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The Wine Hotline

Staff Picks Ask a
Wine Pro
 Wine Hotline Hits the Road New, Novel
& Notable
 Regional Spotlight Binny's
Best Buys
 Insider's Guide
Staff Picks What makes Binny's great? Our staff is friendly, knowledgeable, and completely excited about discovering new favorites. From Chicago to Champaign, Evergreen Park to Highland Park, here are this month's Staff Picks.
2013 Honoro Vera Garnacha

2013 Honoro Vera Garnacha   $7.99

Another great grenache from Spain at a fantastic price. Hints of cherry cola, raspberry and dark cherry pleasingly meet the palate on the first sip of this wine. Soft, subtle spice builds on the finish, transitioning to dark, creamy fruit with the faintest hint of milk chocolate. Tim E, Wine Manager, Binny's Plainfield

2012 Lafage Bastide Miraflors Vieilles Vignes   $11.99

(70% syrah, 30% grenache) Beautiful, inky maroon and purple. Medium to full body. Not a huge fruit bomb, but plenty of rich, ripe blackberry and black cherry fruit with floral hints of violet and lavender. Imported by the renowned Eric Solomon, this wine drinks well above its price point. Brian M, Wine Consultant, Binny's Des Plaines
2013 Skouras Moscofilero

2013 Skouras Moscofilero   $12.99

A wonderfully aromatic white wine from Greece. The distinctive floral and spice aromas make this reminiscent of a gewurztraminer. Where gewürztraminer can have a touch of sweetness, though, this wine is quite dry and minerally. Refreshing acidity and relatively low alcohol (12%) make this an easy drinking wine. It earned 89 points from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate. Brian C, Wine Consultant, Binny's Plainfield

2013 Chateau Ste Michelle Indian Wells Chardonnay   $15.99

Here is a delicious chardonnay from the Columbia Valley in Washington. Flavors of pineapple and other tropical fruits find harmony with the richness and creaminess from the American and French oak aging. There is a hint of nutmeg on the finish of this beautiful wine. This chardonnay from Washington State's founding winery will pair well with salmon, fresh crab, pork and poultry meals. Jennifer C, Wine Consultant, Binny's Champaign
2010 Four Vines Zinfandel Maverick

2010 Four Vines Zinfandel Maverick   $16.99

This wine offers aromas of brambly blueberries, vanilla and savory herbs. The juicy fruit is apparent with your first sip. The hefty flavors of black currants and plums carry through the mid-palate leading to a long finish that hints at spicy oak and white pepper. While excellent with pizza or pasta, this wine would show its strength with anything off the grill, especially barbecued chicken or ribs. Mark Ahrens, Wine Consultant, Binny's Schaumburg

2012 Saldo Zinfandel    reg $27.99  $25.99 w/Binny's Card

A big, bold wine from The Prisoner Wine Company. Bursting with cherry on the nose, plus subtle vanilla and plum notes. Take a sip and you'll get jammy, ripe cherries with velvety tannins. The mid-palate continues the cherry fruit with a touch of white pepper, and the finish reveals a touch of cocoa. Pair this intense wine with some grilled burgers or even a steak. Amanda D, Wine Consultant, Binny's Schaumburg
2012 Freakshow Cabernet Sauvignon

2012 Freakshow Cabernet Sauvignon   $17.99

This is one big, bold, in-your-face cab with a huge bouquet of spice, dark cherry and smoke. On the tongue, the briary, oaky notes are softened with rich, dark red berry flavor, a hint of mocha, a whisper of eucalyptus and a long satisfying finish. There is no restraint in this wine – it's really an over the top red from the Michael David Winery in Lodi. The wine is 100% cabernet sauvignon and spends 14 months in French oak. Oh, and the label is just too cool! Nancy K, Wine Consultant, Binny's Champaign

