In event related notes, Thursday’s tasting with Greg LaFollette of Tandem Winery is sold out. Thanks for all your interest.
Tickets are still available for next Thursday, July 23rd, as Perman Wine Selections teams up once again with the underground dining group X-Marx to pull off a first of its kind wine & beer tasting and tailgater. That’s right, the parking lot at U.S. Cellular Field will be home to what will be a fun day of food, wine, beer, and of course, baseball! The tailgater will start 11:30 am and conclude at game time (1 pm) when we will take our seats to watch the White Sox defeat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. $115 per person, includes the tailgater with food, wine and beer and your game ticket. Play hooky with us, and enjoy what will be the event of the summer!
For more information or reservations to this event, or any other upcoming Perman Wine Selections tasting don’t hesitate to contact me.
2006 CARM VINHO TINTO, DOURO
As many of you know last week I had a Portuguese tasting at the store. While I worked very hard to have a top-notch line-up of wines, the overall quality level I think impressed everyone in attendance.
One wine that I left out of the tasting, but am very excited about is this wine from CARM, which stands for Casa Agrícola Roboredo Madeira. As one of Portugal’s most well-respected and oldest wine and olive oil producers, the family run business owns several estates or “Quintas” based in the Douro. This was one of the world’s first demarcated regions, and a source for some of the highest quality grapes in Portugal.
The dry red wines of the Douro, are becoming more well known, and will continue to find their way on the dinner tables of wine enthusiasts throughout the world. Very few reds in Portugal are mono-varietal and CARM is representative in the fact that the majority of their wines are blends.
At the tasting we had a chance to try the “Grande Reserve” from CARM, and not this wine, which equates to its baby brother. Made from a blend of Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, and Touriga Franca that has been aged in a combination of French and American oak, as well as stainless steel tank.
The aromatic nose suggests both red and black fruits, with touches of mineral, spice and licorice. On the palate it is medium bodied, and silky smooth, with more of that spicy fruit characteristic. Just a plain delicious wine that is an overall excellent value. This is on a bit of a price break normally retailing for $21.99 btl. At this price you can’t afford to miss it!
$16.99 BTL. / $101.94 SIX-PACK CASE – ONLY SEVEN SIX-PACKS AVAILABLE!
2006 NIEPOORT “REDOMA” BRANCO, DOURO
While I really enjoyed each and every one of the wines at the Portuguese tasting, the wine that I can’t get out of my head after tasting it is this white wine from Dirk Niepoort. White wine in Portugal for many consumers means one thing, Vinho Verde. Niepoort was one of the guys to help break the mold.
Making white wine in the Douro may just be the most challenging task possible, as only special vineyard sites are able to produce elegant enough grapes. This is a warm region, and the black schist soil makes it even more difficult to produce white wine.
The Quinta de Nápoles that Niepoort purchased in 1987 helps to produce “Redoma.” With the vineyards elevated from 400 to 750 meters above sea level, there is enough of a drop in nighttime temperatures to retain natural acidity. Couple this with the fact that the vines are predominantly 60-100 years old and you have the makings of a great wine. Speaking of vines, predominantly Rabigato and Codega are used in making this wine along with my personal favorites, Donzelinho, Viosinho, and Arinto. That was a joke!
This was fermented and aged in small French oak casks, and kept on its fine lees for eight months. Its strict yields make this a relatively rare wine as only 11,000 bottles are produced.
The aromas and flavors on this wine are really amazing. Comparisons of this to white Burgundy can be common with beautiful notes of hazelnut, mineral, orange and lemon peel and spice on the nose. Despite the richness on the nose, this has great clarity and freshness on the palate, with more citrus and soil-inflected notes coming through. A lot of times you will hear me say that something is a great food wine, and I am going to have to put this in that category. This is bold enough to handle lots of flavor and can go well with both grilled pork and chicken. This is an outstanding value given its quality!
$28.99 BTL. / $173.94 SIX-PACK CASE
2006 DARIOUSH “SIGNATURE” CABERNET SAUVIGNON
“This is what people want.” That’s what my notes said after tasting this beautiful Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley producer Darioush. What I meant in my notes is that this wine exemplifies what most of my customers want in a Napa Valley red. There is enough fruit to excite those who crave that, enough structure to make those “big red’ fans happy, and a ton of nuances to make the picky complexity-driven folks happy. Best of all, here is a Napa Cabernet that tastes good now, and will continue to do so over many years to come.
I tasted through the impressive line-up of Darioush wines last week and learned that this producer strives to make more European inspired wines. Founder, Darioush Khaledi is a long time wine collector, and Bordeaux enthusiast. While the fruit of Oakville and Mt. Veeder will never be exactly like anything from Pauillac or Margaux, winemaker and vineyard manager Steve Devitt strives for similar complexity. The thumbprint is easy to find in the wines, and they benefit from it.
