards. They are both field blends, from very old-vines, and both barrel fermented and aged.
According to winemaker Joana Pinhão, “The body and soul of the wines are quite different. CV is always richer, bigger and bolder while Martim engages more mineral character, more vibrant acidity and beautiful citric aftertaste. CV is a more ‘horizontal’ wine and Martim a more ‘vertical’ one.
We’ve decided to included a recent review from The Wine Advocate for more complete tasting notes.
“The 2015 Branco CV is an old vines (over 80 years) field blend, aged for nine months in French oak (80% new and 20% second use). This is potentially a brilliant Branco in the making. It was wholly unevolved when seen this summer in Porto, just before bottling, but it has all the earmarks of a great white. Showing exceptional concentration and equally good structure, this has the intensity and power to support and lift the concentrated fruit. Its only flaw at the moment is that it shows too much oak, but as noted with some of the others here, that’s to be expected when it was not even yet bottled. It has the structure and mid-palate to pull it in. This has the potential to age well, but let’s be a bit conservative just now. It should also improve with a couple of years of cellaring, at the least, so don’t dive in right away. As an aside, I couldn’t easily decide whether I liked this or the Vinha de Martim (also reviewed) more. That, perhaps, showed a bit more zing and this a bit more concentration, but they both do everything well. I would give this CV the nod for the moment, though. 95 Points, Mark Squires.”
An incredible white wine that we suggest treating like a fine White Burgundy, drinking at cellar temperature, and out of a Burgundy stem.
Truly incredible.
$78.99 BTL / LIMITED – ONLY 24 BOTTLES IMPORTED
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2015 Quinta Vale D. Maria “Vinha de Martim” Branco

martim

The first ever release of “Vinha de Martim.” Please see notes from CV Branco above. Below another description from The Wine Advocate.


“The 2015 Vinha de Martim “Vale da Maria” is a new offering, sourced from a north and east-facing single vineyard (over 80 years old). It is getting somewhat difficult to differentiate between the many levels and labels here, but here is another. It is a field blend aged for nine months in French oak (75% new and 25% second use). This one proves its case. Simply brilliant, this emphasizes its zing and zest in its youth, its core of acidity beautifully supporting the fruit. Intense and gripping on the finish, this has exciting grip and fine penetration. Not quite bottled when seen, this looks very promising, to say the least. It will be interesting to see how this new offering performs. 94-95 Points, Mark Squires.”

For those that love a “saltier” more mineral white wine. A really special white wine.

$71.99 BTL / LIMITED – ONLY 24 BOTTLES IMPORTED
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A QUICK NOTE ON THE FOLLOWING PORTS:
When you talk about the greatest Port families of Portugal, you have to include the Van Zeller family. As far back as 1780, the family was a Port wine shipper. Up until 1993, Cristian Van Zeller was the head of Quinta do Noval, one of the most prestigious Port houses and producers of the iconic “Nacional,” considered by most to be the great Port of Portugal.
Below we have a great line-up of Ports, including a couple that come from the Quinta Vale D. Maria property, an excellent look into a single Quinta Port. There is also an incredible range of Tawny Ports. The older, the more rare, and we are incredible lucky to score some of the 30 and 40 Year-Old Tawnys, of which they bottled very little. There is also a special “Colheita” which is a vintage dated Tawny from 1975. This wine is bottled under the Van Zeller label.
If you are a Port lover, we do not want you to miss these, they are truly special.
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Quinta Vale D. Maria Reserve Port “Lot 14”
One of two Ports in the line up that falls under the Ruby category. Technically a single harvest Reserve port, it is not permitted by law to make single harvest Reserve Port. The family sort of went around this with crafty naming, hence the “Lot 14” in place of 2014 vintage.

