NV Terre Gaie Prosecco Veneto, Italy
The argument can be made that all inexpensive Proseccos are alike: fruity, innocuous, fizzy and quaffable, perhaps better for cocktails than alone. The best one can hope for is a lack of cloudiness and a reasonable dosage.
If the above statement seems deflated and like a compromise, you’ll be happy to know that we have discovered a value Prosecco that is made with fastidious standards, one which exacts quality within a category that, let’s face it, can really run the gamut.
The Terre Gaie estate is located in the village of Vò, in hilly Colli Eugenaie in Southern Veneto. It’s proximity to the historic Po River demands conscientious farming, and Terre Gaie is devoted enough that their vineyards are certified organic. The vineyards, which are 1000 feet above sea level, benefit from both Alpine and Adriatic influences, insuring aromatic freshness. The wine is made with 100% Prosecco, or Glera as it is called locally.
This is the kind of Prosecco you can haul to the beach in a cooler, or use as a toast wine at a wedding. It works in a hobo paper bag, or Prada Tote. Christen a boat, or use as a weapon during a home invasion. We really mean it when we say it’s an all-purpose sparkler!
$13.00 BTL. / $156.00 CASE
2012 Colonia Las Liebres Bonarda Mendoza, Argentina
The story of Bonarda in Argentina and what DNA profiling has revealed about it’s true identity is confusing and complex enough for a C.S.I. episode, especially if you find botanical ampelography as compelling as we do.
Instead of making you sit through an hour program where limitless financial resources and incorrect gun holding reign supreme, here’s the abbreviated version.
The real variety here is Douce Noire, an ancient grape of Savoie, in eastern France where it is also known as Corbeau. The grape then made it’s way to the new world, specifically California (where it was called Charbono) and Argentina (where it was called Bonarda).
Bonarda (aka Douce Noire) thrives in Argentina, enjoying a warm climate and ripening potential it never had in the cold mountains of the Jura. The result is a fresh, aromatic, juicy quaffer that neither blinds the drinker with acidity nor drowns him/her in decayed and overripe phenolics.
Colonia Las Liebres is a single estate owned by Altos las Hormigas that concentrates only on Bonarda, 2700 feet above sea level in the sub zones of Medrano and Carrizal di Abajo. The 2012 vintage saw significantly lower yields, which equates to extra concentration for us drinkers.
$8.50 BTL. / $102.00 CASE
2010 Domaine Sauvète Touraine Sauvignon Blanc “Oneiros” Loire Valley, France
We are pleased to offer the kind of crisp, mineral driven Sauvignon Blanc that everybody seems to crave in the summer. And we believe, firmly, that ground zero for this kind of wine is the Loire Valley.
Jerôme & Dominique Sauvète are fourth generation winemakers, located in a scenic village called Monthou-sur-Cher. In true French fashion, this village is festooned with a stone castle, ancient church built in Roman times, and a neolithic grindstone, in case during your travels you had somehow dulled your axe, and it was in need of sharpening, caveman style.
The Sauvètes produce four quality ranges , all with compelling names: the pleasure range, seduction range, the exception range and something called ‘incontournable’; which means essential.
Happily, our offering in this sample pack comes from the ‘seduction’ range, a step up from mere pleasure. All wines at the seduction level are produced organically and we can think of no other Sauvignon at this price point that offer the depth and complexity of the Oneiros.
The classic dishes of summer do well with this wine: broiled white fish, salads, cheese and nuts. You can also just chill up a few bottles and relax out on the porch, no food necessary.
$13.00 BTL. / $156.00 CASE
2012 Kir-Yianni “Akakies” Rosé, Greece
Rosé-a-holics freaked out last year when they tasted the first ever release of the Kir-Yianni “Akakies” Rosé. Well, time to get your freak-on once again! The 2012 is here, just in time for that warm weather that makes you crave the pink stuff.
Kir-Yianni was founded in 1997 by Yiannis Boutaris, it is now under the leadership of his son, Stellios. Based in Northwestern Greece, the winery is most acclaimed for its excellent red wines made from the Xinomavro grape varietal.
