Friday Feature – November 27th, 2009

Hello and Happy Friday!

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!

The “six for $60”  is highly recommend to those learning about wines, trying to stock their wine rack with fun things, 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 Rhône varietals make you sneeze, sparkling Favorita causes your hair to fall out, 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!

***This weekend Perman Wine Selections will close at 7:30 PM on both Friday and Saturday evening***

***Space is still available for both Champagne tastings at the store this upcoming week!  Details are posted at the bottom of the newsletter!***

Have a great weekend,
Craig

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THIS MONTH’S SIX FOR $60 SELECTIONS
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2005 MONASTERIO DE SANTA ANA MONASTRELL
It has been a little while since I’ve put a Monastrell from Spain on the 6 for $60.  Kind of surprising considering I could put one on each month’s sampler for about two years and never repeat myself with the same producer!

That is because the Southern Mediterranean coast with its appellations like Jumilla, Alicante, Valencia, Yecla, Almansa and Bullas, can produce high quality, inexpensive wine seemingly like no other part of Spain.

This wine comes from the appellation of Jumilla, which is located in the province of Murcia.  This is a very dry region with poor rocky soil, perfect for growing grapes like Monastrell, a synonym for what the French call Mourvèdre.

Casa de la Ermita is the winery that produces this 100% Monastrell.  Not a very old winery, it was started with the idea to take advantage of the regions abundance of native old-vine varieties, as well as use the warm climate to produce a host of international varieties.

They have excelled in this terrific value Monastrell, made from vines up to 80-years-old.  Aged for three months in a combination of American and French oak, it is well integrated.  Medium bodied with hints at blackberry and strawberries, vanilla, herbs and a touch of balsamic on the nose and palate.  A surprisingly hearty red for a wine at this price point, but then again that is what I’ve come to expect from wines from the region.

Monastrell can work great with tomatoes.  So take advantage by using this with a heartier red meat based pasta dish or one pot winter stew.
$10.50 BTL. / $126.00 CASE

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2008 BODEGAS OSTATU RIOJA BLANCO
I leaped at the chance to offer one of the most delicious white Rioja’s around on my sampler?  White Rioja you say? Over 85% of the region’s wines happen to be red, but white wine made primarily from the grape Viura, should not be omitted from the diet of any Spanish wine lover.

Ostatu is located in the village of Samaniego within the Rioja Alavesa sub-region of Rioja.  The chalky, sandy soil of the Saenz de Samaniego family has produced a range of red and white grapes for many years.  Much of this wine was vinified by carbonic maceration, fine for easy drinking wines, but not a way to make top-notch wine.

The family was convinced in part by Hubert de Bouard de Laforest of Château Angelus in Bordeaux to practice more traditional vinification methods, reduce yields, and the result help put Ostatu into the realm of the top wineries in the Rioja region.

Their white wine, is composed of 90% Viura with 10% Malvasia.  It comes from vines with an average age between 60 and 70 years old.  No oak is employed in fermentation or aging.  The result is a wonderfully fresh and aromatic white wine full of apple, pear, and lemon nuances.  Enjoy this with simply prepared shellfish.
$11.00 BTL. / $132.00 CASE

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2005 DOMAINE DE BEAURENARD CÔTES DU RHÔNE
How wine ages and evolves in bottle is one of the most fascinating topics in wine.  I often taste wine and say to myself how young something seems, or how good it will be in a couple years.

Much of determining that depends on your own palate. Wine certainly doesn’t get any fruitier as it ages, and it usually doesn’t get any bigger.  The fact is, you may not like older wine.

The only way to discover what you like is to try aged wine, and that can be difficult for the average consumer.

Now is your chance.  This wine from the legendary Southern Rhône producer Domaine de Beaurenard, shows a Côtes du Rhône at its peak.  Yes, even humble Côtes du Rhône can improve with age, and this one certainly has!

A blend of predominantly Grenache (around 70%) with small splashes of Syrah, Mourvèdre, and Cinsault, farmed at very low yields.  2005 was a superb vintage in the south, and when many of the wines came out they were a little wound up.

This Côtes du Rhône is drinking oh so well, with hints strawberry, redcurrant, mineral and pepper spice.  It is soft and elegant right now and could be paired up with roasted salmon or a traditional cassoulet.