$23.99 BTL 
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Quinta Vale D. Maria 10 year Tawny Port
$36.99 BTL / LIMITED
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Quinta Vale D. Maria 30 yr Tawny Port
$99.99 BTL / VERY LIMITED
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Quinta Vale D. Maria 40 yr Tawny Port
$149.99 BTL / VERY LIMITED
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Quinta Vale D. Maria Vintage Port 2011
$59.99 BTL / LIMITED
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Van Zeller “VZ” 1975 Colheita Port
Colheita (pronounced Col-yate-a) is a single vintage-dated Tawny Port, (all grapes are from one harvest) which are aged in small used oak barrels. In Portugese the word “Colheita” actually means “harvest”.
A Colheita Port must be aged in cask at least 7 years, though eight years is pretty typical, and they may spend as many as 50 or more years maturing in wood. Look for the date of bottling on the front or the back label (“Bottled In 19XX  or 20XX”) along with the words “matured in wood” or “aged in cask”. Colheitas offer excellent value as these wines are well aged, can be considered outstanding quality Tawny Ports, and are less expensive than similarly aged Vintage Port.
Colheita must be “declared” after approval by the I.V.D.P. (Port and Douro Wine Institute, located in Oporto). There is even less Colheita produced than Vintage Port, approximately 1% of all Port production. It is far more popular in Portugal than here in the U.S. where it is just becoming of intrigue in recent years.
Colheitas change dramatically during extended time in cask and take on flavors of dried fruits, nuts, citrus and exotic spices, while becoming very smooth and complex the older they get.
This Colheita was bottled in 2016, with 40+ years in cask. Truly epic.
$259.99 BTL / VERY LIMITED
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Spring Releases from Paolo Scavino!

Hello and Happy Friday!
 
Just a quick reminder that we are hosting an informal walk-around tasting in the store on Thursday, March 23rd with a fantastic California producer. Call now to reserve your spot!
WHEN: Thursday, March 23rd from 5:30PM to 7:00PM (you can arrive at any point in that window of time)
WHERE: Perman Wine Selections, 802 W Washington Blvd.
WHAT: Hobo Wine Company tasting, with owner-winemaker Kenny Likitprakong.
People are always asking us for values from California. Most of the great value wines that come from California tend to be bulk juice with questionable origins marketed to the masses. Those are not wines we stand behind at Perman Wine Selections.
One of the most exciting discoveries on my trip to California last year were Kenny’s wines. They come from real places, he has great relationships with the farmers, and his excitement and passion come from wanting to deliver great wines at every day price points. It is a refreshing change of pace from the California mainstream.
COST: $10 per person
SIGN UP: Secure your spot by calling the store with your payment information. Even though this is not a sit down tasting, space (and wine) is limited and must be reserved ahead of time. 312.666.4417
Tickets are $10.00/Person. This is a walk-around tasting and limited to approximately 30 people. Tickets are fully refundable with 72 hours (Monday, March 20th). Tickets must be secured with payment. Please call the store at 312-666-4417.
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Flavor Flav once suggested that you shouldn’t believe the hype. While I’m a big P.E. fan, in the case of 2013 Barolo, you should believe the hype!
This is the time of year when we start to see trickling in the new releases from some of the top producers in Piedmont.
Paolo Scavino is amongst the best producers of Barolo. Founded in 1921, Elisa and Enrica Scavino are the fourth generation heading up the winery. There are many things special about Scavino, but a tasting of their line-up reveals a tour around the appellation. Not only does Scavino make Barolo blended from different communes, but they have an incredible line-up of single vineyard offerings from the villages of Roddi, Verduno, La Morra, Barolo and Castiglione Falletto.
On Wednesday night, we here at Perman Wine tasting through the range of 2013 Baroli, and can confirm wholeheartedly their greatness.
We also got the rare chance to taste what is on the short list of the best wines of Piedmont, the Riserva from Rocche dell’Annuziata, which is currently from the 2011 vintage. It is one of the best Barolo I have tasted in the past year.
All the wines below (with the exception of Cannubi) have just arrived in Chicago.
Don’t miss these!
Have a great weekend,
Craig, Jamie & Evie
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Paolo Scavino
This week we had the pleasure of tasting through the latest 2013 releases of the famed Barolo estate, Paolo Scavino, which were spectacular as always.
As huge fans of the region, we have always tried to offer our customers a handful of the top growers from the region. The Scavino wines are always highly recommended, and this most definitely includes the list below.
Now in its fourth generation, under Elisa and Enrica Scavino, this is a special estate that owns 23 hectares of vines in 19 Barolo Crus (vineyards).
If you have traveled to the region (and we love to ourselves), then you have witnessed the beautiful rolling hills where vineyards seemingly are everywhere. What isn’t apparent is that within the vast landscape, only a few of these vineyards are truly exceptional.
So when you get a chance to taste with a winery like Scavino, and notice the exceptional quality, they will tell you it is because they have the honor of working with grapes from so many magical  and prized vineyards.
Aside from the terroir, there is the family.  Dedicated to their vineyards and grapes, Elisa’s father is also a great innovator in the winery, even designing tanks that allow the cap to be totally submerged, a process that is more gentle, and just one example of the total thought process that goes into making the most beautiful wines, and letting the terroir shine through.
The 2013 Cru wines are really fantastic.  The vintage was very wet in the beginning, which delayed harvest by a couple of weeks, but enthusiasts are already likening the 2013 wines to the legendary 2010 vintage: classic with plenty of acidity, firm but ripe tannins and near-perfect balance in the best examples. If you love finesse in wines, then this is truly your vintage.  We were blown away by them!
The Cru Barolo will likely sell out as they always do, so it is important to order now. Don’t miss these truly exceptional examples of Nebbiolo!
P.S. – Please inquire about magnum formats, as many of the Cru selections are available in large format.
 