Xinomavro produces full-bodied red wines and makes an excellent base for this delicious dry Rosé! The grapes come from the Amyndeon vineyards on the shores of Lake Vegoritis. Surrounding these vineyards are Accacias, which lends its name to this wine. The soil is sandy and poor, and the result is low-yielding grapes with intensity.
This deeply colored Rosé is teeming with notes of strawberry and citrus on the nose. The palate has depth, but maintains a bright, refreshing quality that keeps you coming back, glass after glass.
If you are a Rosé fan – do not miss this!!!
$13.00 BTL. / $156.00 CASE
2011 Quinta da Aveleda Vinho Verde, Portugal
The great Portuguese wine contradiction tells a tale of both fame and obscurity. On one hand, the obscurity, the lack of knowledge of the wine world on the great regions of the Dão, Bairrada, and Alentejo.
The flip side is the fame: Port as the worlds first demarcated appellation, old-schoolers will remember the influx of Mateus rosé into the US in the ’60’s-80’s, and of course Vinho Verde, that slightly fizzy, low-alcohol white that you can find being guzzled in every Marisquería along the cost of Portugal.
2013 is the year of Portuguese wine at Perman Wine Selections. Upcoming 6 for $60-Somethings and 6 for $120-Somethings will feature many of this wines.
Since it is summer, I felt it was a must to include a Vinho Verde in this month’s line-up.
So what is Vinho Verde? It is both the name of a type of wine (translating to “Green Wine”), and the name of an appellation. The Vinho Verde DOC is further divided into nine different sub-regions.
As you will soon learn, not all Vinho Verde taste the same. To start you off I wanted to focus on a more “traditional” version from Portugal’s largest producer of Vinho Verde.
Sometimes in the wine world we thing of big as bad. But let it be known, Aveleda may be Portugal’s largest Vinho Verde producer, but it is a family business, owned and run by the Guedes family. My visit to the estate in May confirmed that quantity and quality go hand in hand at Aveleda.
The Quinta da Aveleda Vinho Verde is their flagship Vinho Verde bottling coming entirely from estate fruit, a blend of 60% Loureiro, 30% Trajadura and 10% Alvarinho. To preserve the freshness the wine is fermented in stainless steel and held on its lees till it is bottled.
Weighing in at only 11.5% alcohol, this wonderfully vibrant and fresh white offers up notes of lime, apple and a hint of spice.
This works wonders across a wide range of food, naturally pairing with shellfish and seafood, but also great with salads and a range of different cheeses. You’ll also be happy to guzzle this on its own.
A superb value!
$8.50 BTL. / $102.00 CASE
2011 San Silvestro Barbera “Ottone,” Italy
It’s not easy being a nerdy wine guy. People want to talk about politics or the latest Kanye and Kim drama, and all I want to discuss are topics such as the amazing vineyards of Mt Etna and how indigenous yeast plays such a crucial role in determining the flavor of a wine.
So how does a guy like me make friends?
I’ve got an idea, why not introduce them to a delicious red wine, perfect for summer drinking, that only costs $9 per bottle! That should do the trick!
It’s true that the sampler has seen its share of wines from the Piedmont region in Northwest Italy in recent months. But judging from the response I’ve had from previous samplers, I’m making a lot of friends with these wines.
Many of you will recognize this wine, as I’ve feature previous vintages on the sampler.
San Silvestro is a modern, state-of-the-art winery located in Novello. Owned by the Sartirano family, they source grapes for this delicious Barbera from the Monferrato hills.
The vinification is pretty straightforward with a six-day maceration of the skins, daily pumping over the cap to avoid reduction, and maturing in stainless steel tanks.
Wonderfully bright red berry fruit notes, with a hint at plum and mint on the nose and palate. Put a slight chill on it and enjoy with grilled chicken or pork. You won’t find a better under $10 Barbera.
$9.00 BTL. / $108.00 CASE