Friday Feature – August 28, 2009

Hello and Happy Friday!

Hope your week went well.

It’s the last Friday of the month, and that means it’s “six for $60” time.  The monthly sampler that is sweeping the nation, six bottles of wine for only $60, excluding tax!

This months sampler offers another trip around the world, as we head to place like France, Italy, and Australia to try some of their top values.  Four red wines and two white wines complete this months sampler.

The “six for $60”  is highly recommend to those learning about wines, trying to stock their wine rack, or wanting to bring a gift to someone hosting a party.

So how does this work?  To order simply e-mail me back and say “Hey Craig, hook me up.”  To join the devoted legions of fans who receive them every month you can just say “and keep ‘em coming!”  All of the wines are available by the bottle or case, but for total jubilation just do the whole sampler.  Some people are challenged by some of the wines that I put in to my sampler.  If Chenin Blanc gives you the hiccups, you wind up in jail every time you have a Tempranillo, or just simply hate something I am offering, I will substitute and try to get the sampler as close to $60 as possible.

A suggestion to those folks trying to learn from this as well as get a buzz, print out a copy of the newsletter to keep with your sampler.  That way when you are in the mood for a bottle you have your own mini wine lesson on hand.  So what are you waiting for?  Order yours today!

The sampler is in stock and ready to be picked up or shipped out!

Have a great weekend,


I’m glad I own a wine shop.  Not because I go through life with a constant, slight buzz, or because it has increased the amount of people who invite me to parties because they know I’m going to bring something good.

The real reason I enjoy owning a wine shop is because it gives me the freedom to avoid making hasty generalizations about wine.  I get to taste everything, and do it for free!  So while some of my customers have written off entire wine continents, my tastings reveal wines from every corner of the globe that simply taste good!

I bring this up because many have written off the wine country of Australia.  Maybe it was Yellowtail that did it, or maybe its just cool to hate Australia.  So here I am to prod you into trying to get to know Australia all over again.

Langhorne Creek is a fascinating region located in south Australia, southeast of Adelaide. Located near Lake Alexandrina, this region is very dry, and sits on what is an old alluvial bed.  Water once covered these vineyards, but today, rivers like the Bremer provide much needed irrigation.  Overall, the region does enjoy cooling winds, and the reds while rich, don’t have quite the ripeness of nearby McClaren Vale.

You can’t have a conversation about Langhorne Creek without talking about the Potts family from Bleasdale.  A fifth generation winery, it was Frank Potts who first grew grapes in the region in the mid 1800’s.

“Langhorne Crossing” is an entry level wine from the current winemaker, Michael Potts.  It is a blend of 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Malbec, 15% Shiraz, and 6% Petit Verdot.  The alluvial floodplain is the perfect setting for these mainly Bordeaux varietals.  Bright, ripe notes of blackberry, menthol, cocoa, and spice on the nose. The palate reveals tightly woven red and black fruits, chocolate, coffee and pepper notes.  Easy to sip on its own, but pairs with heartier foods like BBQ pork shoulder, steak or venison.
$10.00 BTL. / $120.00 CASE


Barone di Valforte is kind of becoming a household name here at Perman Wine Selections.  That’s because this longtime grower turned producer located in the region of Abruzzo in Italy is dedicated to making high quality wines from local varietals.

Many of you have tasted their delicious examples of the white varietals Passerina and Pecorino, but their work with the Montepulciano grape must also be tried!

Most longtime Italian wine fans have tried a Montepulciano d’Abruzzo.  Throughout my 13 years tasting wine in the business I have seen a marked development in the overall quality level in the wines of the region. This is a coastal region, along the Adriatic, that has no shortage of warm days.  The region also has a history of over-cropping, poor barrel management, and simply just trying to produce simply quaffable wine.

Now producers like Barone di Valforte have looked to lower yields, watch carefully the ripeness levels, and either use stainless steel in the fermentation and aging, or work with top quality French oak.

The results of these efforts can be noted in the ’06 Barone di Valforte Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. The grapes come from all estate vineyards that are fermented and aged in stainless steel tank.  The results show that typical cherry note that Montepulciano gets with plenty of spice, good acidity, and a long, clean finish. These wines always were meant for the table, and I would eat this with a lamb based pasta dish.
$11.00 BTL. / $132.00 CASE


If you still have the Sauvignon Blanc blues, it is my job to try and get you out of that rut and provide you with some very tasty options.