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2013 Paolo Scavino Langhe Nebbiolo
A great introduction to the highly anticipated 2013 Piedmont vintage.  We were stunned by the complexity and pedigree of this wine, and the incredible value it offers. Drink now or hold even for 5-8 years.

$21.00 BTL / $252.00 CASE

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2013 Paolo Scavino Barolo
This is the flagship wine of the estate, utilizing fruit from each of their seven crus in its production. Each plot is vinified and aged separately, then blended to produce a harmonious wine that is both representative of the vintage, various terroirs, and philosophies of the Scavino family.
$39.99 BTL / $479.88 CASE
 
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2013 Paolo Scavino Barolo “Carobric”
This wine is produced from three cru vineyards: Cannubi, Rocche di Castiglione and Fiasco. Historically Barolo was always a blended wine and this bottling harkens back to those days.
$64.99 BTL / $389.94 SIX PACK CASE
 
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2013 Paolo Scavino Barolo “Bricco Ambrogio”
 

This cru is in the commune of Roddi, in the north. A perpetual charmer, Ambrogio always drinks beautifully when young, but is also a wine to lay down for the ages.

$52.99 BTL / $317.94 SIX PACK CASE


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2013 Paolo Scavino Barolo “Monvigliero”
 

From Verduno, the proximity of this cru to the Tanaro River creates a special micro-climate, resulting in a wine with elegant aromatics, a mineral edge and powerful fruit.

$64.99 BTL / $389.94 SIX PACK CASE
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2013 Paolo Scavino Barolo “Cannubi”
 

Undisputedly the most important cru in the commune of Barolo,  this is a rich, age-worthy wine with unbridled tenacity and an expressive, haunting nose.

$84.99 BTL / $509.94 SIX PACK CASE – PRE-ARRIVAL, DUE TO ARRIVE MAY


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2013 Paolo Scavino Barolo “Bric dël Fiasc”
This was the first single vineyard wine from the Scavino family back in 1978.  The Fiasco vineyard is an exceptional site, and the wine can best be summed up as a perfect combination of power and fitness.


$84.99 BTL / $509.94 SIX PACK CASE


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2011 Paolo Scavino Barolo Riserva “Rocche dell’Annunziata”
One of the great crus in La Morra, the Scavino family was able to purchase a plot here in 1990, and this yields an elegant ethereal wine, one of their most graceful and aromatic bottlings. This is a northwest facing hillside with an altitude of about 300m. This wine is in possession of beautiful floral aromatics and attractive cherry fruits- truly stunning even in its infancy.

This is always one of the top wines of Barolo!


$164.99 BTL / $989.94 SIX PACK CASE
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3/3/17 New Releases from Very Old Friends

Hello and Happy Friday!
 
