It’s called Henri Leblanc, and we think it’s the best thing going for under ten bucks.
See, sometimes, we feel like real consumer advocates.
We weren’t happy with inexpensive bubbly in general. We wanted to offer a value – something clean, fresh and easy to drink. We already have a good product in Cuvee Tradition, but we wanted to offer a step up in quality that’s still a great value. Something wine nerds would drink, and something they wouldn’t mind popping on a Wednesday. So we went to work.
It took five months. Five months of combing catalogs, tasting samples, beating up suppliers. We narrowed it down to just a few possibilities, then tasted them blind against the best of the category. That’s when we found our bottle:
Henri Leblanc Brut Blanc de Blancs
Orchard fruit on the nose, with citrus over granny smith apple and some cream. Creamy on the palate, with bright green apple and mineral undertones. Warm and inviting, vibrant and energetic. Drink it on its own, but we won’t mind if you mix it in a mimosa or bellini. – Binny’s Tasting Note
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Everyone knows the classic cocktail Kir. It’s a mix of sparkling wine and raspberry liquor such as Chambord. Use Champagne and you have a Kir Royale. We are taking it a step further with the inclusion of one of our favorite herbal liquors, St. Germain Edelflower. Dan Culen, our mixology enthusiast at Willowbrook Binny’s added St. Germain because the herbal liquor adds a bit of sweetness to the cocktail. Not only is it a signature drink for the holidays, but it’s easy to make and sure to impress your friends.
The first wines of 2013 – from the Northern Hemisphere, at least – will arrive in Binny’s stores on Thursday, November 21st. We invite you to stop in and try some.
It’s Beaujolais Nouveau Time!
Thursday, November 21st
All Binny’s Locations
Binny’s South Loop Wine Manager Don Sheil continues with his notes from the Rhone. Find previous entries on the Binny’s Blog here and here.
We visit Domaine Saladin located in Saint Marcel d’Ardeche. This is a new label for Binnys, just arriving in stores a few weeks ago. Another impressive operation managed by patriarch Louis Saladin’s daughters, Elizabeth and Marie-Laurence Saladin. These ladies produce beautiful, pure, understated wines from hand picked grapes on land that has been farmed organically pretty much since the dawn of time. Meaning, they farm the same way they always have, organic before organic ever got popular. The wines are bright and remarkably restrained. The 2011 Paul, a co fermented blend of grenache and clairette blanche, shows the lift of fresh red berries with hints of citrus and spice box. The Cheyveron is also nicely balanced. The Per El (“For Her”) blanc, created by Louis for his wife who prefers white wine, is a sublime blend of 5 varietals aged in stainless steel vats.
A group of Binny’s wine people traveled to the Rhone Valley in France, joined by legendary importer Peter Weygandt. Check out day one from Binny’s South Loop Wine Manager Don Sheil here. He continues to share his experience:
We spend time at Domaine Les Aphillanthes, near the village of Rasteau, with vigneron Daniel Boulle. We tasted several interesting wines – the 2011 Rasteau 1921 Cuvee is epscially good (2010 here). The name refers to the year the vines were planted – aromas of blackberry, licorice and Provencal herbs abound. The finish is long and the flavors complete across the palate.
Several Binny’s employees, led by Binny’s Wine Buyer Barbara Hermann, traveled to the Rhone Valley and Southern France, in search of the greatest wines the region offers. Joining them was legendary importer Peter Weygandt. Binny’s South Loop Wine Manager Don Sheil shares the experience:
The business part of our journey begins when we meet Peter Weygandt, an importer of European artisan wines, in the hillside town of Chateauneuf du Pape. First stop, Domaine Raymond Usseglio, where we tour the vineyards and taste wines with Raymond’s son and heir apparent, Stephane. The impressive array of 2011 cuvees and 2012 barrel samples show the quality and care of this vigneron. Surprisingly, at least to me, the 2012 whites are amazing – lush and balanced with rich tree ripened fruit.
Let’s face it. This time of year, there are way too many parties. Halloween. Tailgating. Fall get-togethers. Don’t be that guy who shows up with Kendall Jackson every time. Try these festive winies for your next fall-ish hangout and be sure to check out these other Halloween themed treats!
Wine charms are out. Chalkboard is in.
There’s a stirring Down Under. Earlier this month Wine Australia, a new division under the Australian Government, gathered 250 key retailers, restauranteurs, wine journalists and beverage directors in Adelaide to pick, poll, quiz and conference. The objective: find out from the “front lines” what Australia needs to do to re-engage the wine consumer. The conference schedule was full and each was packed with Australian winemakers, marketers, and importers eager for perspective.
Panels included a great mix of retail, press and trade representatives. Subjects didn’t pull any punches. I especially liked the one titled “Retailer – Friend or Foe” (what?). After three full days of talking, it was time for wine country immersion. That meant winery visits, vineyards tours and “master classes” by coalitions of the top winemakers of each region – Barossa Valley, Eden Valley, Clare Valley and McLaren Vale.
Oysters were great with these classy dry rieslings.
Free Rioja Tastings at all Binny’s Locations
Saturday, November 23rd 1-4pm
What other world-class region releases its wines only when they are ready to drink? Rioja represents exceptional value, especially in times when both quality and value are more important than ever.
Wines from Rioja are considered the best food wines by top chefs. They provide the best of both new and old world styles: balanced and elegant with lower alcohol levels you find in top European wines together with fruit-forward roundness of more modern wines.
Wines for every occasion, every food, every palate and price, Rioja offers robust reds, crisp whites and refreshing roses – all ready to drink when purchased. Join us to try some of our favorites and discover how versatile and value driven the wines of Rioja really are!
WINE TYPES: CLASSIFICATIONS AND SEALS OF AUTHENTICITY
Rioja wines are easily identifiable as every bottle has a DOCa seal. What is a DOCa seal?
The “Denominación de Origen Calificada” seal ensures that the wine you enjoy meets the requirements needed to be a true Rioja wine. Think of it as a seal of quality and authenticity. Rioja wines are classified based on aging in oak barrels and bottles.