6 for $60-Something – December 28th, 2012

Hello and Happy New Year!

Well, it is almost 2013 and we are wrapping up a great year here at Perman Wine Selections.

What better way to do so than with another rendition of the “6 for $60-Something” Sampler.

Never heard of this sampler and want to know what it’s about?

Six wines, hand-selected by me, that represent a range of styles – all hovering around the $10 price point. Each wine is available by the bottle or case, but as I often say, for maximum pleasure you should take the whole sampler.

The “6 for $60-Something” is highly recommended to those learning about wines, trying to stock their wine rack with affordable and tasty adult beverages, or wanting to bring a gift to someone hosting a party.

So how does this work? To order, simply e-mail me back and say “Hey Craig, hook me up.” To join the devoted legions of fans who receive them every month you can just say “and keep ‘em coming!” Some people are challenged by some of the wines that I put in to my sampler. If Malbec makes you slur, Tempranillo doesn’t make you feel warm and fuzzy inside or any other interesting reason why you cannot drink one of the following wines, then I will substitute and try to get the sampler as close to $60 as possible.

A suggestion to those folks trying to learn from this as well as get a buzz – print out a copy of the newsletter to keep with your sampler. That way, when you are in the mood for a bottle, you have your own mini-wine lesson on hand.  So what are you waiting for?  Order yours today!

The “6 for $60-Something” is in stock and ready to be picked up any time!

As a reminder, we are open during normal operating hours today and tomorrow and will also be open on Monday from 11am to 5 pm for last minute New Year’s Eve shoppers. Don’t forget that I have one of the best selections of sparkling wine and Champagne in the city of Chicago.

Last but not least, today is a very big day here at Perman Wine Selections as it is Huge’s last day at the shop. Not sure if you know, but he has become kind of a big deal in the food photography world and will be concentrating solely on his own business next year. So, if you are in the neighborhood today (Friday), stop by for a shot of bourbon, tequila or maybe a wine cooler.

Seriously though, he is a great friend and has been great to work with. Thanks for everything Huge!

A very Happy New Year to each and everyone of my great customers!






2011 Domaine La Madura “Classic” Blanc

A white wine kicks off the newest winter version of the 6 for $60-Something Sampler?  It does, and it should.

Back by popular demand, I’ve just received my newest shipment from Domaine La Madura, a small family producer based in the appellation of Saint-Chinian with whom I deal with directly.

Run by wife and husband Nadia & Cyril Bourgne, they produce an exciting range of white and red wines from their beautiful vineyards. Since I’ve written extensively about the producer and they have a great website that you can read here (http://www.lamadura.com), let me tell you what is so special about this Sauvignon Blanc.

It is a grape varietal that most of us enjoy, although for me I always proceed with caution. Many Sauvignon Blancs that I taste are “one-note wonders” and while allow for simple quaffing, don’t really make me think twice about them. Really great examples like this provide that refreshing quality we look for, but also enough character to inspire us into having a second and third glass.

The La Madura Sauvignon Blanc is inspiring. You’ll note that it comes with all the citrus aromas you would expect, but on the palate it has more weight and texture than you would get from one from say, Touraine or Saumur in the Loire Valley.

Many of you may remember this as a retail $18 bottle on my shelf the last time I imported it. With a more favorable exchange rate and savings on shipping, I’ve reduced the prices, making these even more amazing values. To top it off, I’m offering this wine at a further reduced price in the sampler! So stock up now, as it will return to its normal price, and great value of $14.99 at the end of January. Don’t miss this!


2010 Renato Corino Barbera d’Alba
If there was one Italian varietal that I would always want at my dinner table it would be that of Barbera. Sure, the Nebbiolo grape of Piedmont achieves the greatest heights in terms of complexity and longevity, but Barbera is that old blanket you want to snuggle up with.

I’ve been really fortunate to offer a couple of Barberas on previous 6 for $60-Something Samplers, and today is no different. It isn’t typical to find a good quality Barbera at this price point, but with my excellent negotiating skills, I’ve struck another great deal to offer you one at a one-time, incredibly low price.

Renato Corino is an excellent producer based in La Morra. In 2005, his brother Giuliano and he split their father’s winery called Giovanni Corino. Giuliano kept the Giovanni Corino name but Renato created a winery in his name. The vineyards were split fairly, and the Renato Corino wines have instantly become as well regarded as that of the Giovanni Corino name. A workhorse in the vineyard and the cellar, Renato Corino is known throughout Piedmont as a great farmer. This is clearly seen in the wines, especially the “everyday” wines such as this Barbera. It offers beautiful aromas of cherry, strawberry and spice. Very silky, with lovely purity of fruit, and a bright, juicy finish.  This is a real steal so Barbera fans shouldn’t miss it!
*please inquire


2010 Domaine Fenouillet Vin de Pays de Vaucluse
This is always one of my favorite “French bistro” wines. You know, the type of wine that you could imagine yourself slurping down in between plates of cured meats and artisan cheese. Yep, this is the one.