We’d like to start by announcing another informal, walk-around tasting at the store on Thursday, March 23rd.
Please read on for more information:
WHEN: Thursday, March 23rd from 5:30PM to 7:00PM (you can arrive at any point in that window of time)
WHERE: Perman Wine Selections, 802 W Washington Blvd.
WHAT: Hobo Wine Company tasting, with owner-winemaker Kenny Likitprakong.
People are always asking us for values from California. Most of the great value wines that come from California tend to be bulk juice with questionable origins marketed to the masses. Those are not wines we stand behind at Perman Wine Selections.
One of the most exciting discoveries on my trip to California last year were Kenny’s wines. They come from real places, he has great relationships with the farmers, and his excitement and passion come from wanting to deliver great wines at every day price points. It is a refreshing change of pace from the California mainstream.
COST: $10 per person
SIGN UP: Secure your spot by calling the store with your payment information. Even though this is not a sit down tasting, space (and wine) is limited and must be reserved ahead of time. 312.666.4417
Tickets are $10.00/Person. This is a walk-around tastingand limited to approximately 30 people. Tickets are fully refundable with 72 hours (Monday March 20th). Tickets must be secured with payment. Please call the store at 312-666-4417.
===
This Friday we are very excited to announce Craig’s return home (we were worried he might be having too much fun in Portugal and want to stay), as well as the latest release of Norman Hardie, a producer we are proud to support at every opportunity.
This is the second release EVER of Norm’s wines in Chicago. The first newsletter release was our most successful Friday Feature in the store’s history. Not only did our customers want to try the wines, they came back time and again for more.
The Norman Hardie wines have taken their place as some of the best examples of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in North America. Try them if you haven’t, stock up if you have.
Don’t miss these!
Have a great weekend,
Craig, Jamie & Evie
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Norman Hardie
In all my years in the business, I have met few more passionate and dedicated winemakers than Norman Hardie. His goal of producing terroir-driven, balanced and delicious wines from Prince Edward County and Niagara in Canada, has garnered him praise by some of the world’s top wine journalists and wine professionals alike.
Canadian wine is not a novelty act, there are as complex of wines being produced there as anywhere in the United States. 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.
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 Noir and Chardonnay, but if you find yourself a fan of cool climate expressions of these grapes, then these are definitely for you!
These are limited, so don’t miss them!
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2014 Norman Hardie County Chardonnay
This is a must try for any fan of White Burgundy, or cool-climate Chardonnay. The fruit for this Chardonnay comes from 5 different sites, all close to each other and grown on that fractured limestone soil that makes this region special. Mineral-driven with fresh citrus, oyster shell and mineral coming through on the nose and palate.
$38.99 BTL / LIMITED

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2013 Norman Hardie Niagara Chardonnay
Grapes were sourced from four very mineral driven sites form both the top and base of the Niagara escarpment with the idea that the variety of sites add a layers of complexity. The wine initially appears light and delicate, but finishes with many layers of citrus and rich minerality – richer fruit notes than the County Chardonnay, but equal in mineral notes.
$38.99 BTL / LIMITED
 
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2015 Norman Hardie Niagara Pinot Noir
This wine appeals to all fans of Pinot Noir, as it has a foot firmly planted in the new and old world.  Pure red berry aromas, give way to an elegant Pinot that has an incredible core of fruit, but finishes so fresh and lively.
This is just seriously good Pinot Noir and in our opinion a great value.
$38.99 BTL / LIMITED
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2/10/17 – From Coast to Côte: Exciting new French Arrivals

Hello and Happy Friday!
It’s that time of year again…Craig will be leaving for his annual trip to Portugal in a little over a week! We wanted to let you all know ahead of time in case you just have to stop in a see him off. With the magic of his new iPhone 7 camera, he’ll be taking lots of pictures during his travels to share with everyone, so keep an eye out on social media.
Part of the trip will include the Simplesmente Vinho wine event, a pop up dinner with Chef Abe Conlon of Fat Rice in Porto, and Craig’s first ever trip to the island of Madeira!
While he’s away, the store will be closed on the following Mondays and otherwise operating on our normal schedule:
2/20 – CLOSED
2/27 – CLOSED
We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause.

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Now, onto newsletter topics – This week we are very excited to offer new releases from 3 of our beloved French producers. All of these wines, while hailing from different regions, are fantastic examples of their respective places, and really showcase the magic that happens when you combine passionate wine makers with amazing vineyard sites. Definitely worth a taste!
Have a great weekend,
Craig, Jamie & Evie
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Exciting new arrivals from France!
Domaine de la Pépière
Marc Ollivier’s Muscadet-sur-Lie is the shining star of what the Melon de Bourgogne grape has to offer, in large part because it has lees contact until the time of bottling – generally in late May.
This extended contact gives it the crispness that makes Muscadet so refreshing, and such a classic pairing for the seafood and shellfish in the region. It is the traditional way to make Muscadet, but has become the exception as more producers rush to bottle their wines by early January (5 months earlier than Ollivier).
Ollivier takes his time. He hand harvests (also a rarity in the region), uses natural yeasts, waits for the wine to finish and bottles with a very light filtration. The vineyards are mostly comprised of 40+ year old vines from original stock: he is the only grower in the Muscadet who does not have a single clonal selection in his vineyards.
If you’re a fan of mineral-driven, crisp whites that are complex and food-friendly, the Domaine de la Pépière line up is not to be missed!
 
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2015 Domaine de la Pépière Muscadet “Clos des Briords”

Ollivier produces this very-old-vine cuvée of Muscadet from a single-plot with schist soil, the “Clos des Briords.” This is one of the top wines of the AOC – not only delicious young, but something that can also age 10, 20 or 30 years!

