Hello and Happy Friday!
It’s the last Friday of the month and time to introduce the brand new “Six for $60-something” wine sampler!
Six wines, hand selected by me, that represent a range of styles – all hovering around the $10 price point. Each wine is available by the bottle or case, but as I often say, for maximum pleasure you should take the whole sampler.
The “Six for $60-something” is highly recommend to those learning about wines, trying to stock their wine rack with affordable and tasty adult beverages, 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 you find Torrontés to be too spooky, Rhône varietals turn you white as a ghost, or any other interesting reason why you can not drink one of the following wines, then 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 any time in the coming month!
Thanks again for all your support!
Have a great weekend,
2008 DEVOIS DE PERRET COTEAUX DU LANGUEDOC
A “Six for $60-something” almost always includes a Rhône varietal wine or two. This month I scored two excellent examples from different regions in the South of France. It will be a fun exercise to compare and contrast the two.
I am very excited to introduce this delicious red blend produced by the Vignerons du Pic, the local cooperative of Pic St. Loup. Most of the fruit for this wine comes from in and around that region, which is located north of Montpellier.
This area is a great growing climate for Syrah, and this wine includes 40% of the aforementioned varietal, along with 30% each of Grenache and Mourvèdre.
Really bright strawberry and white pepper aromatics on the nose, lead into a medium-bodied and delicious mouthful of red fruits, herbs and soft tannins. This is just calling out for roasted lamb. A fantastic value!
$12.00 BTL. / $144.00 CASE
2010 GOUGUENHEIM TORRONTÉS
I do take requests – one of which was including a Torrrontés from Argentina on the sampler. So your wish is granted with this excellent example from Bodegas Gouguenheim.
Argentina wasn’t the first wine country to plant Torrontés, they have just made it famous. By embracing it as their own, it is often the first white grape varietal thought about when talking about the wines of the country.
As with any grape varietal, there are always various styles based on how the producer chooses to grow it, where, and how they vinify it. I was really impressed with this example from Gouguenheim.
They are located in the Tupungato Valley, which is an hours drive away from Mendoza. This is a great climate for grapes to grow in, as it is a high desert plain, with 320 days of sunshine a year. Due to this fact, the vineyards are irrigated with water from the Andes Mountains.
With this Torrontés, Gouguenheim presents the expressive, fruit focused side of the varietal. It is cold fermented in steel, aged on its lees for a short period, and then bottled and shipped.
Very pretty aromatics of white flowers, citrus and melon, lead into a vibrant, citrus focused palate. This is a delicious drink all by itself, and will also work with goat cheese or white fish such as cod.
$9.50 BTL. / $114.00 CASE
2009 LAVIÑA TEMPRANILLO
I have featured plenty of different Tempranillo’s on my sampler before, but yet this is still a first.
Tempranillo grows all throughout Spain, although often under different alias’. In La Mancha – call it Cencibel. Standing in Toro – Tinta de Toro. Or you could be in today’s featured region for Tempranillo, where it is called Ull de Llebre or “Eye of the Hare.” That region is Catalunya. It is most known for its Cava in the Penedès region, and Rhône varietals in appellations like Priorat and Montsant. Yet, Tempranillo is a very important grape in Penedès, grown in both zones the Alt Penedès and the Baix Penedès.
This is a very tasty interpretation from Vallformosa, the largest family owned Cava house in Penedès. The grapes are sourced from various vineyards throughout Catalunya. It undergoes semi-carbonic maceration at cool temperatures, helping promote aromatics and preserve fruit.
I really like this for its freshness and drinkability. It is a simple, easy-going style of Tempranillo with lots of bright red and black berry notes, along with hints of herbs and spices. That tannins are very soft, giving it more flexibility at the table.
$9.50 BTL. / $114.00 CASE
2008 DOMAINE LAFAGE “CUVÉE NICOLAS” GRENACHE NOIR
This name should seem mighty familiar as just this past July, I included a wine produced by Jean-Marc Lafage called “Cote Sud” in my sampler. That wine was a blend with Grenache, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon.
On this sampler, I wanted you to try his bold and rich interpretation of pure Grenache. As a refresher, Lafage is located in the Catalan part of France. His landholdings are quite vast, and he produces a wide range of wines.
This wine is named after Jean-Marc’s son, and comes from a very specific part of the Rousillon, with south/southeast facing vines. The vine-age here is very old at over 70-years, thus the yields are very low at 2.5 tons per hectare.
Jean-Marc gives the grapes a cold maceration for a week prior to alcoholic fermentation. They employ “pigeage” a word meaning to plunge down the cap of the wine. Maceration last three weeks, and then the wine is aged in barrels on its lees for six months.
A really intense rich wine with super-ripe aromas of blackberry and raspberry jam. The palate is rich and mouth coating, and the finish is long. You can have a glass of this on its own, but it will pair well with venison or other full-flavored meat dishes.
$11.00 BTL. / $132.00 CASE
2009 MONTE DE LUZ TANNAT
When was the last time that you walked into a restaurant and asked to see their list of Tannat’s? Probably never, but you may learned to love it after trying this delicious example from Monte de Luz, a producer in Uruguay.
If you are having flashbacks, that is because this wine has appeared (albeit a different vintage) in a previous sampler. South America is always a place I look to for value, although typically I’m looking to Argentina or Chile.
Tannat may not be on your wine radar screen, but it is thought to have originated in Southwest France, where today it is most famous in the appellation of Madiran. Grape historians feel that it may have been brought to Uruguay by those in the French Basque country, where it grows along the Pyrenees Mountains.
It is now a heavily consumed grape varietal, and after all the Uruguayan’s like to party (second largest wine consumption in South America).
This Tannat comes from the San José appellation of Uruguay. Monte de Luz is owned by the Lesgourgues family, who is the owner of Château Laubade, the famous Bas Armagnac producer. The winery was founded in 2000, and has established itself as a high quality domaine.
This Tannat doesn’t see any oak treatment and is really meant as a fresh, juicy expression of the varietal. I like it for its dark cherry, pepper and mineral notes. It is a really good match for steak.
$9.00 BTL. / $108.00 CASE
2009 CHÂTEAU HAUT-RIAN BORDEAUX SEC
Here is another name you longtime Perman Wine fans may recognize as this too makes a second appearance on the sampler.
Over the years I have consumed countless bottles of different vintages of Château Haut-Rian Bordeaux Sec. This is the crisp, aperitif side of White Bordeaux, a blend of 60% Sémillon and 40% Sauvignon Blanc, vinified and aged only in stainless steel tank.
The grapes come from hillside vineyards in Rions. Primarily limestone soil with gravel, you can understand why these varietals thrive here. Michel and Isabelle Dietrich do an amazing job at producing such a quaffable and fun white wine.
Super bright and fresh notes of grapefruit, lemon, and herbs on the nose and palate. Very long and totally refreshing, I have always loved having copious amounts of really fresh oysters with this.
$10.00 BTL. / $120.00 CASE