Perman Wine Selections Friday Feature – 12/31/10

Hello and Happy New Year!

I hope you have had a wonderful holiday season!

I wanted to take a moment to send a sincere thank you to all of my great customers! Thank you so much for all of your continued support. As a small business, I appreciate each and every sale. Tara, Ellis and I thank you for thinking of us when we know there are many other choices out there.

An important piece of Perman Wine news in 2011. Effective immediately, Perman Wine Selections will be closed both Sunday and Monday. For many years I have been working either six or seven days a week, and it was time for me to spend a little more time with my family. This will give me an opportunity to teach my four month old all about wine each and every Monday while mom is at work. I’m thinking of giving him the Spanish wine department to manage. He seems up to it.

OK – back to the newsletter! You will be excited to know that it is time for the “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 are not drinking Carignan in 2011, Malbec gives you the creeps, or you 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 any time in the coming month!

Thanks again for all your support and Happy New Year!

Have a great weekend,


On my June trip to the Languedoc and Rousillon regions of France I tasted many impressive examples of old-vine Carignan.

These regions, along with areas like Priorat and Montsant in Spain, have proven that this is a noble varietal, especially when the vines are old and are situated in a region where it is indigenous.

Nicolas Batlle and his cousin Lionel Lavail are behind this great best buy old-vine Carignan. Their winery is situated in Maury, close to Perpignan. Much of the soil in this region is black schist, which provides the perfect base for these 80+ year-old vines. There is about 15% Grenache in the wine which gives it a little backbone.

A delicious and silky wine with bright red berry notes and hints at mineral. Spice driven with really good freshness on the finish.

Old-vine Carignan usually comes at a much higher tariff. Yields on these vines are microscopic. So don’t miss this excellent, almost one-of-a-kind value!
$10.50 BTL. / $126.00 CASE


Syrah, Shiraz, to-may-toe, to-ma-toe. No matter what you call it, the Syrah grape comes in all shapes and sizes. Even in the different appellations of the Northern Rhône Valley, Hermitage tastes very different than St. Joseph.

For those inquisitive types, it is time to check out Syrah from South America. What, you have tasted one from Chile or maybe Argentina? Well how about Uruguay?

Domaine Monte de Luz, which is located in the San José appellation of Uruguay is a producer that I have featured in previous samplers. That is because they make excellent values from Tannat and even Syrah. Monte de Luz is owned by the Lesgourgues, a French family that also happens to own one of the best Armagnac estates Château Laubade. Not surprising then to find Syrah planted in the vineyards of Monte de Luz.

Syrah, and many Rhône varietals in general love Schist soil, and that is quite typical of this 34 hectare estate. The Syrah is hand-harvested, fermented and aged all in stainless steel tank. Primary red fruits and spice jump out on the nose, with a mixture of red and dark fruit on the palate. The wine is elegant and supple, and just plain easy to drink on its own, but better yet with anything beef.
$9.00 BTL. / $108.00 CASE


The way the Austrian winery Meinklang loves cows you would think they were Hindus!

The 300 Black Angus cows at Meinklang help keep the ecosystem of the farm balanced. This is part of the philosophy of biodynamics, which was defined by the Austrian anthropologist, Rudolf Steiner in the 1920’s. The Meinklang winery espouses Biodynamics, and while many poke fun at the lunar cycle aspect of the practices, it should be stressed that healthy vineyards and vines are the single most critical aspect to making great wine.

I myself have been a long time fan of the wines of Meinklang, and so it shouldn’t surprise you to see this delicious Grüner Veltliner show up on the sampler. I love Grüner Veltliner, and many of you do too. It is a grape that comes in a range of styles depending on where it comes from and production methods.

The ’09 Meinklang Grüner Veltliner falls into the fresh and vibrant side of the grape. Expect bright citrus notes, a kind of lemon/ lime aroma and flavor, with hints at white pepper and mineral.

It sure goes down easy by itself, although it is a nice match for sushi as well.
$12.00 BTL. / $144.00 CASE


This is a really, really delicious everyday Côtes du Rhône for the money. So much so that I was thinking of putting a “buy me” sign in really big Font on the newsletter.

Élégantia is a new négociant project from the young director of an established Châteauneuf-du-Pape estate in Bédarrides. Made from purchased must from both growers and estates.

A blend of 80% Grenach and 20% Syrah, the vines are 50 years-old on average. The wine is vinified and aged all in tank. The result is a delicious, juicy and refreshing style of Côtes du Rhône. This is a big crowd pleaser that all of your friends will enjoy from Michelle to Michael to Ellis.
$9.00 BTL. / $108.00 CASE


The wine culture of the Veronese people goes back thousands of years. The appellation north of Verona called Valpolicella has been synonymous with quality wine for seemingly forever. Names like Valpolicella Classico and Amarone della Valpolicella are among Italy’s most famous wines.

The grape varietals of Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella, Molinara among others are not household names, but they are what is blended into these famous wines.

Villa Monteleone is a 17th century villa surrounded by vineyards that was purchased by the Raimondi family over 20 years ago. Through the years they have taught themselves to produce wine from their estate vineyards. Their focus is on high-quality wines, which seems like it should be a normal goal, but in this region for many years the focus was on quantity, not quality.

This terrific table wine is a great example of a Valpolicella Classico. A blend of Corvina, Rondinella, Croatina, and Molinara from 20 year-old vines. Hand harvested, fermented in tank, and aged in oak for six months. Bright notes of cherry and plum, with hints at baking spices. The wine has nice freshness and never seems heavy. Valpolicella is a very versatile food wine, working with pastas, poultry and even fish. A true Italian table red.
$10.00 BTL. / $120.00 CASE


To fully test something you need to experience it yourself. This is the meaning of that old anecdote “The Proof of the Pudding.” It turns out that that saying is actually just shorthand for “The Proof of the Pudding is in the Eating.”

I’m bringing this up because I got to thinking about the Malbec varietal. There is a lot of non-descript, and just plain boring Malbec out there. That is why I am here, slaving away trying a new “pudding” seemingly every day. It is necessary though – if you don’t do the legwork you will be left with something that is just not worth drinking.

The latest proof, or test came when I tried this bottle of Ksana Malbec. It comes with a story derived from some marketing “genius,” and since sarcasm is difficult to detect in writing, I will tell you I am being very sarcastic!

One thing the marketers can’t take away from this wine is the taste. This is a very delicious Malbec for the price. It is made by Paolo Durigutti from vineyards in the Las Compuertas and Agrelo districts of Mendoza. The vines are 52 years-old on average. They use indigenous yeasts, don’t fine or filter, and age it in a combination of French and American oak.

The “pudding” is rich on the palate with more dark berry fruit than red, hints at cocoa and pepper spice. This stuff is very easy to drink on its own, and makes an excellent “cocktail wine” or can be paired with a big old piece of Argentinean steak.
$12.50 BTL. / $150.00 CASE

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