Rosie Reviews Cheap Wine: Lindeman’s Bin 45

I bought this wine quickly whilst on my way home from visiting my parents in Surrey. The owner was doing a stocktake and his chiller was broken; the ideal circumstances I felt to discover the limited variety of wines you might be able to find at your local newsagent.

By twist of fate, the man who established Lindeman’s was born not so far from that very newsagent – Egham, Surrey. In 1811 Henry Lindeman fancied a change of pace, packed in his life in Egham and embarked on a voyage with his wife Eliza to start anew in Australia. He later became one of the first exporters to get his wine back to the UK from Australia.

206 years later I’m politely asked for ID as I purchase this bottle from the “Bin Series”. An Australian labelling tradition, formerly referring to ‘bin’ or area of the cellar the wine has fermented in, now just a marketing tool to help consumers remember what they’ve drunk after enjoying a whole bottle.

Cabernet sauvignon is a grape you have to let age a bit before drinking – its thick skins give intense tannin (and deep colour) meaning that letting it hang out in oak/bottle to mellow before drinking is usually a good thing. That’s the case for 100% cab, which this wine is probably not. Legally, it has to be at least 85% cabernet and you get to play with the other 15% – my guess is a little merlot. This will soften the tannin, add fruit, plus get it on the shelves and in your glass sooner.

I twist the screw cap (the label helpfully reminds me that it is to “guarantee freshness”) and pour myself a glass. This colour is an intense, almost opaque ruby red (that’d be our thick skinned cab). After a swirl, the aroma is intensely Ribena-esque (proper term; intense blackcurrant notes), a bit of eucalyptus, maybe menthol. The alcohol stings my sinuses a bit, despite being a very average 13.5%. I check the label, they’ve mentioned black fruit and mint aromas – I’d be inclined to agree.

I take a sip. The wine is dry, not too obviously tannic, there’s enough acidity to make the mouth water, and a surprisingly long finish. The menthol we had on the nose lingers for a good amount of time on the palette, an impressive feature on a mass-market wine.

It’s disappointingly weak in body, but that was really my only complaint. Overall, I’m about this. I’ll try the rest of the Lindeman ‘bins’ and get back to you, but for now I’d recommend Bin 45 as a fancy accompaniment to oven pizza, or by itself with an episode of Call the Midwife.

Lindeman’s Bin 45; 2013
Cabernet Sauvignon
South Eastern Australia
Thames Off License & News, Thames Ditton

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