Planted in 1930, the vines in the Clos des Briords plot are among the oldest vines in his estate. Because of the soil and greater concentration achieved with old vines, the Clos des Briords is a more powerful wine than most Muscadet. It is very mineral and quite austere in its youth, rather than fruity and light. Over a few months, or even years, if you can wait that long, it develops incredibly complex aromatics and structure.
$17.99 BTL / $215.88 CASE
 
*Also available in Magnum (1.5L)
$37.99 BTL / 3 bottles available
 
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Domaine Humbert Frères
With Humbert, its clear that in our opinion this is the most underrated producer in all of Burgundy. The fourth generation Humbert brothers, Emmanuel and Frédéric, are among the best of Gevrey-Chambertin, and it is only because they don’t have a litany of big name Premier and Grand Cru’s that they don’t get the attention.
They are creating wines that reflect an old-school, uncompromising style of Burgundian winemaking that has fallen by the wayside. Their holdings in the north, close to Brochon contain some of the oldest vines planted on roche mère (mother rock) and this is the place where Gevrey becomes dense and tannic. The brothers work in a reductive style, insuring long-lived wines that will reward patient buyers. Cousin Bernard Dugat-Py is right next door.
The wines are perfumed, intense and at the same time delicate and racy. Their “simple” Bourgogne Rouge is all Gevrey fruit, all done in stainless steel and is a steal for the price.
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2014 Domaine Humbert Bourgogne Rouge
Their humble Bourgogne Rouge is actually pure Pinot Noir all from Gevrey.  Drinks beautifully now, mineral, red and dark fruits, such purity and finesse! Seriously don’t miss this, very few cases came to Illinois this year and we took as many as we could get our hands on!
$39.99 BTL / 5 cases available
 
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2014 Domaine Humbert Gevrey-Chambertin “Vieilles Vignes”

From old vines parcels underneath Estournelles & Etelois, adjacent to Grand Cru Griottes. Strawberry, mulberry, violet, mignonette, and rose all help to make up the vibrant aromas. More maturity brings out licorice, leather and hints of underbrush.

$71.99 BTL / 12 bottles available
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2014 Domaine Humbert Gevrey-Chambertin “Poissenot” 1er Cru
A fantastic, south-facing hillside vineyard on light, stony soil. An extension of the Estournelles vineyard. Only around 4,000 bottles produced per year. Rich and aromatic, the red fruit will evolve with patience and time into a gamey and earthy nose with hints of fine leather and licorice.
$115.99 BTL / 12 bottles available
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Château de Béru
Just back in September we featured the remaining cases of 2014 vintage Chablis from Château de Béru. Even with the terrible weather that devastated much of the fruit in the region, some of the 2015 has managed to find its way to us.
Athénaïs Béru’s family has owned the beautiful Château and property in the village of Béru for 400 years. Pre-phylloxera, the vineyards were the entire revenue source for the Château. It wasn’t until 1987 that Athénaïs’s father, Éric took on the huge project of revitalizing the vineyards on the estate.
Athénaïs took over the project in 2004, and in my opinion has transformed this estate into one of the benchmark producers of the region of Chablis. This wasn’t easy, and I have been a witness to how incredibly hard Athénaïs works to produce wines with “energy.”
The Château de Béru wines have energy in spades.
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2015 Château de Béru “Terroir de Béru” Chablis
 
A wonderful synthesis of all of Béru’s properties. Crafted from 30+ year old vines in a minimalist style yields a chiseled wine with a delicious core of fruit that everyone can enjoy.
$34.99 BTL / $419.88 CASE
 
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2014 Château de Béru “Athénaïs” 1er Cru Montmains Chablis
The “Athénaïs” wines are a side project that Athénaïs Béru began in 2010 in order to create a range of wines produced in beautiful appellations in the north of Burgundy that mirror the quality and energy of her Chablis.
The Montmains vineyard is located on Kimmeridgian soils on a South/South-East facing hillside, on the left bank of the Serein River, which divides the vineyards of Chablis from North to South. The particularity of Montmains is its typical high minerality and beautiful strength due to a very rocky terroir.
$65.99 BTL / 12 bottles available
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2014 Château de Béru “Athénaïs” 1er Cru Mont du Milieu Chablis

Mont de Milieu is a Premier Cru on the eastern banks of the Serein river in Chablis. Here, a southerly aspect and dry, limestone-rich soils have given a terroir that is considered one of the best Premier Crus in Chablis, producing an age-worthy, Chardonnay that is elegant, floral and racy.