Domaine de Fenouillet is brilliantly run by Patrick and Vincent Soard. They represent the 4th generation at the estate which is based in the village of Beaumes de Venise.  Their vineyards are spread across several appellations including the catchall Vin de Pay de Vaucluse.

This wine is a blend of Marselan and Merlot from vineyards in the Vaucluse. If you have never heard of Marselan, that is because it typically is used in very small percentages as a blending grape. It is a hybrid varietal, a cross between Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache. There is no tricky vinification with this wine, the grapes are simply crushed, destemmed, macerated and fermented before a resting period of 6 months in cement vats.

No need to hold onto this wine; it is meant to be enjoyed young. It shows lovely Mediterranean spices, red berry fruit, and a soft, silky texture. It is so easy to drink, you’ll “kill” the bottle before you know it. So dust off those classic French bistro recipes and pop the top on this delicious wine from Fenouillet.
$9.00 BTL. / $108.00 CASE


2007 Gini “Gran Cuvée” Brut Millesimato
I remember several years ago a wine importer proudly bringing in their newest Soave, a white wine that hails from the Northeast of Italy near Verona. The bottle was shaped like a Voss water bottle, only with an even more sculptured look. Their pitch was not about the wine and what was inside, rather the bottle and how inexpensive the wine was.  Needless to say, I didn’t bite, rather kicked the bottle and the person showing it to me to the curb.

For every 100 bad producers in the often maligned appellation of Soave, there is a standard bearer such as Sandro and Claudio Gini. Located in the heart of the region in Monteforte d’Alpone, each of their wines is made with such great care that it can be counted as one of the best wines of the region.

While still white wine is the norm in the region, it is a little-known secret that the family makes a vintage sparkling wine called “Gran Cuvée.”  It is produced from a third each of the local varietal Garganega, alongside Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The grapes are harvested and pressed and fermented separately. The base wines are then blended and a secondary fermentation occurs in the bottle. It is aged for three years on its lees before being disgorged.  They only produce 8,000 bottles per year.

This is an absolutely brilliant sparkling wine, with great depth and character. The Garganega and Chardonnay provide those trademark dried apricot and citrus fruit notes, while the Pinot Noir adds red fruit and body to the palate.

An important note, this wine does not normally retail for $12. Normally it sells for around $32, and well worth it at that price. The distributor overbought this product and wants to move it while it is still drinking well. He gave it to me well below his cost, and you benefit. I only received 120 bottles, so I’m going to limit it to the sampler only.  Additional orders will be filled if there is any remaining at the end of January.

A great way to toast in the New Year!
*please inquire


2011 Enrique Foster “Ique” Malbec
It takes a lot to impress me when it comes to choosing an inexpensive bottle of Malbec from Argentina.  Many in the $10 price category lack soul and taste like a laboratory experiment gone wrong.

Luckily there are wineries such as Enrique Foster to restore my faith in humanity and the world of Argentinean Malbec.  Located in the Lujan de Cuyo area of Mendoza, the winery has three vineyards in different parts of Mendoza in order to reduce risk of hail damage ruining their entire crop.  Speaking of vineyards, Foster works with many old-vines, some of which are pre-phylloxera and un-grafted.

The winery is a money’s-no-object, gravity fed cellar, that allows winemaker Mauricio Lorca to make the best wines possible.  Mauricio is a young, but well established winemaker, having previously been at the head of the Luigi Bosca and Finca La Celia wineries.

“Ique” is the “everyday” tank fermented and aged Malbec of the house.  Meant to drink young, it comes from 30+ year-old vines.  The 2011 is mighty delicious – with hints at red fruits, herbs, and notes of pepper.  It is a savory version of Malbec, the fruit not tasting candied at all.  It is easy to sip on this all by itself, but ultimately, it would be great with a hunk of steak.
$10.00 BTL. / $120.00 CASE


2011 El Cortijillo Tempranillo
Here is a “go to” wine for those big parties and events that you may throw from time to time.  Very few places in the world can produce wine of any quality at $8 per bottle.  One place that can, albeit only from time to time, is that of Spain and the region of La Mancha.  Located in Southern Central Spain, this is the world’s largest wine region, with over 300,000 hectares, 165,000 of which are able to lend their name to the appellation.

Tempranillo is grown in great quantity in this region where it is also known as Cencibel.  Because of the warmer climate and dry conditions, you will find that most Tempranillo from this region offer a bit more alcohol and ripe berry fruit than the Rioja region.

This really tasty Tempranillo comes from Vinicola de Castilla, located in the town of Manzanares, within Ciudad Real.  A larger producer, they pump out nearly 12,000,000 liters of wine each year.

“El Cortijillo” is made entirely of Tempranillo from 30 year-old vines.  It is fermented and rested in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks.

Bright and fruit forward with notes of strawberry, blackberry, and pepper spice.  This is very easy to drink on its own, and will be a crowd pleasing hit at your next large function.
$8.00 BTL. / $96.00 CASE

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