92 Insider Points
Mendo Syrah Showing Quite Well for Its Age
But that's what we all should expect from quality productions. There's wines that are just straight table wine and meant to drink young, and wines like the Bink Syrah that are showing a beautiful elegance in its 7th year. Just to add the cherry on top, the grower-winemaker team is a dynamic duo, 2 women who beat the odds and built a brand from the ground up. This is a super fun wine for all you fellow geeks out there.
Fresh-cut cedar and leather on the nose. The palate is medium-bodied, with tones of cranberry and black cherry still showing nicely. The finish is long and expansive, pulling us through a spectrum of flavor. If you're as big a wine nerd as I, you'll definitely appreciate this ready-to-drink beauty. 92 Points - JZ June '18
Yorkville Highlands, Mendocino County
3-Bottle TRIO Offering
Mendocino wineries are known for their award-winning Syrah. So, it's no shock to learn our Sourcing Team recently did a deep dive in the category and region. The outcome: Syrah does crush it there. And this wine is the epitome of why.
Syrah ripens slowly in these extreme climes, and yields are very very low. But the intensity of the fruit that does reach maturity makes is all worthwhile. This small-production, sustainably grown Syrah is full of bright cherry fruit and exotic spice, with no discernable oak and a finish that is eerily reminiscent of the strapping though elegant reds made in the Northern Rhone Valley. Ready to drink now, preferably with poultry or pork.
· Mendocino’s Yorkville Highlands AVA is a newish appellation and one defined by extremes. First, most of the vineyards that make up Yorkville sit up at 1,000 to 2,200 feet in elevation. Second, the proximity of the ocean and its frigid nighttime winds means the temperature drops dramatically during the growing season.
· In a traditionally male-dominated field, Bink stands as one of the wine industry’s growing women-run wineries. Owner Deborah Schatzlein is Bink’s winemaker, while co-owner Cindy Paulson Bink’s winegrower, overseeing all of the farming at this boutique estate.
· At Bink sustainable viticultural practices protect the area’s natural resources while keeping the vineyard in balance, too. Bink grows annual cover crops to enrich the soil, and maintains bird boxes throughout the property to attract natural predators and minimize the use of insecticides.
· Mendocino saw cool weather and frequent storms in the 2011 growing season, which produced smaller yields of elegant, European-styled wines with fine balance and bright acidity.
You'll find hints of berry as well as peppery and smokey flavors in this wine. It is a very round and well balanced wine that will sit well on your palate.
*invino maintains excellent cellaring conditions, and strives to sell every bottle in pristine condition. As is standard industry practice, any wine purchased over seven vintage years old, is sold "as is" and may not be returned for any reason.
Bink Wines is based in Southern Mendocino County’s Yorkville Highlands AVA. Bink is owned by winemaker Deborah Schatzlein and winegrower Cindy Paulson. They produce Syrah, Merlot, Pinot Noir, and Sauvignon Blanc.
Prior to starting Bink Wines, Deborah Schatzlein worked for William Hill Winery and Cliff Lede in the Napa Valley. Cindy Paulson is from a farming family and handles the vineyard management aspect of the business.
Schatzlein and Paulson established Hawks Butte Vineyard in 1999, planting it with Syrah and Merlot. This property is located about 30 miles from the Pacific Ocean at an elevation of 1,200 feet above sea level. The local climate experiences warm, sunny days and cool evenings which gives grapes a delightful combination of flavor and acidity.
In addition to vinifying estate Syrah and Merlot from Hawks Butte Vineyard, Schatzlein and Paulson also source Pinot Noir from Weir Vineyard and Sauvignon Blanc from Randle Hill Vineyard. These properties are also located in the Yorkville Highlands AVA.
Nestled at the base of Hawks Butte on a series of benches and hillsides, our estate vineyard is about 1200' above sea level and 35 miles inland from the Pacific coast. The estate, really more of a ranch, is entirely within the Yorkville Highlands appellation. The south-facing, rocky slopes of Hawks Butte Vineyard heat up to 90 to 100 degrees during summer days, but cool in the evenings since a coastal breeze and occasional rolling fog bank reach inland. The rocky soils and exposure of the vineyard make for challenging growing conditions, but produce slow-growing, low-yield vines with small, intense syrah and merlot.
Hawks Butte Vineyard is a wild and peaceful place in the middle of nowhere. The site was once a sheep ranch, then a rustic farm, which lies about two miles up the mountain above Highway 128, mid-way between the small towns of Yorkville and Boonville. Spectacular views overlook the valley below, across layers of hills toward the ocean. Oak, madrone, buckeye, and native grasses surround the vineyard. Hawks Butte locals include deer, coyote, red-tailed hawks, acorn woodpeckers, and the occasional bobcat or mountain lion.
Deb Schatzlein, Winemaker. Deb’s winemaking philosophy is to take the highest quality grapes and allow them to express their full potential by applying low-impact, hands-on winemaking techniques. Her technique is grounded in the science of winemaking, but is enlightened by hands-on experience and intuition. She has worked her way from the ground up in the wine business, beginning in the cellar and lab, mentoring with acclaimed Napa Valley winemakers, and finally making her own wines in a collaborative environment with top California winemakers.
Born in East Haven, Connecticut, Deb loves people and having fun. She grew up with an extended family that would regularly gather for big parties that ran late into the night. Her grandparents set the mold early, making gin in their bathtub during Prohibition. Deb has degrees in chemistry and biology and has taken extensive coursework in viticulture and enology. After a career as a chemical process engineer, first in electronics, then in environmental engineering, she eventually decided to ditch her day job and follow her passion for winemaking.
Cindy Paulson, Winegrower. Called the Energizer Bunny, or “Taz,” by her friends, Cindy’s boundless energy keeps her outdoors as much as possible. As winegrower for Bink, Cindy oversees a very capable vineyard crew at Hawks Butte Vineyard, while maintaining her day job as an environmental engineer. In her spare time, she tends her own orchard and vegetable garden, and gets out fly fishing in rivers throughout the West when she can. Her farming philosophy is deeply rooted in sustainable practices, coming from her environmental background and love of the outdoors.
A 4th generation Californian, Cindy grew up in Washington when her dad moved the family and farmed table grapes and other fruits. She earned a doctorate in environmental engineering at CU Boulder and holds down a full-time job leading the national Water Resources Practice for Brown and Caldwell, a consulting engineering firm based in the Bay Area. Cindy laughs easily and loves being around people. She hooked up with Deb when they worked together in Colorado.
Pair this wine with any variety of meat dishes. It will taste great alongside beef or lamb especially. We recommend seasoning the meat with smokier flavors, as they will compliment the flavors in the wine.