802 W Washington Blvd
Chicago, IL 60607
312 666 4417
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*** Closed Monday, May 30th, 2016-Memorial day***
Category Archives: Friday Features/Newsletters
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.
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
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!
Vigna Rionda Riserva
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
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
Hello and Happy Friday!
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!
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
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!
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
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
2012 Champagne Georges Laval “Les Chênes”
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
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
The dip in temperature has brought about a realization that we are firmly entrenched in winter. If you are a lot like us, our winter nights are usually spent hanging out at home, cooking and drinking wine.
For many Chicagoans, winter food equals American-Italian cooking. An antipasti plate, with salumi and cheese to start. A hearty lasagna or bolognese-sauced spaghetti for the main attraction, or just a good cast-iron seared steak to fill your belly. These are foods that comfort us and get us through the winter.
With these as our inspiration we wanted to feature two fantastic Italian wines that would make an excellent pairing and are both crazy good values.
Have a great weekend,
Craig & Jamie
Two fantastic Italian values!
2012 Monte Bernardi Chianti Classico, Tuscany, Italy
Monte Bernardi is situated in Panzano in Chianti, a small village in the heart of the Chianti Classico, Tuscany’s original winemaking region. The estate name, Monte Bernardi, dates back to 1085. The one third of the vineyards are over 40 years old and the first wine produced was in 1992.
The estate strongly focuses on producing wines with the greatest expression of the local terroir, ultimate quality, and a harmony between the land and the environment.
The vineyards have been farmed biodynamically/organically since 2004.
This is an elegant and rich Chianti Classico, made from Sangiovese (95%) and Canaiolo Nero (5%) grapes. This Chianti Classico Riserva originates from the 40 year old vines, and a soil rich in friable shale (Galestro) and limestone (Alberese). The result is a fruity, aromatic Sangiovese based wine with soft, fine tannins. This medium to full-bodied, well-balanced wine is ready upon release, but will reward significantly with aging.
Clean and intense with ripe black cherry, blueberry, rose and vanilla on the nose. The palate is rich, medium to full-bodied. Enjoy with a classic Bistecca Fiorentina, hearty lasagna or aged cheeses.
$28.99 BTL. / $347.88 CASE
2012 Cantina della Volta “Trentasei” Lambrusco di Modena Spumante D.O.C. Brut Metodo Classico
We simply can’t get enough of the incredibly delicious wines from Emilia-Romagna star Cantina della Volta.
We had previously offered their fantastic and unique Lambrusco, still on its lees, called Rimosso. Now we felt the necessity to feature their incredibly delicious, and more traditional “Trentasei” Lambrusco.
As a refresher, Cantina della Volta started in 2010 with a group of friends, all wine lovers, who wanted to elevate the quality of Lambrusco.
Their “Trentasei” is made entirely of Lambrusco di
Sorbara. There is a very careful selection of the grapes, hand harvested at optimal ripeness, sorted, and fermented in stainless steel tanks. They undergo a second fermentation in bottle, and as the name “Trentasei” suggests this is aged for 36 months on its lees.
This is easily one of the best Red Lambrusco available to us in the United States. If you haven’t tried a lot of Lambrusco, you always should start with one of the best. You will soon become addicted, like us. What a perfect way to start and carry you through a dinner. It is perfect with salumi and antipasti. It works incredibly well with red sauced pastas. It is a great match to roasted meat. Every wine lover should try this, it will become an indispensable part of food and wine pairings in your life.
$27.99 BTL / $167.94 SIX-PACK CASE
Today’s “Friday Feature” is what we call a mixed bag of goodies!
With so many incoming arrivals of allocated wines from around the globe, we thought we’d dedicate this newsletter to a more informal list of new arrivals. Call it a last minute Christmas list, or simply call it a list of wines that are a must for any wine enthusiast.
Many of these will sell out quickly, so please secure yours today.
We are happy to provide more in depth information about any of these, just ask!
Have a great weekend,
Craig & Jamie
Cédric Bouchard Champagne
Despite its tiny output of Champagne, somewhere around 15,000 bottles in total per year, Cédric Bouchard is known around the world as one of the top producers in the region. Located in the Cote de Bar, the southernmost part of the region, Bouchard makes a myriad of handcrafted Champagne, each bottle from one parcel, one vintage, and one grape. Fermented in stainless steel, always with indigenous yeast, no fining, no dosage, just pure expressions of place. These Champagne are slow to unwind, they deserve a rest in the cellar to express their true beauty. They are truly stunning, and one of Craig’s favorite producers anywhere in the world. Sadly, they are very, very limited (and we get a good allocation!). Champagne fans with a place in the cellar, do not miss these! They will sell out quickly.
