PC 7 lives up to the hype

As promised in my previous New Release post, I had a chance to try the newest release in the Port Charlotte Evolution series from Bruichladdich and have some notes.  I just want to say here I’m glad I made that promise, because this stuff is excellent!

 

For those who don’t know, the PC series from Bruichladdich is a set of bottlings featuring spirit from heavily peated malt (55ppm, I believe) meant as a precursor to the eventual reopening of the long gone Port Charlotte distillery in the Islay town of the same name.  The first release, PC 5, was extremely limited and flew off the shelves, as it was also extremely excellent.  The second release, PC 6, was much larger and is still available, and while I quite enjoyed and would recommend it, it didn’t resonate for me like PC 5.

 

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California Wine Month Deals

If you like full throttle Viognier, don’t miss the Andrew Murray 06 for only $12.99. What a refreshing wine, esp if you’re tired of the usual suspects in California white wines. Practically explodes from the glass. May not be everyone’s cup of tea, but for me, it’s impossible to beat this bang for the buck.

The California Wine Adventure Book is Posted

If you are a fan of California wine, you won’t want to miss our best event of the year! This book is now posted. Check it out. You’ll find an unheard of selection: Several wines over $100/btl and 30+ wines $50 and over. But for me, this event is the prime opportunity to taste what you want, and with a 15% discount, STOCK UP!

 

Looking for the best QPR (Quality/Price Ratio)? Don’t miss the Vinum Petite Sirah (table # 56), the Guenoc Claret (table #60), the Newton Claret (table #67), the Cline Sonoma Syrah (table #84, 8.99-15%=$7.64!) or Rutherford Ranch 07 Chard (table #60, 90pts WA, 11.99-15%=$10.19).

 

Too many to go through. You’re just going to have to do your own homework before the event!

Surviving the Winter Blues with Spanish Reds

The forecast calls for chilly, rainy days this week. Though this winter seems to be endless, a little cold weather is all the excuse I need to pop open a few heavy reds. Though last month was Spanish month at Binny’s, here are a few Spanish wines you won’t want to miss:

 

2005 Finca Sandoval

Finca SandovalThis is one of those wines where I look forward to every new vintage. A red blend of primarily syrah (the 2005 has less syrah than previous vintages, with more mourvedre and bobal making up the balance), Finca Sandoval offers some serious weight and intensity vanilla and powdered cocoa on the nose and dark raspberry on the palate. It’s just what you’d expect from importer Jorge Ordonez – an intense, New-World styled red that over-delivers for the price (The Wine Advocate gives this one 94 points). One case has hit the shelves at our South Loop store, and we should be able to get more. It’s a good value at $42.99.

 

2005 Pico Madama

I try not to put too much emphasis on numerical scores, but the 95 point Wine Advocate review for the 2005 Pico Madama piqued my interest. An unusual 50/50 blend of petit verdot and monastrell, this wine has more tannic backbone than a lot of the mourvedre-based reds coming out of the Jumilla region. That backbone comes from the petit verdot, which is best known for being used in small amounts in Bordeaux and Bordeaux-style blends. Of course, layered on top of the tannins are floral notes, minerality,and tons of fruit. What’s even better is that Binny’s has Pico Madama on sale through the end of March usually $34.99, it’s on sale for $31.99 (with your free Binny’s card).

 

2007 Altos de la Hoya

Bob Calamia, our Spanish wine buyer, wanted me to be sure to include the Altos de la Hoya Monastrell in the Binny’s Blog. This is the deal of the day: Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar gave this wine 91 points, calling it another crazy value. (They have it listed at $14; Binny’s is selling it for $8.99!) Robert Parker has referred to past vintages as a stupendous bargain and a perennial Best Buy. The Altos de la Hoya is another red from the Jumilla region of Spain, this one is 92% Monastrell with just a bit of Garacha blended in. It offers a balance of weight and lift usually found in wines three times this price.  We’ve got plenty on hand right now, so stop by and grab a bottle.  Or a case!

New and Notable

It seems like there is an overwhelming stream of new wines coming coming through our doors, but we’re up to the challenge of keeping up to date with everything new in the world of wine. Here are a few that caught our attention recently. Give them a try and let us know what you think.

 

 

Dona Paula Malbec

Binny’s has carried DonaPaula Los Cardos Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina for years – it has always represented an outstanding value. New to Binny’s is the premium 2007 Dona Paula Malbec. I’m always excited at the opportunity to try a step up from something I already like. Both Wine Spectator and The Wine Advocate give it 90 points, and at $13.99, it is still a terrific value.

 

Also new to Binny’s is 2005 Dona Paula Malbec Seleccion de Bodega,the high-end malbec from the same winery. The Wine Advocate gives this one 94 points, so if you like the Dona Paula malbecs (or any good, modern-styled Argentinian Malbec) this one might be worth splurging the $37.99.

 

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Getting Crafty With Cans

Ska Brewery is getting crafty with cans.

 

They are one of a growing number of breweries beginning to can a craft beer, once considered taboo. Ska Modus Hoperandi IPA is now available at Binny’s (email kyle@binnys.com for store availability) and is primed to take the beer world by storm with it’s prodigious flavor and unique can. This is one of the only craft beers available in cans in the Chicago area. I talked it over with Ted Sullivan, our corporate beer buyer, who had a six pack of this stuff last night. That it exceeded his expectations might be a vast understatement. “To be honest, I was drinking it to get it out of the way,” Ted admitted. “I ended up drinking two or three in twenty – five minutes, while eating homemade pico de gallo.  I ended up drinking all six, and had no hang over at all.”

 

Canned beer can be like a blind date–one never knows what to expect or what will happen or how it will all turn out. But Ska Modus Hoperandi IPA made a great first impression with hops on the nose. It wasn’t bitter and lacked the trademark pine cone aroma and flavor, which cause some to recoil and others to rejoice.

 

Drinking beer from a can has some advantages over beer from a bottle. It is cheaper and easier to package canned beer, serving to hold down costs. Canned beer is protected from light, which is destructive to beer, has a longer shelf life, and gets colder faster. This is not some canned sales pitch. If you disagree with us, we want to hear from you. It’s not healthy to keep these kinds of feelings bottled up!