Perman Wine Selections Newsletter – Tuesday, June 23


Hope you had a great weekend.

On a typical Perman Wine Selections newsletter, I offer several wine recommendations usually concluding with one or two wines geared for the collector.  The “Collector’s Corner” usually features rare and hard to find wines, and today it doesn’t disappoint.   So make sure you read all the way to the bottom!

With any of my newsletters the basic premise is simple, I offer these wines to you, you order with me via e-mail or phone, and I bring them in based on your order.  I’ve worked in retail that does the opposite, buy a bunch of wine and push it out no matter what the customer’s palate.

I’m not that good of a salesman, and since every one of my customers is important; my primary goal is to make your taste buds as happy as possible so you keep coming back!

One last note for those seeking some amazing “everyday” type wines.  This Friday is the last Friday of the month.  That means its 6 for $60 time…..

I hope you enjoy this week’s newsletter; I am very excited about these!



The little town of Orvieto in Umbria is long famous for its crisp and aromatic white wine named after the village. Grapes like Procanico, Grechetto, Malvasia and others are used in the blend.  The land is quite varied with vineyards offering different soils and expositions.

Few wineries achieve the consistency and deliciousness that Giovanni Dubini of Palazzone does.  What I love most about the Palazzone wines are their aromatic freshness combined with plenty of dimension and complexity.  These are certainly not one note wonders.

Probably the most famous white wine of the estate is the Orvieto Classico called “Terre Vineate.”  This is a five grape blend of predominantly Procanico and Grechetto from some of the estates best vineyards.  Giovanni wants this wine to be representative of the best of Orvieto.  The wine is fermented and aged in stainless steel tank before being bottle.

Fresh aromas of lemon peel, orange, hazelnut, and flowers.  Juicy and fresh with good richness on the palate.  A dry, mineral finish keeps you coming back for another glass.  Delicious stuff!
$13.99 BTL. / $167.88 CASE


Just like boxing has a “pound for pound” discussion, the wine world has the “dollar for dollar” equivalent.  The “Réserve du Mas” from stalwart producer Mas de Gourgonnier definitely is the champ when it comes to delivery quality for the price.  This incredibly age worthy and delicious red from the appellation of Les Baux de Provence absolutely over performs for its price point.

Luc and Lucienne Cartier’s estate excels at offering organic and delicious red, rosé, and white wine from Rhône varietals, and yes, even Cabernet Sauvignon.  In 2004 the wineries flagship “Réserve du Mas” is an equal blend of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Grenache aged in French oak.

I tasted this wine last week and was knocked out.  Really aromatic notes of black cassis, licorice, and hints of lavender.  This is classically built on the palate with plenty of chewy structure, but the fruit, earth, spice and acidity is all very well balanced. I noted when I tasted it that all signs point to a great evolution in bottle although this certainly can be consumed now with a big, juicy grilled steak. Drink this with a bit of decanting or age through 2016+.
$25.99 BTL. / $311.88 CASE


A Perman Wine Selections favorite is back with a new vintage.  In March I welcomed to the shop, Romain Guiberteau, winemaker at Domaine Guiberteau in the appellation of Saumur.  Aside from being a terrific guy and very passionate about what he is doing, Romain makes some amazing wines based from Cabernet Franc and Chenin Blanc.

The still white wines of Saumur are not the most common site to see on retail store shelves or restaurant wine lists in the United States, but they certainly are worth seeking out.  Romain Guiberteau should be one of your stops on this journey.  While it is rare to see winemakers equally adept with both white and red wine, he excels at both.

This past week I tasted the new release of the ’07 Guiberteau Saumur Banc and it certainly didn’t disappoint.  A really tropical nose with hints at banana, white licorice and citrus zest.  Fresh and invigorating on the palate yet still maintaining rich weight. I’d like to taste this alongside scallops as I think it would be an excellent match.  If you are inundated with Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Pinot Grigio, it’s time you got a new white wine in your life, and this must be tried!
$23.99 BTL. / $287.88 CASE


In the wine world sometimes it is easier to do things certain ways.  Say you are wealthy enough to start a winery in Tuscany?  Some would set up shop in Montalcino, others Chianti Classico, or maybe in the region of Montepulciano?  After all, selling wine under any one of those appellation names is like picking a seven footer to be on your pick-up basketball team, it makes life easier.

Andrea Franchetti has never taken the easy way out when it comes to his wines.  His winery is located in Tuscany, south of the famous Montepulciano region, and basically in the hills of the middle of nowhere.  Franchetti saw something in an estate that made him go for it, and take on the risks.

Since its inception, Tenuta di Trinoro has become one of Tuscany’s leading estates, and produces one of the best and most expensive wines of Italy by the same name.  The hills of Franchetti’s estate are planted to varietals like Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Cesanese d’Affile, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot.

Franchetti is only concerned with making the best wine possible and the varietal blends often change vintage to vintage. If a varietal doesn’t perform well, it is out.  Simple for him, a harder decision for most business oriented wineries.

While the main wine of the estate “Tenuta di Trinoro” is a wine so expensive that most of us will never taste it, there is a way to taste the brilliance of this winemaker.  His “second label” is called “Le Cupole,” and it is an extremely delicious value.

The 2006 vintage is a real stunner, with 47% Cabernet Franc, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13.5% Merlot, and 9.5% Petit Verdot.  The vintage was slow to develop, but in the end, the fall provided perfect weather for Franchetti’s usual emphasis on well-ripened grapes.