2014 Cédric Bouchard Champagne “Val Vilaine”
No need to wait on this, its a great introduction to the line-up, and a delicious expression of pure Pinot Noir.
$56.99 BTL / LIMITED
2009 Cédric Bouchard Champagne “Côte de Béchalin”
Another offering that is open knit and ready to drink. Made entirely of Pinot Noir from a SW facing vineyard in Celles-sur-Ource. The 2008 blew everyone away at last weeks tasting!
$82.99 BTL / LIMITED
2012 Cédric Bouchard Champagne “Ursules”
The wine that started it all, Pinot Noir of incredible distinction from vines, the majority of which were planted in the early ’70’s. A stunning vintage for Ursules.”
$88.99 BTL / LIMITED
2012 Cédric Bouchard Champagne “La Haute Lemblee”
Tiny .12 hectare vineyard planted to Chardonnay on Kimmeridgian soil. One of the most unique and incredible Blanc de Blanc Champagne bottlings. Such purity.
$106.99 BTL / EXCRUCIATINGLY LIMITED
2012 Cédric Bouchard Champagne “La Bolorée”
Another minuscule vineyard of just .217 hectare, La Bolorée is a very special Champagne made entirely of Pinot Blanc. The Côte de Bar is noted for producing limited quantities, but exceptional Champagne from this varietal. This is the icon. Truly amazing.
$128.99 BTL / EXCRUCIATINGLY LIMITED
2012 Cédric Bouchard Champagne “Presle”
Only the second vintage released of this fantastic Blanc de Noirs, made entirely from Pinot Noir from a relatively newly planted vineyard called “Presle.” Clay and limestone soils with a little Kimmeridgian mixed in. 10 different Burgundian clones of Pinot Noir were planted. Expressive, ripe, and a very long finish.
$121.99 BTL / EXCRUCIATINGLY LIMITED
La Closerie Champagne
This is another one of those tiny grower Champagne houses with a cult-like following and allocated out to the best restaurants and wine shops. We feel lucky to be given some, and they are a must try for the Champagne enthusiast. Jérôme Prévost inherited 2 hectares of vines in the village of Gueux in the Montagne de Reims sub-region of Champagne. Initially he sold off the fruit to the local negociants. After working in the cellars of Anselme Selosse (the cult producer in Champagne), he was persuaded by his mentor to produce his own Champagne. The first few vintages were produced in the Selosse cellars in Avize. Today he has his own winery producing just two wines highlighted below. These are incredible wines.
2014 La Closerie Champagne “Les Béguines”
This is the main bottling from the single-vineyard “Les Béguines.” This is pure Pinot Meunier, from vines planted in the 1950’s. Fermented in a barrels, barriques and demi-muid, with indigenous yeasts. Just 18 months on the lees, bottled with no dosage. I don’t believe there is a better 100% Pinot Meunier Champagne that you can buy.
$95.99 BTL / EXCRUCIATINGLY LIMITED
2014 La Closerie Champagne Rosé “Fac-simile”
One of the top Rosé Champagne produced. 100% Pinot Meunier vinified as a white wine, with the addition of barrel fermented red wine all from Les Béguines.” I’ve only tasted this once in my life, and all I can say is “epic.” Worth fighting for.
$143.99 BTL / THE MOST EXCRUCIATINGLY LIMITED
YOUNG INGLEWOOD VINEYARDS
This past September, Craig traveled to Napa Valley to explore a wide range of producers. One of the highlights of the visit was tasting with winemaker Scott Young of Young Inglewood. The estate vineyard is in a coveted part of Napa Valley, the Mayacamas bench, on the far Southwest reaches of St Helena. This is Cabernet Sauvignon country, and that is the focus at Young Inglewood, but we are also including a fantastic Chardonnay from the sought after Michael Mara Vineyard at the base of the Sonoma Mountain range. We know you have a lot of choices in Napa Valley, and these wines are at the top of our list of rising stars. Scott really wants to make world-class and balanced wines, and he delivers. First time that these wines have been in Chicago! They would make a great gift to your Napa-loving friends and clients…or to yourself!
