Friday Feature- 6 for $120 Something 4/19/13

Hello and Happy Friday!

Craig has landed in France, and is currently exploring the wonderful world of Muscadet with Fred Niger Van Herck of Domaine de l’Ecu.

Sheb is “manning the fort” and will keep regular store hours through the weekend.

Keep in mind that Perman Wine Selections will be closed on Monday, April 22nd.

Normal business hours will be maintained through the rest of the week.

Also of note, Routier is on strike today, Friday, April 19th.

It will resume on Friday, May 3rd.

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It’s the second to last Friday of the month, and that is when we introduce the latest “6 for $120-Something” sampler.

For those unfamiliar, the concept is simple; in the course of our tastings each month, we put together a mix of what we think are the best wines tasted in that $20-ish range.  It is true that it used to called  the “6 for $120,” but in the interest of me having more flexibility, I’ve decided to not be so exact.

Most of these wines are available by the bottle as well as the case, but the idea here is to give you a selection of wines that you will want to have stocked in your wine rack at home!

So email me to order your sampler, and pick it up at your convenience.  They are in stock and ready to go!

Have a great weekend!

Craig & Sheb

6 for $120-Something 

2011 Forlorn Hope “Sihaya” Ribolla Gialla

About a year ago, I was in Napa Valley for my birthday and very, very ‘Cabernet-ed’ out. I mean really, it was just a sea of Cabs and I was thirsty for something clean, white and complex. Enter Matthew Rorick and Forlorn Hope, and this wonderful Ribolla Gialla that he calls “Sihaya.” Even though Matthew makes only 27 cases of this, we still get to have a little in Chicago. Lucky us!

Ribolla Gialla is a white, Italian variety that we usually see coming out of Friuli, where it is concentrated in Collio, and from Slovenia & Croatia. It produces light-bodied wines with lively acidity. The only other place it is planted is Napa Valley, in the Vare Vineyard, owned by Elsa & the late George Vare.

George must have been nuts to rip up prime Cabernet vines at the foot of Mount Veeder, on the Oak Knoll AVA, but he did. Only three producers make wine from these plantings of which Forlorn Hope is one (Matthiasson and Arnot-Roberts also use Ribolla from Vare).

Clocking in at a respectable 12.10%, this is definitely part of the ‘new wave’ of California producers making balanced, interesting wines that have us taking notice.

George Vare just recently passed, so please tip out a little on his behalf.  We appreciate his dedication to the wine world!

$24.00 BOTTLE / $288.00 CASE

 

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2010 Pasquale Pelissero “Pasqualin” Langhe Nebbiolo

Langhe Nebbiolo is a long-time sommelier secret and a way to enjoy Nebbiolo on an everyday basis without having to commit infanticide on the Baroli and Barbarescos you may be cellaring.

 

The Langhe is a large wine zone with very little restriction that covers most of the Cuneo province. It is a place where Piemontese winemakers can experiment a bit with accessory grapes and make wines priced for everyday.

Pelissero is a tiny Barbaresco producer in Neive whose first vintage was in 1971. Their annual output is about 1250 cases total. Their steel aged Langhe Nebbiolo is fresh and luscious, with fruit grown on steep hillsides with soils of limestone and clay.

$18.00 BTL. / $216.00 CASE

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2012 Benovia Rosé of Pinot Noir

California has come a long way from Beringer White Zinfandel, and happily we have all come a long way too, in our embracing of dry, heady rosé’s! It seems the world has gone absolutely crackers for rosé’s, even Brad and Angelina are making one after all!

We admire the quality and restraint used at Benovia; they make a spate of fine Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs. And then, in very limited production, they make this delicious Rosé.

Rosè’s made from Pinot Noir are a personal favorite, as they exude a grace and gossamer quality that is very appealing. Who doesn’t want a glassful of alpine strawberries? Pure bliss!

 

$24.00 BOTTLE / $288.00 CASE

 

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2010 A. Semedo Bairrada Tinto 

 

When most of think of Portugal, we go immediately to dessert wines: Madeira and Port.

But Portugal offers a wealth of delicious dry (mainly) red wines that are worth seeking out.

We will do the work for you on this one.

Semedo’s Tinto from the Bairrada region (part of the larger Beiras zone, on the western coast) is composed of 50% Touriga Nacional ( a robust, tannic dark-skinned, indigenous variety) and 50% Baga, a demanding varietal that is capable of producing very exotic, full-bodied wines.

The result is a full-throttle, complex and rather savage wine. This is definitely in the dark fruit camp, but there is a beguiling array of vinous notes like green olive, smoke, violet and meat (raw, mainly) that will have you going back for more.

 

$19.00 BTL. / $228.00 CASE

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 2011 Sergio Mottura Grechetto “Poggio della Costa”

 

There are many reasons why I think that Italy is presently making the greatest white wines in the world, and one of them is this amazing wine from Sergio Mottura of Lazio.

Located in the hills near Civitella d’Agliano, the estates history goes back to 1933.  The 1960’s became a time of experimentation, researching the best methods for farming. Those results can be tasted today.

The vineyards are composed largely of volcanic soil, and planted there are a variety of grapes, of which the Mottura family is most proud of their Grechetto.  That local variety shines bright in “Poggio della Costa,” a wine made entirely of Grechetto from the single vineyard of that name.  Extremely low yields, strict selection of the best grapes, and an emphasis on retention of fruit and soil characteristic all should be, and are, lauded.

This is a tank fermented wine that is aged on its lees till the end of March.  The aromas and flavors are so clear and so bright that this is truly a wine you can’t stop drinking.  Flowers, mineral, citrus peel, they all explode from the glass.

For the fourth year in a row this wine has been giving the prestigious Tre Bicchieri award from Italy’s wine journal the Gambero Rosso.  A truly remarkable accomplishment given its modest price point.  Bravo!

$20.00 BTL. / $240.00 CASE

 

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 2010 Ermitage du Pic Saint Loup Rouge “Cuvée Sainte Agnés”

 

The wine region of Pic Saint Loup is named for an imposing limestone peak that dominates the region. These are stony, poor soils; difficult for agriculture but a viticultural dream. As go many of the stories  now in the Languedoc, generations of co-op driven grape growing was ended by a shift into organic farming and a spirit of real artisan production.

 

Sainte Agnès is a single sight with limestone soils and planted to 50 year old vines of Grenache, Syrah & Mourvèdre. The wine offers tingly aromatics (courtesy of limestone) and real depth (courtesy of vine age). No commercial yeasts are employed and aging is in used foudre & barrique.

 

This is the kind of marvelous little discovery that makes you feel the place from where it comes, a walk underneath a battalion of cypress trees, boots kicking up arid dust, the scent of rosemary and lavender all around you.

 

$20.00 BTL. / $240.00 CASE 

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