The unusually-named Bink Wines is owned and operated by two women, which is also rather unusual (but becoming less so).
Fourth-generation-Californian Cindy Paulson grows the grapes, while also maintaining her day job as an environmental engineer (she earned a doctorate in environmental engineering at Colorado University at Boulder). Her farming philosophy is deeply rooted in sustainable practices, coming from her environmental background and love of the outdoors.
Deb Schatzlein makes the wines. This Connecticut native is known as a fun-loving free spirit; her grandparents set the mold early, making gin in their bathtub during Prohibition. She has degrees in chemistry (with an early career as a chemical engineer) and biology, and has taken extensive coursework in viticulture and enology.
And that name? It’s a contraction of ‘black ink,’ the color characteristic of their red wines.
Bink Randle Hill Vineyard Sauvingon Blanc 2008
This all-stainless-steel 100% Sauvignon Blanc is unfiltered. Consequently, this pale-yellow wine can pour out cloudy, without the crystal-clear appearance most consumers expect. To avoid this, let the bottle rest upright for an hour or so, and decant carefully. Or, if you insist on transparency, you could pour it through a paper coffee filter; unorthodox, and it may strip out some of the flavor nuance, but it works.
This wine’s birthplace, the 13-acre Randle Hill Vineyard, is certified organic, and yielded a small production of 350 cases.
The wine opens with delicately sweet honeysuckle and mango flavors, which then lead to a body featuring grapefruit notes and a supportive minerality.
Serve with Red Chile-Honey Glazed Salmon, BBQ Marlin with Avocado Vinaigrette, or Rum-Brown Sugar-Glazed Shrimp with Lime and Cilantro.
Bink Hawks Butte Merlot 2006
The Hawks Butte vineyard is part of the Yorkville Highlands Appellation, and is located mid-way between the small California towns of Yorkville and Boonville. It is 1200 feet above sea level and 35 miles inland from the Pacific coast. The rocky soils and southern exposure of the vineyard make for high-quality but low-yield vines, providing only enough juice to make 150 cases of this wine.
It was aged for 22 months in 30%-new and 70%-old oak barrels.
As is to be expected of Bink, the color is deep garnet in the glass. The nicely full palate features black currant and stone fruits, supported by somewhat forward tannins and some spice. This Merlot is an excellent value.
Enjoy this substantial wine with Balsamic-Marinated Flank Steak, Asian-Spice Rubbed Pork Chops, or Burgers with Cheddar Cheese and Horseradish Mustard.
Bink Wine closed permanently in 2017.
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