Hello and Happy Friday!
It is time to introduce the newest “6 for $60-Something” Sampler!
Before I do so, it is my civic duty to let you know that a new and very exciting restaurant has opened that you must check out!
You remember all those great underground dinners that I would participate in? Or perhaps the famous and infamous Txakoholika at my store each Spring? Well, the duo behind those great meals has opened up a restaurant!
Fat Rice – located at 2957 West Diversey blends Chinese comfort food with the flavors of Macau, a Portuguese colony. This casual restaurant takes its food very seriously, and you will experience many new flavors and some classics that have been executed to perfection. Oh, and the wine list is pretty darn good. I did curate it after all!
So what are you waiting for – check it out!
Now back to that “6 for $60-Something!”
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 Aglianico makes your belly button itchy, Chenin Blanc gives your vertigo 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!
2007 Cantine Antonio Caggiano “Tarì” Irpinia Aglianico
It is rare to get a first-ever on the “Six for $60-Something,” but this is the first time I have ever offered an Aglianico from Campania. I am a true believer in this Southern Italian region, as it can produce some of the greatest, inkiest, full-bodied reds in all of Italy. The problem has always been the price. There are some values in Campania as a whole, but finding a good sub-$15 Irpinia Aglianco is next to impossible. Till today.
What a great buy this wine is from Cantine Antonio Caggiano, one of the top producers of the appellation, most famous for his Taurasi. This is not the most historical property, as it was founded in 1994, but in that time, has established a reputation for making polished, crowd-pleasing, yet soulful examples of Aglianico.
If you have never had this grape, I should give a brief introduction. Brought to the region by the Greek settlers, it became famous in ancient Rome, even mentioned by Pliny the Elder in his writings. Known for being a full-bodied, tannic varietal, it is well-suited to the volcanic soil as well as the high elevation vineyards it is typically grown in.
“Tarì” is a great wine to introduce you to the varietal. It may not show the intensity or tannic structure of a Taurasi, but the flavors and spirit of the varietal shine through. 100% Aglianico di Taurasi, it is fermented in stainless steel and then gets aged in a second-use barrel for several months.
A very aromatic wine, dark and red fruit notes, combine along with pepper, herbs and mineral notes. Medium-plus-bodied, with well incorporated tannins and a fresh, bright finish. This is perfectly suited to wintry dishes, such as braised short ribs.
$14.00 BTL. / $84.00 SIX-PACK CASE
2010 Aveleda “Follies” Touriga Nacional / Cabernet Sauvignon
Very few producers in the world produce quite the range of values as Aveleda. The largest Vinho Verde producer in Portugal, also makes a range of red wines that, too, offer unbeatable value. The Guedes family has been growing grapes for well over 300 years. In recent years, the family has expanded outside their home base in Northern Portugal to regions such as the Douro and Beiras.
This red wine marketed under the “Follies” label comes from vineyards in the Beiras region of Portugal. Located south of the Minho and Douro, this large region produces a wide range of varietals.
This blend of 70% Touriga Nacional and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon comes from the Aguieira Vineyards in Beiras. It is fermented in tank and aged for 18 months in a combination of French and American oak barrels.
Full-bodied, with dark berry aromas and flavors, hints at sweet spices from the oak and soft tannins on the finish. This is super-complex for the price and just a great everyday red for those looking for something with some guts.
$10.00 BTL. / $120.00 CASE
NV “Jeio” Prosecco Brut
Yesterday was a fun day for tasting. Huge and I got a chance to do “the great Pepsi challenge” with a couple bottles of Prosecco. After all, I was searching for a good buy for this month’s sampler. Finding inexpensive sparkling is more difficult than finding the proverbial needle in the haystack. Over time I’ve learned that one place to find Sparkling values is Valdobbiadene in Northeast Italy, where they produce the grape Prosecco.
