Perman Wine Selections Friday Feature – 4/29/11

Hello and Happy Friday!

I am really excited 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 only drink Marselan before Easter, a wine from Crete brings back bad memories, 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,
Craig

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2009 DOMAINE DE FENOUILLET VIN DE PAYS DE VAUCLUSE

Domaine de Fenouillet is a typical story from the Southern Rhône. Longtime growers, the Soard family, stopped selling all their fruit to the local cooperative and began producing their own wines. It turns out, they are pretty darn good at it too!

What is not typical is the quality – the Fenouillet wines over-deliver in the quality-to-price-point category!

Domaine de Fenouillet is based in the village of Beaumes de Venise. Noted for its fortified Muscat, Beaumes de Venise also produces, red, white and rosé wine, although it was only given appellation status for these categories since 1978. The sweet Beaumes de Venise was granted this status way back in 1943.

It can be difficult to find a producer equally as good at producing sweet wine as dry wines, but Fenouillet excels at both.

Their red Vin de Pays de Vaucluse is probably their most atypical wine. Made from the hybrid grape Marselan, which crosses Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache.

This slightly addictive wine has very pretty aromatics, bold and ripe red berry fruits with a hint of garrigue spices. The texture is soft and juicy, making it easy to drink in virtually any situation – by itself, with cheeses, salmon, pork or with a bowl of cereal in the morning. Ok, maybe not that.

$10.50 BTL. / $126.00 CASE

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2010 ALEXAKIS MALVASIA AROMATICA

I don’t claim to be an expert on the wines of Greece, but I have been interested in the subject and tasting fine wine from the different regions for over a decade.

From my experience, there is a lot of interesting quality producers that have emerged in the last 15 years. Many of the young generation of winemakers have traveled and studied abroad, bringing back their experience to their family wineries.

Among the quality estates, yields have been lowered, great overall care in the vineyard has become a foremost concern, and the wineries have often become state of the art, with all the temperature controlled fermentation tanks, and other vital equipment that they need.

Crete is the largest of the Aegean islands, and accounts for around 20% of Greek wine production. It has been argued that the producers on the island have been somewhat slow to react to the quality revolution. It is important to note that there are a couple of examples of wineries bucking that tradition.

The Alexakis winery is a family owned winery, quite different than the larger cooperatives of the island. I couldn’t find much information on the winery, which leads me to think that part of the reason Greek wines have been a little slower to take off is this lack of professionalism.

After tasting this wine, I knew this was a must for the Six for $60-something! I’m hoping it will turn a few customers on to Greek wines, which is always a goal of mine. This wine is made from 100% Malvasia Aromatica, a clonal selection of the widely planted grape Malvasia.

The hallmark of the varietal is its aromatic freshness. It really jumps from the glass with fresh grape aromas hinting at citrus and flowers. Light, fresh and crisp on the palate, I can’t imagine a more ideal aperitif.

You can also enjoy this with very simply prepared white fish. Delicious stuff!

$11.50 BTL. / $138.00

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2008 LE CABERNET DU GRAND CRÈS, VIN DE PAYS D’OC

Cabernet Sauvignon is alive and well in various parts of the Languedoc.

One such place is Boutenac, a sub-region of the Corbières region of the Western Languedoc. The presence of gravel in the hillsides creates a prime growing environment for Cabernet Sauvignon, although Rhône varietals like Carignan are the still dominant.

Last year on my trip through the Languedoc I was really impressed with the wines of Domaine du Grand Crès. So much so, that I have gone out of my way to have some brought in exclusively for Perman Wine Selections.

While all of the wines are good values, I was happy to discover that the Cabernet Sauvignon would fit into my Six for $60-something program!

This is a great wine for the table. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from hillside vineyards. Hand picked, indigenous yeasts, with aging in tank for 15 months.

A mixture of dark and red berry fruit, lots of aromatic herbs, great refinement and spice. If you are dusting off the grill this weekend, you may want to grab several bottles of this to compliment your food!

$11.50 BTL. / $138.00 CASE

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2010 PICO MACCARIO MONFERRATO CHIARETTO “BERRO””

It’s time to think pink! A handful of 2010 rosé’s have started to hit the shores. While it may not be scorching hot, or even warm out yet, that still shouldn’t stop you from craving a great dry rosé!

I was really impressed with this selection from Pico Maccario a producer located in with the Asti DOCG of Piedmont. In the Mombaruzzo hills, Pico Maccario owns the largest, contiguous vineyard in Piedmont. Dedicated to the grape Barbera, they make a wide range from their modern winery.

While you are not going to find too many rosé’s made from the grape Barbera, Pico Maccario fashions this absolutely delicious Barbera-based rosé. There is 15% of the local grape Freisa added to the blend.

Wonderfully aromatic nose combing ripe strawberries, with hints of flowers and spice. A medium-bodied rosé, that manages to keep its fruitiness in check, but delivers plenty of flavor, body, and freshness in a dangerously easy to drink package.

Great all by itself, this rosé also will be very food friendly, going with everything from a goat cheese salad to fish such as mackerel.

$10.50 BTL. / $126.00 CASE

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2009 JANÉ VENTURA BLANC SELECCIÓ “15 VINYES”

This outstanding value comes from the region of Penedès in Spain. Penedès is a large region that sits just on the southwest outskirts of Barcelona and extends down into the province of Tarragona.

Due to the large size of the region, growers talk about two distinct areas, the Alt Penedès, which is closer to Barcelona and the Baix Penedès that is closer to Tarragona. Even generalizing about these two sub regions can get tricky, as the terroir can be quite different.

In the Baix Penedès, Jane Ventura is a distinguished family-operated winery that makes a range of outstanding white, red and Cava. Across the board these are excellent values, especially since this is an artisan producers and everything is done by hand.

Blanc Selecció is an outstanding white wine value. Estate grown and purchased fruit go into the making of this wine. 65% is composed of old-vine Xarel.lo, 15% Muscat de Frontignac, 15% Chardonnay, and 5% Malvasía de Sitges.

Cold-temperature skin maceration is used to promote aromatics, and cold fermentation is done in Inox vats to retain freshness.

The resulting wine is very aromatic with hints of flowers, citrus, and almond. Fresh with some texture, the fruit is really balanced by the Mediterranean herbs.

This is being offered at a very special price at it normal retails for around $14. Try it in the sampler, and stock up on some for all your Spring-time drinking!

$9.50 BTL. / $57.00 SIX-PACK CASE

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2009 EL GANADOR MALBEC

There are very few places in the world that can produce under $10 red wine values from hand harvested, low-yielding vines.

The popularity of Argentina in today’s wine marked has a lot to do with the fact that it can achieve the above objective.

This month’s “Six for $60-something” Malbec value comes from a Luján de Cuyo producer called Tiza. A Spanish family from the Navarra region that also owns over 200 acres of vines in Mendoza.

Their entry-level Malbec under the El Ganador label is an exceptional value. 100% Malbec, all hand-harvested. The wine is fermented in temperature controlled tanks and a small portion is aged for six months in new French oak.

That hint of oak-aged juice adds a richness and spice note that helps balance out the dark fruit and add an element of complexity.

A very easy drinking red on its own, it is also a natural pairing for all things beef.

$9.50 BTL. / $114.00 CASE

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