Friday Feature 6/21/13: The New 6 for $120 Something

Hello and Happy Friday!

Summer is in full swing, and that means parties, BBQs, weddings and more.  Please keep us in mind for all your wine, beer and spirits needs this summer.


Here are a few reminders about some upcoming events:


Last week I sent out the news of my annual celebration of the Basque white wine Txakolina.  This year, the party will take place on Sunday, June 30th and is being held at Fat Rice (2957 W. Diversey).  You can sign up for the event here.


We are honoring the Basque tradition of Pintxos, by turning Fat Rice into a traditional Pintxos bar for one evening.  If you are unfamiliar with the tradition, it involves standing around snacking on small bites of Spanish (and Portuguese) inspired food, washed down with glasses of a bright, lightly spritzy, and high addictive white wine.  The cost is $55 per person.  Please contact us if you have any other questions.




We also wanted to mention that three spots are still available for our Wednesday, July 17th sparkling wine tasting held at the store.  We’ll be pouring 10 different sparkling wines from around the world, and it should be both a fun and educational experience.  The cost is $60 per person, and reservations can be made directly with us.




Finally, we are back with another Routier tonight, this one focused on the wines of Southwest France.  This exciting region produces many highly individual and delicious wines.


So join us tonight for a snack and a flight of the following three wines, all for $25 per person.


2011 Clos Guirouilh Jurançon Sec


2010 Domaine Etxegaraya Irouleguy Rouge


2007 Château Laffitte-Teston Madiran “Vieilles Vignes”


Hope you can make it!




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.

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 François Carillon Bourgogne Blanc

Legendary Puligny-Montrachet producer Louis Carillon harvested his last grapes in 2009, retiring and handing the Domaine to his two capable sons, Franćois & Jacques. These holdings boast a long legacy and can be traced back to 1520.

Although Louis’ original intent was to have the brothers working together, it did not go that way for some reason, and rather than speculate about whatever family dynamics caused this split, we will focus today instead upon our delicious offering from François.

During a visit in April of 2012, I was able to visit the modest Domaine right in the heart of the village. François is an affable, generous man, with four young children who are clearly being primed for life as vignerons. His adorable and curious teen-age sons, awkward, at the cusp of manhood, were eager to show us their battonage techniques, polite and inquisitive with questions about American life and popular music. They seemed disappointed that we did not personally know Eminem.

François’ style seems to be a bit more generous and forward that that of his Father, but generally in line with Louis’ teachings. We are happy to have a good white Burgundy in the shop at a good price.

Bourgogne Blanc is a sort of catch-all designation for white Burgundy; François’ excellent version involves some estate fruit plus some Chardonnay he buys as a négociant. It is vinified at the Domaine.

Be forewarned, Burgundy at a price like this is going to be harder and harder to find. 2010, 2011, 2012 are all vintages of exceptionally low output, so grab the affordable ones while you can!

$23.00 BTL. / $276.00 CASE 


2004 Muxagat Douro Red

On Monday, May 20th, I arrived to my appointment with João Roseira of Quinta do Infantado in the Douro region of Portugal.  To my surprise and excitement, João had organized a special lunch and tasting for us and wine writer, James Suckling who was in town visiting from Hong Kong.

Not only did we get a chance to visit and taste with João, but also with Celso Pereira of Caves Trasmontanas, Rita Marques of Conceito, Luis Soares Duarte of Bago de Touriga Vinhos, Dirk Niepoort of Niepoort and Mateus Nicolau de Almeida of Muxagat.

This incredible opportunity to meet and taste with some of Portugal’s top producers was truly educational.

A standout from the tasting were the wines of Muxagat and its winemaker Mateus Nicolau de Almeida.  To say Mateus grew up around wine is an understatement , as his grandfather was the man behind the famed Barca Velha wines and his father the enologist and managing director of Ramos Pinto.

After school and training, Mateus started his winery in 2002, working with vineyards in the Douro Superior section of the Douro Valley.  The reds and white wines of this area typically have great concentration but with freshness due to the high altitude.

Now that I’m back from my trip, I’m excited to share the Muxagat wines with all of you!  To my surprise, the local distributor still had a small quantity of the excellent 2004 vintage (current vintage is 2009).  A cooler vintage, this wine has aged beautifully, now showing a secondary mineral note along with a retention of dark fruits and spices.  So not only are we lucky to still have some of this available, but the price was reduced, making it a truly exceptional bargain.

This is a great introduction to those learning about Portuguese wines, and in particular the Douro Superior.  I’m excited for you to try it.





2011 Clos Guirouilh Jurancon Sec “La Peïrine”  


The wine region of Jurançon is one of the southern most outposts of Southwestern France, part of the department of the Pyrenees and close to the Spanish border. This is a dry Mediterranean climate, rustic and rural.