$65.99 BTL / 12 bottles available
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2/3/2017 – One of Barolo’s best – 2010 Massolino “Vigna Rionda” Barolo Riserva

Hello and Happy Friday,

We are excited to officially welcome a new team member at Perman Wine Selections. Like the rest of the Perman Wine team, Evie Olson has caught the wine bug, and brings that high level of excitement and love for wine to the store. Many of you have had the opportunity to meet Evie as she has been helping with tastings and social media over the past three months. She will continue to work with us on a part-time basis. Welcome Evie!
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Massolino Barolo

Vigna Rionda Riserva

2010

Barolo enthusiasts around the world have been eagerly anticipating the release of this very wine for some time.

It has arrived, and while quantities are limited, we have secured the entire allocation for Illinois.

If you love Barolo, this is simply not to be missed.
Have a great weekend,
Craig, Jamie, & Evie
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2010 Massolino “Vigna Rionda” Barolo Riserva, Piedmont, Italy
The Massolino winery, located in the village of Serralunga d’Alba is one of Italy’s greatest wine treasures.
This historic producer began in 1896 under the leadership of Giovanni Massolino, and continues today under the watchful eyes of Franco and Roberto Massolino.
There are several factors which set the greatest producers of Barolo apart from their neighbors. In the case of Massolino, there is no better estate when it comes to offering a range expressing the greatest terroir of Serralunga d’Alba. To say that Massolino is a Serralunga specialist is putting it mildly.
The “grand terroir” of the Massolino vineyards is that of Vigna Rionda. It is widely recognized that Vigna Rionda is THE great vineyard of Serralunga d’Alba. The Massolino family owns the largest section of the vineyard, 2.3 hectares.
From that plot, and only in special years they produce a Riserva bottling.
2010 is one of the most impressive Barolo vintages in recent years. The wines are unique in the way that they have both richness and weight, as well as freshness and tannic structure. They are clearly wines that will develop for many years, and this Vigna Rionda Reserva is no exception.
Intensely aromatic with primary fruit aromas of dark cherry, flowers, and anise. This is a full-bodied, incredibly long wine, with well-framed tannins, and savory licorice, balsamic and herb notes lingering on the seemingly unending finish.
You may try a bottle of this now, decanting for a couple hours before drinking. Ultimately, this is a wine that will continue to develop and hit its stride between 2023-2040.
A truly epic Barolo.
$149.99 BTL. / ONLY 32 BOTTLES AVAILABLE
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Pre-Buy Rieslings from Jochen Beurer

Hello and Happy Friday!
A special thanks to all of you who are continuing to drink during the month of January! We appreciate you. And good luck to everyone on keeping your New Year’s resolutions.
You’ll be happy to know that we have started planning some upcoming tastings…
Save the date for a fun-filled Groundhog Day tasting on Thursday, February 2nd, and a Chinese New Year inspired “Year of the Rooser” tasting and dinner on Wednesday, February 8th. Details and pricing to come next Friday!
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Our Friday Feature today was written by the very talented Collin Moody, who just opened up Income Tax– a wine bar in Edgewater – with owner Nelson Fitch and Chef Ryan Henderson.  Definitely a cozy neighborhood spot to check out if you love great food and amazing wine.
This Friday we offer you some incredible, single-vineyard Rieslings that we were able to taste with the winemaker himself, Jochen Beurer of Baden-Württemberg. We’ve had these wines in the store before and they were met with great praise and success. We’re excited for the latest vintages!
We are offering three wines today on pre-buy, meaning that you need simply email us your requests, and we will order the wine from the distributor. We will email you as soon as the wines arrive.
In the meantime, there is plenty of the Jochen Beurer Trocken Riesling in the store for anyone in need of instant gratification.
Don’t miss these!
Have a great weekend,
Craig & Jamie
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Jochen Beurer Riesling Pre-Buy Offer:
We are delighted to offer the latest release of these laser-focused, bone-dry Rieslings from this most talented young producer in the appellation of Baden-Württemberg, in southwest Germany, an area known as Swabia.
Yes, this is Germany, but before you start thinking of the Mosel and it’s slate soils, remember that this is primarily a sub-Alpine region with hills created by the slow shifting movements of the Alps. This region is best understood on its own, not compared to other parts of Germany. Unfortunately, this uniqueness is also what has made it such a marginal region. Though some think it might be Europe’s next great wine region, it is often easier to forget about it than try and understand it. Württemberg hosts high altitude with limestone and marl hills reminiscent of the Jura, and Baden is warm enough to be Germany’s primary red wine region.
Jochen farms a hillside in Stetten (between Stuttgart and Munich) that is broken down into steps with different soil types at each ridge. Riesling ripens easily here now thanks to global warming and the wines are almost always made completely dry with a long fermentation. Jochen himself is a former BMX champion who returned to his family’s vines in 1997. In 2003 he began experiments with native yeast, then shortly after he began to think about preserving the indigenous yeast and local microflora with biodynamics in the vineyard with herbal treatments instead of spraying with chemicals.
All of this hard work yields wines that are extremely clear in their character and philosophy. The Beurer wines are instead lean, mean, mineral-packed machines that are all about the terroir of the different plots. Definitely worth watching evolve over a couple days with the bottle open or over time in your cellar.
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2015 Riesling Trocken
For under $20, this wine has a lot going for it. It is clean, pure, bone-dry Riesling with poise, balance, and acidity from it’s limestone origins that gives it a refreshing energy and brightness that feels downright healthy to drink.
$19.00 BTL / $228.00 CASE 

