Perman Wine Selections Friday Feature – 7/22/11

Hello and Happy Friday!

Before we get started on today’s newsletter, I wanted to remind everyone that Perman Wine Selections will be closed starting this Sunday, July 24th and returning to normal hours on Tuesday, August 2nd. Because I will be gone when I normally introduce the release of the “Six for $60-something,” I will also be making that available for pick up today and tomorrow, just a little ahead of schedule. I hope to see you today or tomorrow to stock up on all your wine needs!

So why am I so excited this Friday? The “Six for $120” is back!

This sampler, aims to bring you some of the best wines I’ve recently tasted in and around the $20 range. All of these are available by the bottle or case, but for maximum pleasure you should take the whole sampler!

Remember with all the samplers, they are available for pick up anytime at the store, so if you can’t make it this weekend, I will have one for you when I return.

Have a great weekend!




This is a ridiculously good value sparkling from one of my favorite little-known White Burgundy producers Benoit Ente.

Based in the village of Puligny-Montrachet, his wines are all about elegance and purity of fruit. Crémant de Bourgogne is the name of sparkling wine made in Burgundy, and I doubt you will find very many of this quality at this price point!

100% Chardonnay from estate fruit, this wine just screams with hints at citrus and orchard fruits, mineral and a refreshing, long-lasting finish!

This is as good as gone, as very little is made and it is almost sold out in Chicago. I’ve snagged a couple cases for the Six for $120, and those of you buying the sampler will soon be converts! Don’t forget, sparkling wine is more than just an aperitif. Trying this with simply prepared halibut or scallops.




A white wine doesn’t get much more refreshing than this!

Australians have embraced the grape Semillon as one of their own. While it is most famous as a blending grape in Bordeaux, in places like Hunter Valley, Australia, it is often vinified by itself into a highly refreshing and complex wine.

Brokenwood is one of Australia’s most famous producers. Their “Graveyard” Shiraz is a highly sought after collector’s item, and their Semillon’s have gained notoriety since they expanded to include white wines in the early ’80’s.

Their Hunter Valley Semillon is an education on the light, crisp and refreshing side of the varietal. Hand picked, no malolactic fermentation to retain freshness, and completely “unwooded” as the Aussies would say.

Really bright lime, lemon and apple notes can be found on the nose and palate. The vibrancy and low-alcohol allow this to pair nicely with everything from oysters, to spicier seafood based Thai dishes.

$20.00 BTL. / $240.00 CASE



Conventional wisdom says that you drink Beaujolais two times during the year, at Thanksgiving, and during the summer when you put a chill on it. Kind of a load of you-know-what if you ask me.

Yet I can’t pass up an opportunity to insist that you drink more Beaujolais. Don’t start with the yucky over-cropped, machine harvested, innocuous stuff you can find on the lower shelves of your local grocer. Instead start with a “serious” Beaujolais, one from a single village, made the right way.

Georges Descombes is one of the most famous vigneron in Beaujolais. Based in Villié-Morgon, he is a small producer, very hands on in the vineyard and very hands off in the winery, coaching the grapes to superstardom.

The ’09 Morgon is just a perfectly delicious expression of the Gamay Noir grape. It is alive with pretty red and blackberry fruit, mineral, and a dramatic freshness that makes you wonder why don’t drink this every day of your life.

Try it, love it, and drink it in copious quantities.

$23.00 BTL. / $276.00 CASE



Those of you who know me well, also know that I am one of the biggest advocates of owning the book “The World Atlas of Wine.” It is a comprehensive book, with wine maps of the major growing regions of the world.

When the next edition comes out, there must be an update to the section on Galicia. Albariño from coastal Galicia has long been popular, but Eastern Galicia is now all-the-buzz in Spain. Areas like Ribeira Sacra, Ribeiro and today’s topic Valdeorras have really come to the forefront of new Spanish wine scene.

Rafael Palacios is one of the most well-respected producers in the region of Valdeorras today. Some of his top wines are reference points for the Godello grape. Together with his importer, they have brought to market a very good value Godello that offers a good starting point for those that haven’t tried the varietal.

Unlike Palacios’ other offerings, Sábrego is fermented and aged completely in stainless steel tank. This is a very fruit driven style of Godello, with hints at pear, citrus and flowers. It is a terrific value.

$15.00 BTL. / $180.00 CASE



Arneis is one of Italy’s most fun-to-drink white grape varietals that is rarely talked about. Maybe it is because it comes from Piedmont, and the great reds garner all the attention.

Yet when the warm summer nights set in, I love a glass of Arneis for its easy drink-ability and ability to pair with crab and shrimp.

Arneis has a long growing tradition in Piedmont, but had fallen out of favor, almost becoming extinct, before a renewed interest came about in the 1980’s. Afredo Currado of Vietti fame is largely credited with the revival of the grape, producing a 100% Arneis in 1967.

Damilano is a well-respected Barolo producer, having grown grapes since the late 1800’s. Their delicious Arneis comes from 15-20 year-old vines in Vezza d’Alba. It is cold-fermented and aged on its lees in stainless steel tank. What I really enjoy about this wine is that it has well delineated citrus peel aromas, and manages to be juicy and fruity, without becoming tiring to drink. I think I will have some Arneis converts after they try this!

$19.00 BTL. / $228.00 CASE



The dynamic Yves Cuilleron is a well-known name in the Northern Rhône wine world. Excelling at both white and red wine, his wines, like most in the region, are anything but cheap.

Yet never fear, I have included this fantastically delicious Vin de Pay Syrah from Cuilleron to quench your Syrah craving at a cost that won’t break the bank.

Finding a Syrah from the Vin de Pays of Collines Rhodaniennes is a good way to ensure value. This comes from younger vines located in Chavanay planted in typical granitic and alluvial soil. The grapes are hand-picked and fermented with native yeasts in vats. It is aged for only eight months in vats and old barriques.

A really great example of the fresh and elegant style that Syrah can attain. Lots of red berry fruit, hints at white pepper and tapenade on the nose and palate. Very seamless with no tannins, good freshness and a long finish. A true bistro wine – perfect with cured meats, rabbit, and many pork dishes.

$21.00 BTL. / $252.00 CASE

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