The 2006 “Signature” Cabernet Sauvignon comes from all hand sorted estate fruit. Extended maceration gives this wine deep color and classically built tannins on the palate. The wine combines spice driven dark berry fruit, including cassis, hints of cocoa, tobacco leaf, and nutmeg. This is both plush and full-bodied at the same time, and slowly reveals itself with extended aeration. Ultimately this is a Cabernet Sauvignon that you can drink now and age through 2020+.
$78.99 BTL. / $473.94 SIX-PACK CASE
A NOTE ON PRE-ARRIVALS
As consumers often times we want what we want, and want it right now!
I certainly can understand that, and can see how buying wine on a pre-arrival basis can be frustrating.
Let me paint a quick picture of the wine business today. There are so many great wines out there these days, and I mean a lot. Yet distributors are less and less tying up their cash in inventory. What that means is less selection for the consumer.
This can disturbing trend can be countered because many of these distributors and importers are willing to bring in wine based on firm orders. I can perfectly understand that tying up cash in something that no one may want isn’t smart business sense, heck I do it myself.
Overall my job is to “get your back” and let you know about wines that are available and that you don’t want to miss! So today, and going forth in the future, you will see more of these pre-arrivals. When I write about one of these wines, let me just say that it will be worth the wait!
PRE ARRIVAL #1
2008 PASSOPISCARO “GUARDIOLA” BIANCO
Get excited folks because Andrea Franchetti is at it again with this brilliant white wine from the slopes of an active volcano, Mt. Etna. Whether he is at his estate in Tuscany or Sicily, Franchetti is one of Italy’s great winemakers, and has yet to disappoint me on any of his wines to date.
This white wine hails from the Guardiola area of Mt. Etna, and is composed of 100% Chardonnay. The vines are planted between 1000 and 1100 meters above sea level in the harsh volcanic soil.
I was lucky enough to get a chance to try this wine a couple weeks ago and it was really beautiful. On the nose there was notes of blood orange, honeysuckle, mineral and a hint at fennel. Medium weight with a little fresh apricot and spice. Very fresh, and easy to drink but rich enough to stand up to food. While not a ton of information is available on this wine, after tasting it I doubt there could be any new oak used in its aging as this shows beautiful purity and no hints at oak spice. A terrific white wine at a great price. Remember this is a pre-arrival, and to get a chance to taste this you must order through this e-mail.
$32.99 BTL. / $197.94 SIX-PACK CASE – WINE WILL ARRIVE IN LATE SEPTEMBER
PRE ARRIVAL #2 – COLLECTOR’S CORNER
2001 TRAVAGLINI GATTINARA RISERVA
There is no truth to the rumor that I am re-concepting my store to sell only Nebbiolo based wines. What is truthful is that I absolutely love great Nebbiolo whether it comes from Barolo, Barbaresco, Valtellina, or Gattinara.
This week I had the pleasure to taste through most of the line-up of famed Gattinara producer Travaglini. Many of you will recognize this name or the funny shaped bottles that this producer uses.
What you probably won’t recognize is their Reserva, which is made in small quantities and sadly isn’t available in Chicago, till now that is.
For those new to the region of Gattinara, it is located in Piedmont in the northwest of Italy. Locally, the Nebbiolo grape is known as Spanna. This is a small region with only a little over 200 acres total in its boundaries. While in the shadows of famed regions like Barolo and Barbaresco, Italian wine fans could count on Gattinara to produce excellent values in reds.
The Travaglini winery was established in the 1920’s in Gattinara. After hard work to establish quality in their winery, the family was rewarded along with others in the region with DOCG status. Travaglini is by far the most important producer in the region as it owns over half the vineyards.
Five wines are currently being made at the estate. The “flagship” wine of Travaglini is their Riserva. This is only made in top vintages, and comes from very low yielding Nebbiolo vines. The vines are located on terraced hillsides at between 900-1300 feet.
In its production, Travaglini looks for finesse, and it macerates the juice and its skin for 10 days. The Riserva is aged for a total of two years in casks. The first year is spent in 25% new French oak barrels and 75% large Slovenian oak barrels. It is reassembled and racked into large casks for another year.
This wine really blew my mind when I tasted it! Really intense nose with flowers, pink peppercorn, cherry, and a little anise. Incredibly weighty on the palate, you can really feel that low-yielding fruit when it hits your tongue. Lots of raspberry, a touch of chocolate, and building medium firm tannins on the super long finish. This is awesome. Go ahead and try a bottle now, but make sure you have enough to age some through 2021+. This quality a little farther south in Barolo or Barbaresco would easily cost you twice as much!
$52.99 BTL. / $317.94 SIX-PACK CASE
Perman Wine Selections
802 W. Washington Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60607