6 for $60-Something – May 25th, 2012

Hello and Happy Friday!

I wanted to start off by reminding everyone that the store will still remain open (abbreviated hours) while I’m in Italy (May 27-June 7). The times are as follows:

Tuesday, May 29: Closed
Saturday, June 2: 11am to 7pm
Weekdays from May 30 to June 7: 1pm to 7pm

Regular business hours will resume on Friday, June 8th.

Speaking of Friday, June 8th, my good friend and stellar winemaker Marcus Goodfellow (Matello Wines, Willamette Valley) will be hosting a tasting in-store. Matello Wines produces some of the most elegant (Burgundian-style) wines from Oregon; this event is not to be missed. For more info and to reserve, visit http://stjohnonwine.permanwine.com

I am introducing my latest 6 for $60-Something Sampler and it is feeling very Spring-y!  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 Grechetto makes you grumpy or Malbec makes you go streaking, or any other interesting reason why you can not 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!

Thanks again for all your support!





This amazingly refreshing white wine is absolute genius!

The Esteve Nadal family makes some of Spain’s best examples of Cava.  While the local grapes of Xarel-lo, Macabeu and Parellada dominate the vineyards and provide the base for their wonderful bubblies, there are some other varietals lurking.

Petit Grain Muscat is a very common variety in the Penedès region, although it is rarely featured on its own.  The Esteva Nadal family produces this petillant version of the grape, a wine with a slight frizzante that just oozes with character.

Typical of the varietal, this wine boasts beautiful aromas of melon, citrus and flowers.  The spritz on the palate is soft, the acidity is bright, and the finish keeps you coming back for more.

Take it from me – this is THE wine for the summer.  Take it to picnics at Millennium Park, keep it in the cooler for when you are going to grill out, or carry it with you in a Bota bag at all times!

$13.00 BTL. / $156.00 CASE



Produced by the 250 year old Port House Ferreira, this wine makes an excellent introduction to the non-fortified wines of the Douro. Made from the region’s traditional varietals of Tinta Roriz, Touriga Franca, Tinta Barroca, and Touriga Nacional, the grapes are picked by hand, destemmed and fermented in stainless steel.

The wine is elegant, with bright red fruit flavors, light tannins and fresh acidity. The wine is versatile in its pairing ability; from poultry to smoked meat and everything in between, it’s hard to not love this juice!

$10.00 BTL. / $120.00 CASE



This wine is the result of new négociant project from a well established and highly-respected producer in Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

The producershas excellent grape sources from his years of work in the Southern Rhône, and the majority or fruit for this wine comes from north of Châteauneuf-du-Pape near Cairanne.

The blend is 80% Grenache with 15% Syrah and 5% Mourvèdre. The grapes are hand picked, fermented in tank (concrete) and bottled after 18 months. This is a rich, dark wine, that is very typical of the excellent 2009 vintage. Black fruit, hints of coffee and leather spice make it and excellent choice for food (by food, I mean red meat) cooked on a grill (by grill, I mean a charcoal grill). This wine is on a killer deal right now, so if you like it, I encourage you to stock up!

$9.00 BTL. / $108.00 CASE



I’m slowly trying to convert you into a Palazzone believer!

Last month, I featured the brilliant red wine from Giovanni Dubini called “Rubbio.”  This month I am focusing on their tiny production white wine made from the traditional varietal, Grechetto.

The grape Grechetto is related to the ancient Greco varietal (remember last month when I featured a Greco from Campania?).  Palazzone has done a lot of work in the vineyard to rediscover the varietal, by using clonal selection from the original stock, and by planting it in the most suitable vineyards.

Many of you have had Orvieto before, and have tasted Grechetto as a small percentage of the blend.  Palazzone typically uses around 30% to blend into their Orvieto Classico.  In 1997, they decided to feature a wine made entirely of the varietal.

The results are both fascinating and delicious!  This light-bodied, citrus-focused white will bring a smile to your face.  It is wonderful as an apéritif and really pairs well with simply prepared shrimp or langoustines.  Only 6,000 bottles of this wine are produced annually!

$10.50 BTL. / $126.00 CASE



From the way the Austrian winery Meinklang loves cows, you would think they were Hindu!

The 300 Black Angus cows at Meinklang help keep the ecosystem of the farm balanced.  This is part of the philosophy of biodynamics, which was defined by the Austrian anthropologist, Rudolf Steiner in the 1920’s.  The Meinklang winery espouses Biodynamics, and while many poke fun at the lunar cycle aspect of the practices, it should be stressed that healthy vineyards and vines are the single most critical aspect to making great wine.

I have been a long time fan of the wines of Meinklang, and so it shouldn’t surprise you to see this delicious white blend on the sampler.  The Burgenland white is a blend of 50% Grüner Veltliner, 40% Welschriesling, and 10% Muskat, fermented and aged in stainless steel tank.

A vibrant and aromatic white wine, it really leaps from the glass with hints at citrus, white pepper, and flowers.  Bright on the palate, this is super refreshing, and easy to drink by itself.  It also is very flexible at the table, and you can add it to your stash of sushi wines.  I’m thirsty!

$12.00 BTL. / $144.00 CASE



A Perman house favorite – the Padrillos Malbec is back!

This Malbec comes from Ernesto Catena, one of the members of the first family of Argentinean wines.  Access to great vineyards is a key to quality, and Ernesto sources fruit from some fantastic sites in the Uco Valley of Mendoza.

The fruit is hand harvested and brought to the winery for a pre-fermentation cold maceration.  After 15 days, the wine is fermented in stainless steel tanks.  It ages for 8 months in a combination of stainless steel tanks and oak barrels.  The majority of oak is second and third use barrels.

The 2011 Padrillos is a wonderfully balanced, full-flavored Malbec with hints towards dark berry fruit, cocoa, and coffee.  The finish is long and smooth, with no rough edges. Perfect for sipping all by itself, or bring a bottle to your favorite BYOB Argentinean steak house!

$10.00 BTL. / $120.00 CASE



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