Perman Wine Selections Newsletter – 10/18/10

Hello,

I have been tasting lots of great wines lately and many are featured in today’s newsletter. A little bit of something for everyone in this one, so I hope you enjoy.

A quick reminder that this Wednesday and Thursday the store will open later at 3:00 PM so that I can attend tastings on both days. A little research and development!

Enjoy the newsletter!

Cheers,
Craig

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2008 MEINKLANG BLAUFRÅNKISCH

The biodynamic movement in wine started with Austrian farmers. So it is no wonder then to find in Austria estates like Meinklang who work according to those principles that were philosophized about over 80 years ago.

Most of you have delved into the world of white wines in Austria, but the red wines, most notably of Burgenland are some of the most exciting wines coming out of the country today.

Blaufränkisch is one of Central Europe’s most important red grape varietals and it is at its best in Eastern Austria. This wine from Meinklang is the perfect entry point for newbies.

This version of Blaufränkisch is a must try for those that prefer more silky textured reds. I often give this to fans of Pinot Noir. It displays bright red and black fruits with a classic spicy quality that is unique to the varietal. This is a tremendous value.

$16.99 BTL. / $203.88 CASE

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2007 LITTORAI PINOT NOIR, SONOMA COAST

Speaking of biodynamics, winemaker and owner Ted Lemon of Littorai in California is a huge proponent of the philosophy.

The Littorai Pinot Noir’s and Chardonnay’s are among a small handful of the best of California. You don’t see these wines often because they are really small in production, and are limited in each state to only a handful of retailers. I happen to be one of the lucky few that gets to sell the wines.

Ted is always going for a sense of place with his wines. Terroir is a concept he strongly believes in, and his lifelong experience of making wine in France, California, Oregon and New Zealand contribute to that.

The wine offered today is Littorai’s best value for Pinot Noir. The Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir is different than his other wines in that it isn’t a site specific wine. Instead Ted blends fruits from various parcels with the idea of showing the typicity of Sonoma Coast. One great benefit to purchasing this wine as opposed to some of Ted’s other wines, is that it offers drinkability right from the start.

Very aromatic notes of wild strawberry, cherry, spice and hints at mushroom are present. The mouth feel is medium-bodied with soft tannins and a long, balanced finish. Drink this now over the next five years.

$38.99 BTL. / $467.88 CASE

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2008 DOMAINE MUGNERET-GIBOURG BOURGOGNE ROUGE

Warning – do not attempt to purchase this wine if you find yourself often calling a Pinot Noir light or too acidic – you will not like it!

Attention Burgundy fans – once a year I get a tiny allocation for the wines of Mugneret-Gibourg. This is a very small property located in the village of Vosne-Romanée run by Marie-Christine and Marie-Andrée Mugneret. This is one of Burgundies best estates for the purists, and if you find yourself to be one of those, then email me today for availability of all the wines.

The ’08 Bourgogne Rouge from the Mugneret sisters, is a pure, delicate and utterly delicious bottle of Burgundy. There is plenty of acidity, lots of cherry and raspberry tones, but also with some spice and earth notes that keeps it interesting. It is so lightweight and seamless that it just glides down your palate. As you can tell, I like it a lot.

Get it while it is around, because there are less than two cases left to purchase!

$35.99 BTL. / $431.88 CASE

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2007 MITOLO “JESTER” SHIRAZ

Something for all palates here at Perman Wine and this one goes out to all of you who love the bold, rich jam-packed Shiraz of South Australia.

Mitolo is the type of winery that I can really get behind, as winemaker Ben Glaetzer puts his talented spin on McLaren Vale fruit. The first three words that you see when you go on the Mitolo website is “Purity. Elegance. Power.”

For those Aussie haters you may giggle to yourself that elegance and Aussie wines don’t go together. Yet I have tons of respect for those that can take rich in sugar, high-octane fruit, and display it in a way that is delicious and fun to come back to glass after glass.

This is a great example. 100% Shiraz from the Willunga district of McLaren Vale. 2007 was a really low-yielding vintage, and the intensity shows up in this wine. It was aged for 9 months in 2-4 year old French barrels.

Gorgeous ripe notes of blueberries and blackberries are present on the nose and palate. Hints at mocha and spice can also be discerned. The finish of the wine is fresh and focused. This is a real mouth full of wine for the price and a must for Shiraz enthusiasts.

$19.99 BTL. / $239.88 CASE

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2008 BENOIT ENTE BOURGOGNE BLANC

Fall brings requests for White Burgundy. Not sure why as you should be drinking the stuff all year around!

Chardonnay from the motherland can get quite expensive, and fans of the stuff should look for reputable bottles of Bourgogne Blanc for value.