One such option is Chenin Blanc.  Grown all over the world, it confusingly comes in both dry and sweet versions.  Personally, I’m not afraid of sweet wines, but in this case I wanted to provide you with a dry version.

I recently tasted this fantastic value for dry Chenin Blanc from the region of Saumur in the Loire Valley of France.  Yes, you “six for sixtiers” are going to be well versed in the Loire regions after trying that white Grolleau last month and now this.  Saumur is the home to many sparkling wine producers, as they often turn the Chenin Blanc of the region into bubbly goodness. Yet there are also some still dry Chenin and red wine in this appellation.  White Saumur always has lovely acidity, hence the reason it makes for such a good sparkling wine grape.

The local co-operative called Cave des Vignerons de Saumur produces this delightful example of Chenin Blanc.  It is completely unoaked, and offers beautiful orange and lemon citrus notes along with plenty of refreshing acidity.  I also really like how this wine carries some weight on the mid-palate.  I had a wonderful dish last night for dinner, a whole fish with chanterelles and bacon mixed in with the vinaigrette dressing. It would be perfect with a wine like this!
$9.00 BTL. / $108.00 CASE


Staying on that kick of crisp and refreshing whites, this white from the Languedoc is the perfect wine as an aperitif.  Château Ollieux Romanis is a rising star in the Languedoc region of France, although they have certainly been around for a while.  Pierre Bories is the current generation that is presiding over the family estate.  He converted the family holdings in the Corbières region to organic farming, and even with many of his wines being great values he works hard to only use natural yeasts, and minimal sulfur.

This refreshing Vin de Pays d’Oc is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Marsanne, and Roussanne.  An eight day maceration and fermentation in steel gives this wine its color and body.  It offers vibrant aromas of fresh grapefruit and lemon on the nose. It is really bright and fresh on the palate with a tangerine and citrus peel notes.  An amazing value to drink on its own or with very simply prepared white fish like halibut or loup de mer.
$8.00 BTL. / $96.00 CASE


Exploring the world of Spanish wines for many years, I always hear about new “emerging” regions. A few years ago it was places like Montsant and Bierzo.  Recently places like Ribeira Sacra in Galicia and Ribera del Guadiana in Extremadura are on my radar screen.

Ribera del Guadiana is one of the newest appellations in Spain, having been granted status in 1998.  Just before that and since then there has been a lot of investment in the region in terms of capital and winemaking technology.

The region of Ribera del Guadiana is composed of six different production areas.  This wine comes from the important sub-region of Tierra de Barros.  With relatively flat vineyards and low levels of annual rainfall this is a very consistent area for grapes with good natural ripeness.

This wine comes from the producer Viticultores de Barros.  Like it sounds, the producer started in 1983 when 35 top growers decided to band together to produce high quality wine.  The winery works with a wide range of varietals that are both local and international.

This wine is composed of 100% Tempranillo.  It is grown in the typical red clay and chalk soils of Tierra de Barros. The grapes are pressed with rubber rollers, and placed in a pneumatic press to gently extract the juice. The wine is fermented and aged in tank.

Ripe notes of blackberry and red berry fruits, along with hints of pine, licorice and pepper spice. This is just a super easy to drink style of Tempranillo that can be consumed on its own, or with a burger on the grill.
$9.50 BTL. / $114.00 CASE


I’m going to make you an offer you can’t refuse!  I was so excited about this red wine from the Languedoc, that while I had previously written it up for a newsletter, I decided to make sure you tried it by including it in this months sampler.

Trying not to repeat myself but…this comes from the Languedoc region of  Faugères.  The Vidal family works in the predominantly schist laden soils and warm climate to bring you various Rhône varietals.

In the 1960’s the Vidal’s were the first to bottle their wines in the region.  Today the new generation pushes further with organic viticulture, push to prevent over ripeness, and their push to make the whites of the region well known.

Château de la Liquière makes around ten different wines.  “Les Amandiers” is a blend of 30% each Carignan and Syrah, and 20% each Grenache and Mourvèdre from younger vines grown on Schist soil. The wine is aged in vats for eight months.

Aromatics combine hints at tomato leaf and wild thyme, along with red berry fruit and spice. Fresh and fruit forward on the palate, with plenty of savory herbs adding to its complexity.  As we head into the home stretch of grilling season, this would be great with some grilled hangar steak served along side a grilled vegetable and herb terrine.
$12.50 BTL. / $150.00 CASE

Craig Perman
Perman Wine Selections
802 W. Washington Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60607
Phone 312-666-4417
Fax 312-666-4487

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