Perman Wine Selections Newsletter – 5/10/10


I was very excited to get this newsletter out today, as there are lots of great new releases and fun finds from all of my recent tastings.

First a bit of events calendar news. This Friday is the most fun event of the year here at Perman Wine Selections.

It’s Basque Night!

I’m turning my wine store into my version of a Basque style Pintxos bar. Pintxos are what the Basque people call their tapas. On an average Friday night in places like San Sebastián, one goes from bar to bar, sampling different Pintxos, washing it all down with the local wine Txakoli and local hard cider.

To celebrate the new release of the ’09 Txakoli’s, I’m throwing a party. Here is how this works – sign up in advance, stop in any time between 6 –9 pm, grab a glass to drink some Txakoli and Sidra, and snack on some specially prepared Pintxos from X–Marx. The price is $35 per person.

This will be a fun event to integrate into your Friday night plans, so let me know today if you can make it!

Enjoy the newsletters, and as always let me know if you are looking for anything in particular?



Not all Bourgogne Blanc’s are created equally! If you love White Burgundy, then you know that this category which can feature grapes harvested from all through the large Bourgogne appellation, vary greatly in complexity and flavor.

A good start to looking for any good Bourgogne Blanc is by finding one from a great producer. The Matrot family is a well–respected Meursault producer that believes in balanced, fresh wines.

I met with Thierry Matrot a couple weeks ago at the store and tasted through the full range of his terrific whites and red wines. For those searching for value, his Bourgogne Blanc is easily one of the best values in White Burgundy that I have tasted this year.

Very delicate with hints at pear, green apple, flowers and spice on the nose and palate. It simply doesn’t get much better for the price.
$18.99 BTL. / $227.88 CASE


Any serious fan of full–throttle–styled American Cabernet Sauvignon is not going want to pass up this limited offer from one of the cult producers of Washington State.

Leonetti Cellars is one of the fine wine pioneers in Washington State, started by Gary and Nancy Figgins in 1977. The Figgins home base in Walla Walla is exceptionally suited to growing powerful Cabernet Sauvignon. Its protection from the Cascade Mountain range ensures that there is long, dry and warm Summer and Fall. It is no wonder then that despite the Figgins being one of the first successful producers of the area, there are now over 100 producers in the AVA.

2007 is a particularly exciting vintage in Eastern Washington. A warm vintage that provided for a perfect long and even growing season. All the accolades are pouring in from the wine press, and it is not surprising having had a chance to taste many wines from this vintage.

The Figgins blend this wine using 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, 4% Carmenère and 3% Malbec. It was aged for 22 months in new and neutral French and American oak barrels.

I would highly advise getting this while it is here now, because once the major publications give their reviews, it will disappear.


I often get asked if I have any white Châteauneuf–du–Pape in stock? When I do have it, let’s just say it is not an everyday type of white wine. $50–$70 is a typical price point for a wine from this area. Looking for Beaucastel Roussanne “Vieilles Vignes,” try well over $100.

All of these are great wines mind you, but sometimes you just want a glass out on the porch. Well, last week I tasted what I think is one of the most delicious white Rhône wines I have had in some time irrespective of region and price.

Château Pesquié has found its way into my monthly sampler for its everyday red called “Terrasses.” They also make a red and white under the “Quintessence” label, kind of their version of a reserve wine.

The Quintessence blanc is a blend of 80% Roussanne and 20% Clairette. The grapes are fermented separately, since they are quite individual. The Roussanne spends some time on its skin before pressing, while the Clairette is immediately cold pressed. The malolactic fermentation on the wine is blocked, and no new oak is used in its aging.

Just an exceptionally fresh and rich white wine with hints at stone fruits like apricot, tropical notes of pineapple, flowers, and spice. The key to any Rhône wine, let alone this is that it finishes with good acidity and balance.

Grilled fish, white meats like pork and chicken, and even truffles are all recommended pairings from the Chaudière family. With what you save on this being such an exceptional value you can go out and get those truffles!
$23.99 BTL. / $287.88 CASE


Ah, Provence! Many of you have traveled there. How do I know?

Many of my customers after their beautiful stay in Provence always come back asking for the wine. For good reason too, because the wines have so much soul, and are great reminders of the actual place.

With the demand, I went ahead and brought in a case of Domaine Hauvette “Le Roucas.” Hauvette is a very sought after estate, which is difficult to meet demand because it is so small with 14 hectares of vines in total.

Dominique Hauvette formed her domaine over twenty years ago, and works the vineyards organically and with great care. She is part of the small but strong natural winemaker movement, part of the reason why Joe Dressner was able to convince her to let him import the wines.

“Le Roucas” is a blend of approximately 50% Grenache, with the rest Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. The ’06 is an elegant, red fruit dominated wine, with pretty garrigue notes and just a little of that Provence funk. This is one that goes down mighty easy.


Last call! Only a few more cases of this absolutely great value Barolo are left at the distributor and the wine is so tasty that I had to give a last call.

This tiny estate is headed by Alessandro and brother Gian Natale in the village of Monforte d’Alba. Alessandro was winemaker at Bartolo Mascarello for ten years, before starting the winery.

The brothers work with the excellent Dardi vineyard, which they farm organically and vinify in their tiny cellar in Monforte.

For those that have forgotten, 2001 was an exceptional vintage, and this wine is starting to really open up after being closed for its initial time in bottle. It will undoubtedly age through 2020, but I say crack a few bottles now and save a few for later. This is truly an exceptional Barolo value, so stock up!

More proof that Barolo is the world’s greatest red wine – yeah, I said it!
$48.99 BTL. / $587.88 CASE


It’s almost here! What is one of the greatest vintages to date of one of Italy’s most famous red wines, the 2007 Ornellaia.

Bolgheri, the DOCG on the Tuscan coast has proven itself to have a unique micro–climate that produces special examples of Bordeaux varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot.

My recent tasting of the 2006 and 2007 vintage of these wines reaffirmed my belief in how truly exceptional they are. I must admit though, that while the 2006 is very good, the new 2007 is about as perfect of a wine from the estate that I have tasted. I was told that August was relatively cool for them, and that a perfect September really brought in grapes of great ripeness, but not over–ripeness.

You could tell this in tasting the wine. It was exceptionally detailed and classically spice driven. The structure from the Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot, the fruit from the Merlot, and the spice of the Cabernet Franc all acted as a chorus of flavors. This is truly perfect harmony in a glass.

This is undoubtedly an expensive wine, but it is one of the greats in Italy, and a truly special experience. I don’t think those that know it need convincing, and I do think those willing to give it a try will be well rewarded.

Ornellaia never tastes too young to me. You can drink this now by decanting it an hour or two. It will age beautifully drinking best from my palates perspective from 2014–2025.

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