By Cecil Flentge
Shopping for wine is both a hobby for me and a necessity. You have to resupply if you re-consume. But I do enjoy the process – looking for new wineries, unusual grape varieties, wines from wineries I have visited, great prices — it is still a game to me. However, looking for Pinot Noir from a less-usual wine region, only a year and a half old, at a bargain-bin price, is not what I set out to do. But there it was, go figure.
Lindeman’s has been making wine for a long time with their first plantings of Riesling, Verdelho, and Shiraz grapes in 1843.
This wine is sourced from multiple vineyards and is 100 percent Pinot Noir grapes.
Lindeman’s Bin 99 Pinot Noir, South Eastern Australia 2011
Available at CostCo Liquors (open to anyone) for $3.99. Yes, 3.99!
Fresh red cherry, hints of raspberries, and a sense of terroir – the earthy stamp given to a wine by the soil, sun and sense of place where it was grown, all expressed on the nose, if lightly. Red fruits, cedar, grapefruit on the palate with characteristically light tannins were moderate and clear. As the wine evolved it showed staying power and a bit of fresh saddle-leather aroma. The grapefruit stayed on the medium length finish with the earthy cherry persisting. As young as it is, it may improve for 6-12 months. While I do not recommend long cellaring, it should hold for a few years.
What I feel like is I got away with something! Pouring this wine with dinner I was already casting my mind to what else I would probably have to open when this wine proved unworthy. But as critically as I approached it, I first found nothing wrong, then I started to like it, then with the broiled pork chops seasoned with thyme, sage, and celery seed powder it just blossomed! My wife and I kept stopping and saying ‘this is really matching well’ during dinner. Baked potato – potato salad with a vegetable stock and cream dressing was still able to co-exist with this properly constrained wine. If you can enjoy a red wine that does not come in like a Viking invasion, one that lets your meal participate instead of cringing at the edge of the plate, try the Bin 99!