Year in and year out Benoit Ente is producing one of my favorite values. A very small producer based in the village of Puligny-Montrachet, his wines are so elegant. At Ente there is none of that heavy lees stirring or excessive oak usage done by so many, rather pure and racy wines that I could drink all day!

Trying to find the Benoit Ente Bourgogne Blanc can be problematic given that he produces just over 200 cases a year.

I tasted the mighty delicious 2008 vintage last week a tasting, and ok, I will admit went back for seconds. Lime, lemon, crushed minerals and a bright, racy finish are all things that you have to look forward to if you snag some for yourself. This is truly fun to drink!

$28.99 BTL. / $347.88 CASE

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2006 I VIGNERI DI SALVO FOTI “VINUPETRA” ETNA ROSSO

This is one of the best wines I have ever tasted from Etna Rosso on the slopes of Mt. Etna in Sicily. The wines of this region are some of the most interesting wines being made in Italy today.

I Vigneri is the personal project of one of Sicily’s most famous and sought after winermakers, Salvo Foti. If you have had the Gulfi wines before, then you have sampled his work.

Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappucio are the main red grape varietals of the appellation. With various microclimates around the volcano, there are plenty of different styles being made today.

Foti makes two wines, a total of 1200 cases a year. His top wine is this one “Vinupetra” which comes from a specific microclimate on the north side of Etna near the village of Calderara. This is one of the coolest climates in Etna, but also one of the best.

This is very old vine fruit, some vines up to 100-years old get used in this wine. Farming is done naturally, and fermentation is done with natural yeasts in open top oak vats.

The ’06 “Vinupetra” is spectacular, really opening up with some decanting to reveal notes of cherry, menthol, mineral and spice. It is medium to full – bodied, with plenty of concentration to handle the tannins. This will be interesting to follow over the next 6-10 years, although it is certainly approachable with decanting.

I only received one case of this and it should go fast!

$66.99 BTL. / ONLY 12 BOTTLES AVAILABLE

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N.V. DOMAINE DE MONTBOURGEAU CRÉMANT DU JURA

Sparkling wine enthusiasts wont’ want to miss a chance to grab some of this rarity.

The tiny Jura region in the seemingly middle of nowhere area northeast of Lyon is home to some varietals you are very familiar with – Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. But due to the unique terroir of the region they don’t taste like any other Chardonnay or Pinot Noir you know from other regions.

Not only are still wines made from these grapes in the region, but so are delicious sparkling wines. The appellation of Crémant du Jura covers these bubbly wines.

Domaine du Montbourgeau is one of the most well respected producers in the region, especially for their Crémant. It is composed of 100% Chardonnay grown on clay and limestone soil. Lees aging is minimal at around a year, but part of what makes this such a vin de terroir is its unadulterated nature.

Mineral, mineral, mineral. This is bone dry, with soft citrus notes and yes, plenty of minerality. A great aperitif, good with oysters and shellfish, and even the local cheeses of the region like Comté.

I was able to hunt this down via special order, as it doesn’t usually ever make it to Illinois. I only got two cases, so if bubbles are your thing, contact me today.

$21.99 BTL. / $263.88 CASE

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1987 R. LÓPEZ DE HEREDIA “VIÑA TONDONIA” BLANCO, GRAN RESERVA

This is Spain’s greatest white wine! It certainly isn’t a style for everyone, but I also have no problem saying that it is about as complex and interesting as a wine could ever get.

R. López de Heredia is a famed producer in the Rioja Alta district of Rioja. Don Rafael López de Heredia founded the estate way back in 1877.

While things have changed around the winery, not too much has changed at it. White wine has historically been very important in the Rioja region. In the past couple decades it has become less noteworthy.

Yet López de Heredia continues their tradition of long aged white wines made from predominantly Viura with a splash of Malvasia. When I say long aged, in this case I mean 9 ½ years in old oak casks, before being bottled and aged another decade in bottle. That’s right, López de Heredia likes to release their wines when they feel they are ready to drink. A practice that is done by almost no one else in Spain that I know of!

The aromas and flavors are truly special and unique. Expect oxidative notes of toasted hazelnuts alongside of bright orange peel and lemon citrus. The hallmark of this wine is its vibrant acidity despite being so old! It is incredibly long and layered.

If you do buy this wine, I would suggest that you serve it not too cold, perhaps at the temperature of a fine White Burgundy. It can be paired with some complex fish dishes, as well as poultry, mushrooms or eggs.

If you are a fan of these wines already it is important to buy them at their release, as buying older vintages directly from the winery can get quite expensive. This is an amazing price considering it is over 20 years old!

$83.99 BTL. / ONLY 21 BOTTLES AVAILABLE

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