I think this will give you a good glimpse into a well-aged Côtes du Rhône, and if you really are curious the ’07 is available for trying as well.  The ’05 though is at a reduced price right not, and is an absolute steal at this price!
$9.50 BTL. / $114.00 CASE

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2006 YALUMBA “BUSH VINE” GRENACHE
This six for $60 is going to be an interesting study in Rhône varietals, and in particular Grenache.  Quite different than the above wine from Domaine de Beaurenard, is this Grenache from the large family-owned Australian winery Yalumba.

The words big and Australia usually scare most wine consumers, including myself.  Yet the advice that I give some of my novice wine loving friends is, if they find themselves stuck in a large store in the middle of nowhere and are picking from a bunch of inexpensive wines, look for a wine from Yalumba!  That is because despite the fact that Robert Hill Smith is responsible for overseeing a company that makes around a million cases of wine per year, he has a huge team of winemakers and vineyard workers that know that quality is most important, not “brands” and “marketing.”

Yalumba makes a huge array of wines, many of them from Rhône varietals.  This wine is made from grapes coming from 30-70 year old, bush vine Grenache. The grapes are sourced from the warm climate Barossa Valley.  Hearty red wine fans will know this as a source from richly flavored, full-bodied reds.

A very silky red wine with dark berry and plum notes on the nose, leading into medium weight palate with hints at more sweet berry fruit, cocoa, and spice.  It’s hunting season, and I’m betting that some elk loin would be a great match with this Grenache.
$10.00 BTL. / $120.00 CASE

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TINTERO ELVIO “GRANGIA” BIANCO SECCO
I’ve got two words for you…sparkling Favorita!

This may not be a true sparkling wine, but here is the perfect start to any party.  It tastes great by itself, but also pairs well with lots of appetizers and antipasti.

Each year at this time, I look to find a sparkling wine to put into my sampler, as I know it gets put to good use with all the upcoming parties and entertaining.  This year, I came across this really “cool” wine from Piedmont in Italy that has a little spritz, and basically makes me want to get the party started.

Tintero Elvio is a winery located east of Alba, between the Langhe and Monferrato areas.  Owned and operated by the Tintero family, a small range of wines is offered.  The family makes two wines from the local varietal Favorita.  Once thought to be the same grape as Vermentino that you find in nearby Liguria, it has been proven to be its own varietal, although closely related.

Tintero makes a unique white wine from this tasty varietal.  In typical Kermit Lynch (the wines importer) form no information is really available on how this is made, but my guess is that the Charmat method is employed in giving it spritz.

Whatever the case, I know lots of you will really enjoy this for its delicious pear, soft peach, and mineral notes. This is a perfect wine pairing for any shellfish crudo preparation you want to make, or it is really tasty with goat cheese.
$10.50 BTL. / $126.00 CASE

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2008 MAIPE MALBEC
It’s back!   One of the most popular Malbec’s that I have offered in the store has just released their new vintage, and I think it is better than ever.  Located in the Luján de Cuyo area of Mendoza, this state of the art winery is headed by winemaker Liliana Iannizzotto, with help from consultant Alberto Antonini (of Altos Las Hormigas fame).

The Maipe Malbec comes from 35-year-old vines in both Luján de Cuyo and Agrelo, all of which is hand harvested.  I found this year’s version of the Malbec to have more structure than ever before.  In part this must be due to lengthier skin maceration than you see from other Malbec’s at this price point.  So don’t expect a simple, overripe example of the varietal. The ’08 Maipe is structured and rich with notes of plums and black cherry, finishing with really nice length.  I said it last time, and I will say it again, this is probably the best under $10 Malbec out there.  This is red meat material!
$8.50 BTL. / $102.00 CASE

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DETAILS ON THIS WEEK’S UPCOMING CHAMPAGNE TASTINGS!
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Two Champagne Soirées – Celebrate the Holiday’s with a Pop!

WHEN: Back-to-Back Nights! – Choose between Thursday or Friday, December 3rd or 4th, 2009, from 7-9:30 PM.

WHERE: At the store, 802 W. Washington (Washington & Halsted)

COST: $100 a person.

RESERVATIONS: Please call Craig at (312) 666-4417 or respond to this email.

THE EVENT: A sit-down tasting of eleven (11) Champagnes, with cheeses from Pastoral. (The Champagne selection will be different each night.) The focus of the tasting will be on the emerging new class of “grower-producer” Champagnes, sparkling wines made by small, hands-on producers who make Champagne from cradle to case: they grow the grapes, make the wine, assemble the cuvées, age the Champagne – and send it off to you!

There are 8 spaces left for Thursday, December 3rd, and only one space left for Friday, December 4th!


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

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