2011 Emmolo Merlot   $55.99

Another Wagner family gem. This dark, dense merlot has aromas of black fruit, plums and allspice, with hints of vanilla and chocolate. In addition, this wine is pretty big and chewy with nice smooth tannins. James Suckling gave this 15.3% ABV Merlot a 93 point rating and I would have to agree! Limited! Christi T, Wine Consultant, Binny's Plainfield

Ask a Wine Pro This month, Binny's Wine Consultant Kristen E. answers your frequently asked wine questions. Not only is Kristen part of our South Loop Binny's wine team, but she is also a WSET Advanced and Certified Specialist of Wine. Have a question of your own for the wine pro? Send us an email at!
Wine Shelf

"Why are some wines more expensive than others?
How can I find a good deal?"

It all comes down to terroir and production. Of course a wine is more expensive if the hand harvested grapes are grown on expensive land, vinified by a rockstar winemaker in a winery with space age equipment, aged in new French oak barrels for twelve months and then four more years in bottle before release. But really, a wine is more expensive because everybody cares. Wine drinkers, collectors and business insiders all know a particular brand and everybody wants to it. Not only is it a hot label now, it's been a popular and increasingly hard to get for a long time. I'm sorry, but nobody collects Argentinean merlot these days. Here's how to get a good deal: learn what you like by tasting. Shop sales, buy in bulk. Look for lesser known producers from the same places as super-expensive wines, and you'll surely get lucky.

"I found an old bottle of wine in my grandma's basement. Think it's any good?"

Nice score! However, most bottles of wines are not meant to age. First, what's the grape? If it's a tannic varietal such as cabernet sauvignon or nebbiolo, you might have something special. Tannins and acidity help a wine age. Of course, the wine won't taste young and fruity, so don't be surprised if it smells like leather and tastes like a forest floor. Second, how was it stored, and for how long? With so many factors, your best bet is to open it. It won't poison you, so pop that sucker and enjoy your blast from the past! Thanks grandma!

Wine Hotline Hits the Road
Illinois Sparkling Co

Illinois Sparkling Co.

On our latest wine adventure, we went south to Peru, IL for a unique experience exploring the best sparkling wine we've tasted from the midwest. August Hill Winery, which grows grapes for Illinois Sparkling CO. is owned and operated by Mark and Teri Wenzel. They take great pride in their work and don't narrate the typical "this winery has been in our family for 12 generations..." story. Rather, they are two hardworking winemakers with a passion for Champagne and sparkling wine.

New, Novel & Notable
2013 Mordoree Tavel

2013 Mordoree Tavel

Don’t let people tell you otherwise: rose is enjoyable any time of the year! With notes of strawberries and cherries with hints of lavender, this densely flavored rose decisively proves the point.

2012 Masseria Surani Heracles Primitivo

An aptly named cuvee, this brawny red from Southern Italy has a muscular frame and powerfully expressed flavors. As divine a primitivo as you’ll find.
 2011 Benjamin Leroux Bourgogne Rouge

2011 Benjamin Leroux Bourgogne Rouge

Pinot noir from one of Burgundy’s young stars who also happens to be the winemaker of Domaine Comte Armand. An alluring blend of perfume and silk.

2007 Masi Mazzano Amarone

A single vineyard expression whose power is matched only by its poise. Overflows with super-ripe fruit, savory hints, and nutty nuances.
2011 Rieussec

2011 Chateau Rieussec Sauternes   375ml

Perhaps the only wine estate whose wine can rival those of the neighboring d'Yquem. A stunningly opulent Sauternes whose elegance and poise are matched by few others.

2000 Cos d’Estournel

One of the greatest estates in Bordeaux. A benchmark expression of cabernet sauvignon, still in the prime of its long life. Fully mature and ready to enjoy tonight.
2009 Bartolo Mascarello Barolo

2009 Bartolo Mascarello Barolo

From one of the greatest producers in Northern Italy. Among the most traditional expressions of Nebbiolo.

2013 Mas Carlot Blanc

Stunning value blend from importer extraordinaire Bobby Kacher, who somehow finds the best value wines from France. Apricots, peaches, butterscotch nuances.