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2015 Riesling “Gipskeuper”
1000 ft. in altitude with a terroir of red mudstones with deposits of gypsum, and chalky topsoil. The most open and round of the bunch with trademark salinity.
$23.00 BTL / $276.00 CASE 
PRE ORDER
 
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2015 Riesling “Schilfsandstein”
1100 ft. in altitude with a terroir of yellow green sandstone and quartz, 35 year old vines. Lean (we mean it!), powerfully intense, and great minerality. Lovers of Muscadet and Chablis, take note.
$25.00 BTL / $300.00 CASE 
PRE ORDER
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2015 Riesling “Kieselsandstein”
1200 ft. in altitude with a terroir of red chalky sandstone soil, pebbles of basalt, quartz and broken rocks from the Alps. Partially fermented and aged in foudre. Full- bodied with more spice and structure, but with the trademark electric acid and minerality.
$29.00 BTL / $348.00 CASE
PRE ORDER
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New Releases from Champagne Georges Laval

Hello and Happy New Year!
Let’s just get this over with.
 
Congratulations on your new diet, we’re supportive.
 
Working out is also a good thing, just keep drinking wine in moderation, because we all know it’s good for you!
 
Now that we got that out of the way we can begin our first newsletter of the year.
Many of you have been asking about upcoming tastings, and in January, we typically give them a break.
We are in planning mode for tastings in February and beyond, so stay tuned!
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Just because things have quieted down in our lives, doesn’t mean that they have in the wine world. In the coming months we will see plenty of exciting new releases from some of the top wineries in the world.
We begin the new year with one such arrival from Champagne George Laval.
For those that have shopped at the store for a while, this will be a familiar name. Which is ironic because this is one of the smallest superstar producers in all of Champagne producing roughly 10,000 bottles in total per year.
We’ve had a personal connection to the winery for many years, something that we are honored to have. As such we get a great allocation and even have access to one of his wines exclusively in the Midwest.
Champagne is experiencing a renaissance, with many great producers to choose from. Laval is at the top of the game, producing Champagne of the same complexity as any of the top wines of the world. Don’t miss these.
Have a great weekend,
Craig & Jamie
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Champagne Georges Laval
We’ve written about the great Champagne of Vincent Laval of Champagne Georges Laval many times in our newsletters. It’s a story worth repeating.
As I mentioned in the introduction, Georges Laval is a small grower Champagne house based in the village of Cumières in the Vallée de la Marne. They only produce 10,000 bottles in total production, with the bulk of the production coming from the NV Cumières Brut Nature.
One of the things that sets Laval apart from most producers is their meticulous farming. This is not a trend thing, the Laval family has been farming their vineyards organically for over 40 years! Even a decade ago in Champagne that was relatively unheard of.
Up until recently, Laval produced grapes only from Cumières, in upcoming vintages he will produce a wine from a vineyard in a nearby village.
The excitement of grower Champagne today is that we can really get even more in depth with the terroir of Champagne. The wines being offered below are all from Cumières, and show the identity of the vineyards.
The same care in the vineyard is given in the winery. Vincent uses a traditional old Coquart vertical press to extract the juice. His press is small by Champagne standards, but it gives him even more control over this very important process.
Laval picks his grapes at a higher degree of ripeness, and he never chapitilizes, and allows the wines to go through malolactic fermentation.
Speaking of which, all the wines are fermented in neutral oak barrels with indigenous yeasts in Laval’s cold and small underground cellar.
The wines are never fined or filtered. Disgorgement is by hand.
These are truly complex Champagnes, and as such, you can drink them now, but those with patience will be greatly rewarded. Each of the Champagnes below age and get better with time.
For years I’ve been wanting to say something with the preface that it is not meant to be controversial or an attack on anyone’s preferences.
In my personal opinion, these offerings are far more complex Champagnes than anything being produced by the Grand Marques (i.e. Dom Pérignon, Krug, Pol Roger, Taittinger, etc.). That’s not based on salesmanship, that is based on taste and experience, and my personal belief. The reason why many of you shop here is to receive advice, to cut through the marketing, and get wines that are made by people with a point of view that isn’t so influenced by the business side, but rather by passion for place.
