2014 Dry Creek Vineyard Sauvignon Musque, Taylor’s Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley

Brilliant light straw color. Initial scents of varietal pea pod, grass and herbs lead to sweet floral impressions, followed by white pepper, tangerine, and peach. The Musque Clone is a type of Sauvignon Blanc, and here it has undergone 100% stainless steel fermentation to preserve the delicate, complex aromatics. Despite this, it has a pleasing plumpness in the mouth and a juicy acidity. Delightful as a sipper, or pair with lighter summer fare and white meat dishes.
MSRP: $28 (June 2016)
Wine Lines rating: 90

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2014 Dry Creek Vineyard Block 10 Chardonnay, Russian River Valley

In the glass, a brilliant, deep straw color. With a swirl and a sniff, the nose transports the taster to a time 25 years in the past – a happy time, when winemakers delivered pleasing Chardonnays full of baked apple pie aromas (complete with buttery crust). Full, long, and palate-coating, this wine finishes with a big, wet kiss of buttered apples and baking spices. This is the archetypal profile of Chardonnay that made California famous, and with good reason.
MSRP: $30 (June 2016)
Wine Lines rating: 90

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A Unique Wine-Tasting Experience in Sin City

As wine bars go, few in the world could compare with Bin 702 in downtown Las Vegas, which gets the numerical part of its name from Sin City’s area code.


Bin 702 is located at a unique shopping destination known as Container Park, where a praying mantis greets guests at the entrance.


Shops, restaurants and the wine bar at the park are housed in large metal shipping containers that have been repurposed.


Two containers were used to “build out” Bin 702, and then a wooden deck was added outside to provide more seating.


The handwritten sign at the entryway summarizes the “non-attitude” vibe of the bar; this is not a place for wine snobs.


Rather, as the table reservation cards suggest, it’s a place for people who simply want to enjoy a glass (or two or three) of wine.


We grabbed a table at the side of the bar and adjacent to the kitchen — perfect for watching the food prep and people watching.


We ordered glasses of wine and a plate of montaditos, mini sandwiches filled with all kinds of tasty ingredients (meats, cheeses and various accompaniments).

All in all, it was a fun way to spend some time… and drink some wine… in Las Vegas. Bin 702 may not exude the glitz of The Strip, but it also doesn’t charge Strip prices. Our tab for two good glasses of wine and six mondaditos: about $33.

— Bob Johnson (photos by Michelle Johnson)







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2013 Cambria ‘Benchmark’ Pinot Noir, Santa Maria Valley

Earthy like French Burgundy but lighter in body, this is an easy-drinking wine that would pair nicely with just about any dish that includes mushrooms. It’s tough to pick out a fruit impression other than simply “red,” but interest is added by notes of cardamom, tea leaf and Asian spice. (Note: This wine, in past vintages, was designated “Julia’s Vineyard.)

MSRP: $25 (June 2016)

Wine Lines rating: 88

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2014 Cambria ‘Benchbreak’ Chardonnay, Santa Maria Valley

There wasn’t a lot of new oak used in aging this wine, yet oak comes to the forefront in the nose, masking the fruit impressions to some degree. With some time in the glass, notes of pineapple and green apple emerge, leading to a mildly juicy finish. Not a bad choice for accompanying a picnic of chicken salad sandwiches, chunks of Brie and mild cheddar cheeses, and slices of apple. (Note: This wine, in past vintages, was designated “Katherine’s Vineyard.”)

MSRP: $22 (June 2016)

Wine Lines rating: 85

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2013 Kendall-Jackson ‘Vintner’s Reserve’ Red Wine Blend, California

Many people turn up their noses at multi-variety wines made from grapes grown in multiple areas. Not us. All we at Wine Lines care about is what’s in the glass, and when this Red Wine Blend is in our glass, we’re very happy. Syrah is the primary varietal at 44% of the cuvee, joined by Zinfandel (25%) and Merlot (20%). There also are smaller amounts of Petite Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache and other varieties from Mendocino County (40%), Sonoma County (39%), Santa Barbara County (10%), Lake County (7%) and Napa County (4%). Now that you have the stats, let’s check out the aromas and flavors: currants, blueberries, assorted red and black berries, vanilla, chocolate and allspice. In a word: Yum. Better still, it’s a steal at $17, making it a Wine Lines Value Vino in addition to a Featured Wine Selection.

MSRP: $17

Wine Lines rating: 90

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2013 Kendall-Jackson ‘Vintner’s Reserve’ Merlot, Sonoma County

Soft and delicate, this is what many wine drinkers expect when they open a bottle of Merlot and pour it into their glasses. Blueberry, black cherry and mild blackberry are the fruit flavors, which are joined by a hint of spice. For a satisfying meal, serve it with lasagna or spaghetti and meatballs.

MSRP: $19 (June 2016)

Wine Lines rating: 87

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2013 Kendall-Jackson ‘Vintner’s Reserve’ Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma County

With a tannin structure that quickly fades with time in the glass, this is a Cabernet to drink while others on your wine rack evolve. Blackberries and currants are up front in the nose, joined by notes of mocha, vanilla, cedar and just a hint of black pepper, but it all fades quickly in the finish, rather than lingering. Try this wine with burgers made with Lipton Onion Soup Mix kneaded into the meat.

MSRP: $24 (June 2016)

Wine Lines rating: 86

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2014 Kendall-Jackson ‘Vintner’s Reserve’ Syrah, Santa Barbara County

Syrah often exudes a smoky quality, and this one seems to billow the smoke, hiding any trace of fruit on the nose. With a whole lot of swirling, a tart cherry note emerges, gradually followed by hints of plum, Dr. Pepper and dark berries. This is a wine that will shine more brightly when served with food, and we suggest pouring it alongside your favorite smoked meat.

MSRP: $17 (June 2016)

Wine Lines rating: 84

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2013 Edmeades Zinfandel, Perli, Mendocino Ridge

Opaque purple/black color. Syrupy aromas of blackberries and black currants are accented by notes of black pepper and cedar. In the mouth, velvety blackberry liqueur leads to a youthful chewiness. The juicy finish begs for the next sip. Here is an archetypal example of Zinfandel designed to pair with all sorts of summer barbecue fare, the spicier the better!
MSRP: $31 (May 2016)
Wine Lines rating: 91

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