Wine Hotline Hits the Road: Bordeaux Day Four

A small group from Binny’s visited Bordeaux, tasting samples of the 2013 vintage and more, with stops at chateaux and negociants. Find the rest of the trip here. Binny’s Wine Guru Steve Reiter concludes with day four:

 

Not everything is about the 2013 vintage. Our first stop is with Francois Thienpoint. While we taste a couple 2013′s, our focus here is more on previous vintages, mostly 2010-12, that are now bottled and ready for sale.

 

A few stand outs include the 2011 Roques de Jean Lice which offers nice dark plum, dried herbs and clay notes with a light spicy oak on the finish. The 2012 Manoir de Gravoux is equally nice with plum, hints of black cherry, light cocoa and soft tannins. The 2011, 2010 and 2005 La Violette are wonderful, exhibiting warm flavors of black cherry, cola, clay earth and light clove. But the best by far is a barrel sample of 2012 La Gravette de Certan, the second wine of Chateau Vieux Certan. With a heady perfumed nose of blue and purple flowers and fruit, hints of clove, followed by lush blue and black fruit, all balanced and round. This is what Bordeaux offers that no one else can!

 

Bordeaux Bottles

 

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Wine Hotline Hits the Road: Bordeaux Day Three

A small group from Binny’s visited Bordeaux. They tasted samples of the 2013 vintage, with stops at both chateaux and negociants. Find previous reports here. Steve is back with more:

 

Chateau Pichon Baron

 

Day three starts with an appointment at Pichon Baron to taste and have lunch. We also have the distinct pleasure to taste with the winemaker, and to tour this lush and iconic chateau. Just check it out:

 
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Wine Hotline Hits the Road: Bordeaux Day Two

A team from Binny’s visited Bordeaux, one of France’s most famous wine regions. They tasted samples of the 2013 vintage – now available en premier – visiting chateaux and negociants. Read yesterday’s report here. Steve is back with more:

 

Day two and we’re on the right bank in St. Emilion and Pomerol. Vineyards spread out along the countryside, but upon reaching St. Emilion, the city is right on top of the vineyards. In fact, Chateau Ausone is on a hillside above their vineyards just 500 meters behind town. Just like we saw on the Left Bank yesterday, the local population and the vineyards are completely interwoven. Towns have grown as a result of the success and history of the wine region, which again is so different from the other regions I’ve visited. St. Emilion especially is a gorgeous old commune straight out of a fairy tale. Old with buildings staggered over steep hills, narrow passageways, vineyards enclosed by stone walls. A tourist destination and certainly worth the visit.

 

Vineyards and Towns in Bordeaux

 

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Wine Hotline Hits the Road: Bordeaux Day One

Binny’s Wine Managers Steve Reiter and Chris Speir joined Wine Buyer Barbara Hermann on a trip to one of France’s most famous wine regions, Bordeaux. They tasted barrel samples of the 2013 vintage – now in the early stages of its en premier campaign – visited Chateaux and negociants. Steve reports from the road:

 

Binny's in Bordeaux

 

 

First Impressions

 

I expected the city of Bordeaux to be large (the 9th largest in France) but not quite the expanse that it is. We’re staying in a charming, modern sprawl radiating from the river with a modern, urban feel. However, the “Centre” or old part of Bordeaux, is just as large, and definitely has the rustic feel I expected. With stone buildings, colored shades of earthy white, grey, orange and green, it reminds me a lot of Venice. Old churches and architecture dot town squares where people pass time. We wander a few hours through the alley-like, brick-layered streets. I would hate to have to park here. No wonder there are so many bikes.

 

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Wine Hotline: Varietal Profile

Blind Tasting: Chardonnay & Cabernet

 

Recently, a bunch of Binny’s wine consultants got together to do a blind tasting of chardonnay and cabernet. No, we didn’t blindfold our employees. We put a bunch of wines in brown paper bags and let the chips fall where they may. Wine education comes in many forms, but one of the most humbling is to asses a wine without knowing the name, region or price. Here are six of our favorites after the jump, all chosen blind.

 

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Wine Hotline: Ask The Wine Guy

This month, our “wine guy” is actually Barbara Hermann, Binny’s fine wine buyer. Barbara has traveled all over the globe and has decades of experience under her belt. She is an eight-time winner of Geja’s blind wine tasting. So we went to her with this month’s Ask the Wine Guy question. Check out Barb’s answers after the jump.
 

“I sometimes hear wine drinkers use words like ‘jammy’ or ‘buttery.’ Are these typical wine descriptions?
Do they literally mean what they sound like?”

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Confessions of a {Festive} Mixologist: Fruity Wine Spritzer

You know that expression, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” We hear that wine has that same effect, too. So why not mix them together? This custom cocktail is fresh, crisp and sure to put some pep in your step this Valentine’s Day! This white wine spritzer is perfect for a party of two – or twenty!
 

Fruit Wine Spritzer

 
Fun fact: This wine spritzer was created with love by Dan’s fiance. Awwww! <3
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Wine Hotline Hits The Road: Jerez

Sherry Barrel Room

Binny’s Wine Buyer, Bob Calamia traveled to Jerez to seek out Spain’s top sherry and learn a thing or two about this timeless region. Bob reports from the field:

 

World headquarters for sherry is Jerez in Southwestern Spain. Two things make sherry unique – its proximity to the Mediterranean and the high level of chalk in the soil. The chalk gives sherry some of its characteristic mineral flavors, but the soil’s biggest contribution is its ability to retain moisture. Jerez gets most of its rain in the fall and winter, and the chalk sustains the vines in the dry spring and summer. The climate is warm enough to ripen palomino fino – the primary grape of the region – and when grown in the chalky soil, it achieves a quality found nowhere else.

 

More photos and info after the jump!

 

Cutting the sherry grape vines

 

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Taste Chateau Angelus and Chateau Daugay at Binny’s Lincoln Park

Chateau Angelus and Chateau Daugay Open House Tasting

 

BINNY’S LINCOLN PARK PRESENTS

Ch. Angelus and Ch. Daugay
Open House Tasting
Tuesday, January 14th, 5-7pm

 

Join us on January 14th from 5-7pm to meet Jean-Bernard Grenie, owner of the legendary Bordeaux estate Chateau Angelus and Chateau Daugay. Mr. Grenie will treat you to several vintages of Daugay and Angelus (recently promoted to Premier Grand Cru Classe “A”), including Daugay 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010 as well as Angelus 2006 and the 99-point 2009, which Robert Parker called “a candidate for one of the finest Angelus produced to date.” Don’t miss out on this special opportunity.

 

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