So if you are a Champagne fan, or even a fanatic, these are wines you should buy each and every year. Making sure you buy enough to drink some now, and put some away.
We love Champagne Georges Laval!
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Champagne Georges Laval Brut Nature NV 
From his beautifully farmed vines in the village of Cumières, this is a blend of 50% Chardonnay and 25% each of Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.  The base of this NV is from the 2014 vintage, with 10% of Reserve wine from the 2013 vintage. It was just disgorged on September 9th, 2016.
Vincent used to produce two NV’s, one dosed as a Brut and the other without any dosage, a Brut Nature.  He now is only producing a Brut Nature.  There are very few producers that can pull this off, as it requires a lot of detail in the farming of the grapes.  With Laval, and in particular with this wine, it is perfectly balanced, and it seems even a little silly worrying about the dosage.
Champagne is so complex that we often recommend certain producers and styles based on a customers palate.  In this case,  we believe that every single one of our customers must try this.  It may change your life and your understanding of Champagne like it did ours!
$76.99 BTL. / LIMITED
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Champagne Georges Laval Rosé Brut Nature NV
Around the end of the year you see a lot of “best of” lists written by various people. With so many great wines tasted in 2016 it is pretty difficult for me to come up with such a list.
One thing I do know for sure is that the best wine I tasted in 2016 was a bottle of Laval Rosé, an older disgorgement that blended 2010 and 2009. It was like drinking Musigny with bubbles. I still dream of it.
The new disgorgement just arrived, and like the Cumières just disgorged in September. This Rosé is entirely produced from the 2014 vintage.
The Rosé is a blend of Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier all from Cumières.  The majority of the fruit comes from three of his top vineyards, old-vines in Les Chênes, Les Hautes Chèvres and Longues Violes. It is foot-tread before being pressed, and fermented like the others in used barrel.
This is not your simple, light, fruity style of Rosé.  It is concentrated, yet fresh, multi-layered with notes of wild strawberry and rhubarb.  The finish is never ending, and while I will have a hard time resisting drinking my stash of it now, as I mentioned this benefits from some time in bottle.
An amazing Champagne Rosé!
$109.99 BTL. / VERY LIMITED

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2012 Champagne Georges Laval “Les Chênes”
Chenes
Les Chênes was first bottled as a separate wine in 1994.
This is a cuvée made purely from Chardonnay. This is a highly regarded vineyard spot, just east of the village of Cumières, with very little topsoil that barely covers the bedrock of chalk. This wine is always produced in the Brut Nature style (zero dosage) and he usually makes just under 1700 bottles.
The 2012 “Les Chênes” is one of the best I’ve ever had.
It still has that textbook combination of citrus and stone fruit, big-time minerality, and a finish that goes on and on.
Try a bottle now, pouring it into big stems for aeration.  It is a must that this is drunk at a temperature closer to how you would serve White Burgundy, around 52 or 53 degrees Fahrenheit.
Make sure you hold some in your cellar, drinking over the next 15 years. Optimally I’d drink from 2020-2030.
$159.99/BTL. / VERY LIMITED
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2012 Champagne Georges Laval “Les Hautes- Chèvres”
Easily one of the greatest and most rare Blanc de Noirs in existence.
This is only made in great vintages. 2009 was the last vintage we received, which was made from Pinot Noir vines in the Les Hautes Chèvres vineyard.
The release of the 2012 marks the first time that this is made entirely of Pinot Meunier, from vines planted between 1930 and 1959 in Les Hautes Chèvres.
The vineyard is on the Western side of Cumières and the top soils here are a bit more fertile, and the chalk bedrock is deeper. Perfect for Meunier.
The 2012 Les Hautes Chèvres is mind-blowing. It is a baby, but don’t hesitate to open a bottle now to experience it in its youth.
Beautiful red fruit aromas of wild strawberry and cassis. The fruit is intense and rich, but also with balance and nuanced mineral and spice notes. The finish doesn’t seem to end.
Again, try a bottle in its youth, but then save some to drink from 2020 – 2035+.
$229.99/BTL – EXTRAORDINARLY LIMITED
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