Jurançon is responsible for only two types of white wines; dry and sweet. The allowed grapes here are Petit Manseng, Gros Manseng and Courbu. Grapes here often undergo a natural phenomenon called “passerillage'” a natural drying while they are still on the vine. This provides a raisin-y sweetness for the sweet wines, and a heady intensity for the dry wines.


The “La Peïrine” that we are offering in our sample pack this month is dry, or Sec but late-harvested. This provides an intense headiness, underscored by a steely mineral quality that comes from the stony soils in which the vines grow.


It is the best Jurançon Sec that we have tried, maybe ever!


$26.00 BTL. / $156.00 SIX-PACK CASE



2012 Schmid Grüner Veltliner “Satzen”


Customers ask us all the time what we are drinking at the moment?


The first answer is lots of different things.  The second revolves around our sheer enthusiasm for Austrian wines and their local grape Grüner Veltliner.


While it is an overused statement to proclaim Grüner to be a good choice on any occasion and with any food – it kind of is true!  Of course this grape varietal comes in a wide range of styles, with some lighter fruitier versions and some rich and unctuous examples that can take years to develop.


On this Six for $120-Something sampler we explore the former, the light, fruity and utterly refreshing style of Grüner.


With such exceptional wine history in Austria, it seems quite natural that we are featuring a family estate that has been around since 1865.  The Schmid family owns 14-hectares in the Kremstal, a region that has seen a real uptick in quality over the last decade.


This delicious Grüner Veltliner comes from the Satzen vineyard in Stratzing.  A deep loamy soil provides good water storage capacity that provides enough water supply even in dry years.  The average age of the vines in the vineyard are a healthy 31 years-old.


Looking to highlight the freshness of the fruit this is fermented and rested in stainless steel tanks.


At 12.4% alcohol it proves to be a easily quaffable style that just dances on the palate with hints at green apple and citrus notes.  It does have just a hint of that Grüner spice, which adds to the complexity.


So buy this by the bucketful – and drink it all by itself, or alongside grilled seafood or chicken.


$19.00 BTL. / $228.00 CASE


2012 Ermitage du Pic St. Loup Rosé


Here at Perman’s, we are big fans of the Ravailles brothers, who own and produce the wines of Ermitage du Pic Saint Loup.


You often see the words hermitage, ermitage, ermite or hermite on French wine labels; this refers to hermits, men who live alone, away from society, usually with religious motivations. Hermits were the precursors to monks and formed the basic tenets of the monastic living.


A quick google search reveals the names of many French Hermits, although wikipedia does not list the hermit for which the region of Pic-Saint Loup was named (Thieri Loup). However, we digress.


The Ravailles family has been in the region for 1000+ years, but it is the current generation of Ravailles (brothers Xavier, Pierre & Jean-Marc) who have made the greatest progress in winemaking. Recognizing the significance of their high-altitude vineyards and vine age (averaging 40 years), the brothers made a shift from high yielding, industrialized co-op farming, to a more careful, organic vineyard management style.


The resulting wines are complex and full of depth, produced with very little intervention. For this month’s sampler, we offer their heady rose, a rich, darker style of pinkie made from Syrah, Grenache Mourvedre & Cinsault.


$15.00 BTL. / $180.00 CASE



2010 Massolino Dolcetto


Sometimes there is a misconception about the seasonality of a wine.


Consumers often fall into a rhythm of only drinking the great wines of Piedmont, Italy during the winter.  While it is true that very few other wines are as heart warming as a great glass of Barolo paired alongside something beefy and braised and a nice roaring fire. Piedmont goes beyond just the noble wine Barolo.


Case in point, this terrific Dolcetto from superstar producer Massolino.  You know that commercial that proclaims “Beef: It’s What’s for Dinner?”  Well in my world I’d like to proclaim “Dolcetto: It’s What’s to Pair with Dinner.”   Dolcetto is a perfect compliment to a wide range of food at the table.  You can have it with antipasti, you can have it with pasta, you can pair it with grilled or braised meats.


So why not consider Dolcetto for your red of the summer?  And if you do, stock up on this insanely delicious example from the Massolino family.  The Dolcetto is grown in the prized vineyards of the commune of Serralunga d’Alba.   It is fermented and rested in stainless steel tanks, preserving the freshness of the grape.


Pop open a bottle and plum, red berry, and spice jump out of the glass.  Its juicy, bright profile is accentuated by serving it at the proper temperature.  So go ahead and dunk this in an ice bath for ten minutes before you serve it to bring the temperature down.  It is always the perfect season for Dolcetto!


$17.00 BTL. / $204.00 CASE

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