2012 Young Inglewood Vineyards “Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
$110.00 BTL / LIMITED
2014 “Venn” Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2013 Young Inglewood Vineyards “Michael Mara Vineyard” Chardonnay
$60 BTL / LIMITED
5th generation Chablis estate, led today by Lilian Duplessis. One of the few organic producers in Chablis, the estate has a great range of bottlings, including some special Premier and Grand Cru vineyards. As we’ve warned you, Chablis is quickly disappearing from availability given the difficult weather related issues that have reduced yields, but luckily not quality. These are fantastic, and really great values across the board.
2015 Duplessis Petit Chablis
$25.99 BTL / LIMITED
2015 Duplessis Chablis
$32.99 BTL / LIMITED
2014 Duplessis Chablis “Fourchaume,” Premier Cru 45.99 BTL / EXCRUCIATINGLY LIMITED
2014 Duplessis Chablis “Montmains,” Premier Cru $46.99 BTL / LIMITED
2014 Duplessis Chablis “Montée de Tonnerre,” Premier Cru
$51.99 BTL / LIMITED
2014 Duplessis Chablis “Les Clos,” Grand Cru
$71.99 BTL / EXCRUCIATINGLY LIMITED
MICHEL LAFARGE VOLNAY
What can I say aside from the fact that this is one of my personal favorite domaines in all of Burgundy. If you follow Burgundy, you know these wines. They are everything you want in Pinot Noir, pure, amazing definition, age worthy, just beautiful. PLEASE NOTE – these wines are due to arrive in stock the week of December 19th.
2014 Michel Lafarge Bourgogne Rouge
$34.99 BTL / 12 bottles available
2014 Michel Lafarge Volnay
$74.99 BLT / 9 bottles available
2014 Michel Lafarge Volnay “Vendange Séléctionées” $81.99 BTL / 9 bottles available
2014 Michel Lafarge Volnay “Clos du Château des Ducs,” Premier Cru
$182.99 BTL / 3 bottles available
2014 Michel Lafarge Volnay “Clos des Chênes,” Premier Cru
$182.99 BTL / 3 bottles
Today’s Friday Feature is one we have been anticipating for years. Our focus today is Spain, and one of, if not THE most noble red grape varieties of the country: Tempranillo.
As wine professionals we get to taste a lot of wine, including many of the iconic, classic, great wines of the world. It can not be denied that the greatest Tempranillo ranks up there with the more well-noted great wines of the world including the First Growths of Bordeaux, Grand Cru Burgundy, cult California Cabernet, noble Barolo and Barbaresco, and the list goes on.
Today we feature two Gran Reserva releases from iconic Spanish producers in the Rioja and Ribera del Duero regions.
These aren’t inexpensive wines, but given their status as amongst the greatest red wines of the world, we feel that they are a value. More importantly we feel that no good wine cellar is complete without these wines. They are truly spectacular and can’t recommend them enough to you.
Have a great weekend,
Craig & Jamie
2010 Remelluri Rioja, Gran Reserva
Rioja is the most well-known red wine region in Spain, and certainly one of the most in the world of wine.
It is here that the Tempranillo grape thrives, although Rioja tends to be a blended wine, with small proportions of Graciano, Mazuelo and Garnacha often included.
The identity of the region bears some comparisons to the Champagne region of France. Just like in Champagne, Rioja is a large growing region, and as such, many producers blend grapes from various parts of the region. For years there has been less of a focus on terroir or “single origin” wines, and the conversation was more about house style, length of aging, and types of oak.
What identifies with wine nerds, such as myself, is when I smell and taste a wine, it speaks to a place. For larger wineries in Rioja, that place is the large swath of the region. Yet for a handful, place, whether it be an estate or a single vineyard means a lot.
Remelluri is a place. Not just any place, but a historic piece of land in the Rioja Alavesa sub-region of Rioja. Visiting Remelluri was one of my most fascinating experiences at a winery ever. Walking the property you visit a necropolis in its center. Not far away, carved into the rock, an ancient wine press. There were glimpses and stories of history everywhere. It became evident that because of the quality of the farm, its well situated place near the slopes of the Sierra de Toloño mountains, this was an important place even in ancient times.
My tour of the winery was from one of Spain’s most important and influential winemakers, Telmo Rodríguez. It was Telmo’s father that purchased the estate in 1967. Telmo spent years away from the family winery, developing his own wines, and becoming one of the most well-known winemakers. In recent years Telmo has returned, and is quietly transforming Remelluri, pushing its quality level to its highest point. In fact, this wine, from the 2010 vintage, marks the first vintage that Telmo oversaw from start to finish.