While every year brings a different style to “Le Cupole,” this year brings an utterly delicious, fun to drink style. That in my book makes it highly recommended.  Floral and spice driven nose with hints at red berries and mineral.  Typical silky style, with a hint at tannin on the finish along with some chocolate and herb notes.  This would make a perfect complement to grilled leg of lamb.
$27.99 BTL. / $335.88 CASE


People often ask what goes into my cellar? One of my favorite wines to age and consume in its prime are the great Rioja of the regions most traditional producer, R. López de Heredia.  The winery was founded way back in 1877, and since the 1890’s they have been releasing a Gran Reserva only in very special vintages.

Want to know how special the vintage has to be?  In almost 120 years of producing Gran Reserva’s, only a little over twenty vintages have qualified so far.  The family decides if the wine is worthy by tasting through its evolution several times up to the eighth year.  If at that point the wine has evolved and shows the breed that characterizes a Gran Reserva, then the wine is kept in the cellars for another decade before its release at age 18.  Yes, this producer ages the wine for you so that you can enjoy it at the beginning of its prime. I say beginning because these Gran Reserva’s can age a really, really long time!  There is never a need to question the quality of a vintage when R. López de Heredia releases a Gran Reserva, history has proved that.

It’s apparent that I skipped the basics in my excitement.  There are a few things you should know about this winery. R. López de Heredia is located in the Rioja Alta section of Spain’s famed Rioja region.  Tempranillo is the backbone of any R. López de Heredia Rioja, but Garanacha, Mazuelo, and Graciano also plays a pivotal role in the blending. The winery has two of the most spectacular vineyards in the region bottled under the names “Viña Bosconia” and “Viña  Tondonia.”  The latter is the more famed of the two, as the vineyard is larger and produces more bottles.  Both are equally good in my mind, just different.

“Viña Bosconia” is all about elegance. The 40+ year old vines in “El Bosque” are harvested all by hand in traditional conical wooden baskets called “comportas.”  The wine is fermented in very large, old oak barrels, and fermentation only occurs with natural, indigenous yeasts.

The 1991 “Viña Bosconia” Gran Reserva was aged for a whopping nine years in old American oak barrels, being racked twice a year.  It is a blend of 80% Tempranillo, 15% Grenache, and rest Graciano and Mazuelo.  The wine was then bottled and kept till this spring when it began its shipment across the world.

So what does this wine taste like? Expect very little large scaled primary fruit.  Instead there are amazing layers of gorgeous red berry fruit, flowers, earth tones like mineral and mushrooms, and baking spices to be found on the nose and palate.  This is not a heavy wine, so elegant with great acidity and amazing length.  If you love old Burgundy you will love this!  If you love great aged wine you will love this!  Sadly only 5,000 bottles are produced, of which in Chicago we were lucky to get 84 bottles.  This is how I will celebrate future special occasions! Drink now through 2050.
$85.99 BTL. / $515.94 SIX-PACK CASE


How could I possibly follow up a great collector’s corner item like López de Heredia?  It’s pretty easy when I offer an incredible vintage of one of the iconic wines of Piedmont from traditionalist, Giuseppe Mascarello.

While many of the fabulous 2004 Barolo have come and gone through Chicago, there are a few notorious late releasers that I was waiting for.  One of those was the great estate of Giuseppe Mascarello!

To the Italian wine collector there are very few wines that can bring as big of a smile to their face as a great Barolo can.  While Italy has Pinot Noir, Nebbiolo is the real “Burgundy” of Italy.  Its aromatic magnificence in its maturity is probably only paralleled by that of the great Pinot Noir’s of France.  Just like Burgundy, when great vintages like 2004 in Piedmont come around, enthusiasts know it is time to stock up!

The Giuseppe Mascarello name can be traced back as far as the early 1800’s in Piedmont.  Some of the finest vineyards located around the village of Castiglione Falletto are owned by the current generation, Mauro Mascarello, who while in his 70’s, plays a prominent role in the estate still.

These are traditionally built wines, with low yields, longer maceration of skin to juice, aging in large Slavonian oak barrels, and a reverence for wines that develop in time.

While Mascarello makes Barolo from three very famous cru’s (vineyards), including Villero and Santo Stefano, it is his monopole called “Monprivato” that is among the most sought after names in Barolo. The Giuseppe Mascarello estate has always prominently owned land in this vineyard, and in 1990 the entirety of the vineyard became theirs.  In Renatto Ratti’s famous classification of the great vineyards of Piedmont, Monprivato was ranked as one of the eleven greatest.  Located in the village of Castiglione Falletto it is composed of clay and limestone soil.  It is a southwest facing vineyard that is very sunny throughout the day.

The 2004 Barolo “Monprivato” is a must buy for any Barolo fan with the means to cellar it.  Only seven cases came into Chicago of which I took three. This one will go quickly!

“Mascarello’s 2004 Barolo Monprivato is an explosive wine with an almost Pinot-like expression of purity in its fruit. This round, sweet Barolo is extremely primary at this stage, with tons of dense fruit that almost cover the wine’s tannins completely. Subtle overtones of roses and tar develop in the glass, rounding out this majestic wine. Monprivato is one of the world’s very finest values in collectible, age-worthy wine, and the 2004 is another classic in the making. I was blown away by this wine’s sheer balance and harmony, both of which are remarkable considering the wine’s age. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2034. 96 Points.” Antonio Galloni, The Wine Advocate
$87.99 BTL. / ONLY 22 BTLS REMAIN!

Craig Perman
Perman Wine Selections
802 W. Washington Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60607
Phone 312-666-4417
Fax 312-666-4487

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