Lindeman’s Bin 45 Cabernet Sauvignon South East Australia 2015

Cherry color with some translucence; black cherry, blackberry on the nose; black cherry, plum, spice, cola, blackcurrant, oak on the palate.

Full body, some rusticity; tannins are not over-assertive, but they are not silky or tasty either; some acidity for a cab; candied vanilla carries through to short finish. I must evaluate this effort in context: it is OK cab; there are no glaring flaws; the fruit is somewhat subdued and the candied vanilla comes on strong in mid-palate, thanks to liberal use of oak. At the same time, there are stores where this sells for $3 and the average price is $4-5. That makes it a very nice value-for-price play. It works superbly as the third bottle as the party rolls on—in fact the assertive rustic flavors and candified black cherry becomes a virtue at that time.

Would I pour this at a nice meal to complement a quality steak? No. Would I open the bottle after the table was cleared and friends were sipping while trading old stories or sitting around a fire pit and smoking cigars? Yes. I also would decant this in anticipation of such a dénouement; air smooths this out rather nicely.

Dr. Henry Lindeman started the winery in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales, Australia, in 1843 and began exporting wine in 1858 (after surviving a cellar fire set by an arsonist in 1850). Lindeman’s original vineyard no longer exists and the winery now has vineyards at several locations in South Australia. Today, the winery is part of the Treasury Wine Estates portfolio. Treasury Wine Estates is one of the world’s largest wine companies and is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX). Other notable sister brands include Penfolds, Wolf Blass, Beringer, Gabbiano, Stags Leap, Sterling Vineyards, Beaulieu Vineyard (BV) and Rosemount.

Lindeman’s began in its Bin series of wines in 1985. It features consistent, very affordable wines in different varietals. The Bin series wines, like this cab, are serviceable but lack distinction—which is what you expect from a bottle costing $5, maybe less.

Lindeman’s Bin 45 Cabernet Sauvignon South East Australia 2015 is not a great bottle of wine, but it also is far from undrinkable. Have it on hand for those nights when the hours grow late and the stories abandon the constraints of truth and the good times roll. In other words, appreciate Bin 45 for what it is and you won’t be disappointed. The morning may have some rough edges, but you knew that could happen when it all started. $3-8

Lindemans website

Other photos: Lindeman’s winery and vineyard; Lindeman’s Founder Henry Lindeman; Lindeman’s chief winemaker today, Wayne Falkenberg