On the left was an unnamed Prosecco, paired next to “Jeio” Prosecco from the Bisol family. While there was a couple dollar difference between the two, they were worlds apart in terms of quality. That unnamed one was everything you hate about bad Prosecco, weird, inoculated yeasts creating bubble gum aromas, and a flavor profile that can’t decide whether it wants to be sweet or dry. In a word – disgusting.
On the other hand came “Jeio,” one of the handful of truly great values in sparkling from Italy. The Bisols are very well-known in Valdobbiadene, as their family has had ties to the region for almost 500 years. This value bottling for the family is named after the current generations father Desidierio, often called “Jeio.”
This is composed entirely of the Prosecco grape, which is also called Glera. Made in the traditional Charmat method, which takes place in large, stainless steel tanks and is bottled under pressure. The resulting aromas and flavors are clean, with classic peach notes and s nice freshness.
This is the time of year for mass consumption of bubbles, and if you are on a budget you would be hard-pressed to do better than this for the money. A terrific sparkling value!
$13.00 BTL. / $156.00 CASE
2006 Selvagrossa “Trimpilin”
The Le Marche region of Italy may be well-known for growing Montepulciano, but in the Northern part of the region, Sangiovese is particularly suited to the climate and soil. Still relatively unknown to most outsiders, Le Marche has tons of potential to produce topnotch Italian reds.
Proving this theory are the Taddei brothers, Alberto and Alessandro, who work their family’s vineyards with great care and pride. The vineyards are farmed biodynamically, with fava beans growing in the vineyards, tilled into the soil for nutrients.
This tiny winery produces four wines, 1 white and 3 reds.”Trimpilin” is a blend of 90% Sangiovese and 10% Ciliegiolo grown on sandy, calcareous and clayey soil. Vinified in stainless steel tanks and aged in 225-liter oak casks for 16 months.
I was able to scoop up the last remaining cases of the 2006, a vintage which the distributor has been aging for you, much to their dismay. I cut a great deal to be able to offer this to you in the sampler.
This is a very tasty expression of a mature Sangiovese. Classic cherry, spice and floral notes come together is a elegant, softly-textured mouthfeel. Make sure you enjoy this with a meal, it is not a “cocktail wine,” but it will pair great with simple red-sauced pastas or pizza night.
$9.00 BTL. / $108.00 CASE
2011 De Meye Chenin Blanc
I recently tasted through an impressive portfolio of South African wines and was excited by several offerings, including this one from the Myburgh family. Located in the Stellenbosch sub-region called Greater Simonsberg, De Meye produces both red and white wines from estate vineyards.
Chenin Blanc, which is also known as Steen in South Africa, is a varietal well-suited to the Mediterranean climate of Stellenbosch. Southeast facing vineyards, along with cool westerly winds during the summer produce grapes that have both good ripeness and as well as the requisite freshness.
The 2011 De Meye Chenin has very pretty aromatics hinting at tropical notes like passion fruit, along with citrus notes. Clean and crisp on the palate, this has enough body to stand up to chicken or grilled fish. A very tasty example of South African Chenin. A great value.
$10.00 BTL. / $120.00 CASE
2010 Château Roc de Segur Bordeaux Rouge
I don’t know if you’ve heard but Bordeaux experienced the greatest vintage ever in 2010. I say that with a smile on my face because, it seems that every one or two years is the greatest vintage ever in Bordeaux.
Bordeaux, as a whole, did experience a very good vintage in 2010, and we are starting to see some of the results as some of the inexpensive offerings have begun to arrive to our shores.
Château Roc de Segur is an annual best-buy here at Perman Wine Selections. Owned by the Vidal family, the vineyards located in the Entre-Deux-Mers area were replanted in 1990. We are starting to really see the fruits of their labor.
This is truly a great Bordeaux value. A blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Franc, from vines planted on clay-limestone soil. Vinification takes place in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks and then aged in tank.
What you get is a bright, fruit-forward, mineral-driven red. This is the type of classic bistro red that should be poured out of the carafe alongside a dinner of steak and frites!
$9.00 BTL. / $108.00 CASE