Regional Spotlight
Rhone Valley Wines

Taste some of the newest Rhone values
to hit our shelves.

The Rhone Valley, one of the most popular regions in France, is renowned for its wines of quality and value. Their wines have inspired winemakers from all over the world. Ancient winemaking tradition, Mediterranean climate and modern technology work together to give the Rhone a decided advantage in a competitive world market.  
Saturday, September 20th - 1-4PM
The Wines of Portugal

Discover Portugal's versatile and food-friendly wines at Binny's.
Taste the Wines of Portugal.

No other country has a range of indigenous grape varietals to match Portugal's. The spectrum of characterful, top-quality grapes is impressive: Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Trincadeira, Aragones, Baga, Castelao, Alvarinho, Arinto, Fernao Pires, Encruzado and many others, all responsible for the incomparable character of Portuguese wines. Portugal has in excess of 250 indigenous grapes, only a few of which have traveled (in a very small way) anywhere else in the world. In addition to this diversity, Portuguese wines consistently demonstrate high quality. A country of world-class varietals capable of producing world-class, high quality wines, Portugal's wines have something to offer everyone.  
Saturday, September 27th - 1-4PM

Leoville Las Cases

Chateau Leoville Las Cases Seminar

One of the oldest Medoc estates, Domaine de Leoville belonged to some of the wealthiest and most influential noble French families before it was acquired by the Las Cases family. The estate was split up between 1826 and 1840 as a result of the French Revolution. Chateau Leoville Las Cases was created from 3/5 of the original estate and the heart of the domain. Meet General Manager Pierre Graffeuille and get insights into the estate's venerable history. In this exclusive event, you'll sample Leoville las Cases 2003 and 1985 (and Clos du Marquis) as well as wines from other estates in the portfolio : Chateau Pontensac and Chateau Nenin. 
Thursday, September 25th - 6-8PM
Event Cost: $30.00 ($20.00 with Binny's Card!)

Binny's Best Buys

The Binny's September Wine Sale begins today. You'll find savings on hundreds of wines from around the globe. To get you started, here are just a few Binny's Best Buys:

Cristalino Brut Cristalino Brut
reg. $7.99 $6.99 w/Binny's Card
Save 12%
Still one of the best values in bubbly, and a user-friendly crowdpleaser. From bruch to late night.
 Los Vascos Cabernet Sauvignon Los Vascos
Cabernet Sauvignon

reg. $8.99 $7.99 w/Binny's Card
Save 11%
Cabernet from South America that drinks like the Old World. Solidly structured and svelte.
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2012 Bogle Essential Red 2012 Bogle Essential Red
reg. $10.99 $8.99 w/Binny's Card
Save 18%
Bogle knows red blends, and here's their most affordable. Zinfandel, cabernet, petite sirah come together in a rich, deep red.
 2012 Artazuri Garnacha 2012 Artazuri Garnacha
reg. $9.99 $8.99 w/Binny's Card
Save 10%
From esteemed Rioja producer Artadi comes a value in their house style - restrained, poised, sleek and classy.
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2013 Kris Pinot Grigio 2013 Kris Pinot Grigio
reg. $11.99 $9.99 w/Binny's Card
Save 16%
Classic Italian white. Delicate floral fragrance, crisp green apple and soft peach. Perfect for the patio.
 2013 Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc
reg. $11.99 $9.99 w/Binny's Card
Save 16%
Balanced for the style - between ripe melon and cut grass, round fruit and zippy freshness, at a great price.
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2010 Greg Norman Cabernet Merlot 2010 Greg Norman Cabernet Merlot
reg. $12.99 $9.99 w/Binny's Card
Save 23%
Australia has plenty of value to offer, like this plush and ripe red blend. We haven't seen a deal like this in years.
 Sokol Blosser Evolution Sokol Blosser

reg. $14.99 $12.99 w/Binny's Card
Save 13%
Our go-to value white. Nine different grapes go into this soft white blend from Oregon.
*Prices valid through September 28 with your Binny's Card.
September Wine Sale