A Gran Reserva for Remelluri is a very special wine. They have only produced a Gran Reserva in 1989, 1990, 1994, 1996, 1999, 2005, 2009 and now 2010. They produced roughly 20,000 bottles of the Gran Reserva in 2010. The wine is made from the best grapes on the estate, from various parcels. It is a blend of mainly Tempranillo, but also Garnacha and Graciano, and even small amounts of white grape varietals such as Moscatel, Viura, and Malvasia. The grapes are hand picked, and sorted both in the vineyard and a sorting table. The wine is fermented with natural yeast and aged for 27 months in various sizes and ages of barrels.
I’ve had the pleasure of tasting many wines over the years from Remelluri, and can say that this is probably the finest wine I’ve tasted from them, and one of the best Spanish wines I’ve had in years. One of the great parts of a Remelluri Gran Reserva is that the producer has aged this for you, and it does drink well now, especially with decanting. Yet for those with patience, you should hold on to several bottles, drinking over a couple of decades.
We really can’t recommend this wine enough, it is a must buy for anyone that loves great wine. We received very little of this in Illinois, and it will sell out.
A truly spectacular Rioja.
$91.99 BTL. / $551.94 SIX-PACK CASE – 36 BOTTLES AVAILABLE
2010 Viña Sastre Ribera del Duero “Pago de Santa Cruz,” Gran Reserva
Ribera del Duero is Spain’s other most notable region for the Tempranillo grape variety. Located near the historically important town of Burgos, the region has a long history, but its modern age didn’t explode till the 1980’s. Names like Vega Sicilia and Pesquera helped bring the region to international prominence.
The wines of Viña Sastre are among the very best of the region, and my personal favorite.
Another of my most memorable wine moments was at Viña Sastre in 2012. Proprietor and winemaker Jesus Sastre was an incredible host. We got a chance to visit his magnificent vineyards, including the famed Pago de Santa Cruz. Jesus is well known as one of the best vineyard managers in Spain. He farms organically and also follows many of the guidelines of biodynamics. He also has the opportunity to work with really old vines, in the case of Pago de Santa Cruz, they range from 50 to over 100 years old. It is what makes many of the vineyards near La Horra amongst the best of the region.
We also had an opportunity to visit the winery. You rarely come across a winemaker that analyzes every part of the process as much as Jesus. In his winery, his “toys” are all the best technology, presses, etc, that help him carefully and minimally handle the grapes. He is a perfectionist in every sense of the word.
That leads me to this special release, the first Gran Reserva release since 1999. He had abandoned his Gran Reserva program, as he instead chose to focus on single vineyard wines without a designation of the aging process.
Over the past few years Jesus and his importer André reassessed their feelings about Gran Reservas. Their feeling is that wines with extended aging in barrel can display their terroir as much as any of the wines Jesus was currently producing. They also got to continue to taste the 1996 and 1999 Gran Reservas, see their development and realize how truly great they were.
2010 marks the first release in the US of a Gran Reserva since the 1999 vintage. Made entirely from Tempranillo, with an average age of 65+ year old vines, grown in the clay and chalk soil of the Pago de Santa Cruz vineyard. Jesus commissioned special 1000 liter barrels, which the wine was fermented in for the Gran Reserva. The barrel sat in a cradle which allowed Jesus to ratite the barrel so that he could keep the wine in contact with the lees during fermentation. The wine was then moved to 2000 liter and 3000 liter oak for aging for 36 months. As always the wine is unfined and unfiltered.
This is a bold, full-bodied red, with hints at black currant, dark cherry, herbs, anise and spice. It is richly textured, but maintains a freshness and balance. The finish is incredibly long, and keeps you coming back for more. It calls out for red meat, and having had the Sastre wines with the local speciality of 3 month-old DOP baby lamb, it a mind bending food and wine match.
This is one of Spain’s top wines, and a truly special wine for the cellar. You can drink this now, but it will be in its prime from 2020 – 2035+.
$99.99 BTL. / $599.94 SIX-PACK CASE – ONLY 18 BOTTLES AVAILABLE
$245.99 PER MAGNUM – 2 AVAILABLE – ONLY 10 MAGNUMS BROUGHT INTO THE US