Charles Smith Wines & K Vintners

   Select Binny's stores will be getting the range of high-end wines from Charles Smith Wines and K Vintners from Washington state this week. These wines blow me away every year, and though they can be pricey, it's hard not to get excited. Rockstar winemaker Charles Smith makes knockout syrah, wines packed with intense fruit and rich complexity. Based on the jaw-dropping scores Robert Parker gave these C.S. 2007's, I doubt these will last long on our shelves...

   ...which is why the K Vintners wines are so exciting. Also from winemaker Charles Smith, but in slightly larger quantities and roughly half the price, the K Vintners Syrah lineup shows why this producer has been so hot in the last few years.


2009 Rhone

   Sometimes it seems like I hear best vintage EVER from the wine press almost as often as there are vintages. This is the case for the Rhone in 2009, and we're just starting to get the early 2009 Cotes du Rhone wines now. New 2009 arrivals this week include selections from Domaine les Grands Bois and Domaine les Aphillanthes, both perennial favorites.

   The last best vintage EVER! in the Rhone was 2007, a year of fun if heavy, highly-extracted wines. One thing that struck me about the 07's was that even the inexpensive, entry-level Cotes du Rhone reflected the character of the vintage well, and it was easier to find a great value than not. I'm hoping this will be the case with 2009, too. Binny's does still have plenty of the excellent 2007 vintage Rhones as well.


Opus One 2007

   I tried this one a couple months ago from a barrel sample, and it blew me away. It is a reminder of why Opus One is an iconic Napa wine. I started out with a skeptical mindset, and the wine peeled back my cynicism. This is a concentrated wine in a classic California style, with big notes of coppery blood, anise and other herbs, meat and powerful tannins along with the red fruit and cinnamon and clove spices. If you haven't had Opus in a while, this would be a good vintage to start.


That Time Again, Already?

   We're getting a big shipment of St Christopher Gluhwein this week. Along with the yellow and orange leaves on the ground, this is an annual reminder of the season.


Upcoming Weekend(s) At Binny's

   October is a month of New Releases in our Weekend At Binny's tasting, a free, staff-pick tasting held each Saturday from 1-4 pm at almost all Binny's locations. This weekend's theme is California: Best New Releases. Should be fun.

   Coming up in two weeks is Scary Wines for Halloween. That sounds like fun, but also sounds puzzling. What constitutes a scary wine?

   Seriously, though, I want to know. Tell me what scary wines you would pour in the comments section below.