Insider's Guide

2013 Neyers Zinfandel Vista Luna 2013 Neyers Zinfandel Vista Luna
reg. $19.99 $17.99 w/Binny's Card - Save 10%
Bruce Neyers finds the time to run his own winery while serving as National Sales Manager for a highly regarded wine importer. Working with Vieux Telegraphe, Grammenon, LaPierre, Meo-Camuzet and many more informs his own approach in the cellar. The proof? The energetic yet deep fruit notes and baking-spice complexities in this zinfandel which remains light on its feet while delivering all the concentration you expect from California zin.

2013 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc
reg. $24.99 $21.99 w/Binny's Card - Save 12%
With its cool climate and sun-kissed vineyards, New Zealand produces world-famous sauvignon blanc. Here is a great price on the label that started it all - Cloudy Bay. Savory on the nose, with ripe and racy citrus and melon and an intensity that persists on the palate, its knockout punch of flavors is matched by few others. See why it's still an icon.

2011 Domaine Raspail-Ay Gigondas 2011 Domaine Raspail-Ay Gigondas
reg. $32.99 $29.99 w/Binny's Card - Save 9%
A perennial favorite producer whose grenache based wines capture the floral, sensual side of this most Mediterranean of varietals. No easy task. Gigondas enjoys high elevations and limestone soils, encouraging bright, vivacious grenache. Notes of strawberries and red raspberries with hints of lavender and orange peel.

2011 Januik Cabernet Sauvignon
reg. $29.99 $28.99 w/Binny's Card - Save 3%
An ideal introduction to Washington state. With the state's dry and cool climate - with an average of two more hours of sunshine per day than California - Washington produces cabernet as flavorful as Napa, but at prices that make you wonder just how they do it. You'll love the blackberry and savory notes that frame this benchmark cab from the region.

2012 William Fevre Chablis Montmains Domaine 2012 William Fevre Chablis Montmains Domaine
reg. $39.99 $36.99 w/Binny's Card - Save 7%
Chablis is cold. So cold, in fact, that William Fevre invented chaufferettes, small portable cauldrons, to heat his vineyards and safeguard against frost that threatened budburst. Why grow chardonnay in such an inhospitably cold climate? Find a favorably exposed site - like Fevre's Premier and Grand Cru vineyards - and you have one of chardonnay's finest expressions: bone dry on the palate, with vibrant citrus and white fruit with savory notes and an electric minerality.

2009 Felsina Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia
reg. $44.99 $39.99 w/Binny's Card - Save 11%
Most producers in Chianti Classico blend in other varietals to enrich their sangiovese, but not Felsina. Comprised entirely of sangiovese - defiantly so! - Felsina's Riserva Rancia displays a range of flavors - tart cherries, tobacco nuances, a liveliness and energy that persists on the palate - found in the finest wines of the world.

2011 Calera Pinot Noir Ryan Vineyard  2011 Calera Pinot Noir Ryan Vineyard
reg. $49.99 $44.99 w/Binny's Card - Save 10%
Calera's pinot noirs have proven every inche the equal of their French counterparts. After all, Calera owner Josh Jensen enjoyed stints at Domaine Romanee-Contni and Domaine Dujac, learning the importance of limestone soil. In turn, the California native established his own vineyard whose limestone soils and elevated plots are perfect for pinot. His gentle, hands-off approach in the cellar yields floral-inflected wines with raspberry and baking spice and lovely persistence on the palate.



*Prices are valid through September 28th with your Binny's Card.

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Binny's Wine Blog
Breaking news and reviews on your favorite wines.
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*Prices valid with Binny's Card until September 28th, 2014, or while supplies last. Not responsible for misprints or typographical errors. Advertised items limited to quantities on hand. Sizes 750ml unless otherwise stated. Not all wines are available at all Binny's locations.

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