Australia is generally thought of as a mass of dry land and few people think of Australia as a place where crops of any kind are harvested. But Australia does have some regions where agriculture has established itself and one of the better- known industries in Australia that relies on agriculture is the wine business. Australian wines are not as sophisticated as wines from Italy or France, but they are making a name for themselves and one Australian wine I recently tried is 2006 Lindemans Bin #40 Merlot, a dry red wine.
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Basic Characteristics of This Wine:
Lindemans Bin #40 Merlot pours to a purple/red color with an aroma that combines alcohol, grapes, and raisins. The body of the wine is thick enough that light does not shine through, even though the body is thin enough to swirl freely in a glass without leaving legs.
Lindemans Bin #40 Merlot has a taste that combines plums, grapes, and prunes. The overall flavor profile is dry, and there is an acidic taste overall. Some oak notes and vanilla can be detected, as well as a small amount of mixed berry. The finish of this wine is bitter and a little harsh.
Lindemans Bin #40 Merlot is manufactured using basic ingredients in the South Eastern region of Australia. The alcohol content of this wine is 13.5 percent by volume and the manufacturer recommends serving this wine at a temperature between 57 and 65 degrees.
Lindemans 2006 Bin #40 Merlot is an inexpensive red wine made by one of Australias best- known wine making companies. Lindemans bottled its first wine back in 1843 and it has grown to become one of Australias best known exports.
Merlot is not one of my favorite styles of wine and for this reason, I was a little hesitant to sample this Lindemans product. I am very familiar with the Lindemans name and I have sampled some of the other Lindemans Bins over the years (each variety of Lindemans wine receives its own bin number), generally with good results. But with the word Merlot on the label, I still had reservations.
The only way to find out if Lindemans Bin 40 Merlot was like others in its class was to give the wine a sampling, and I finally did after some reluctance. And I am sorry to say that my feelings about merlot are still the same. Lindemans Bin #40 Merlot isnt much different from the other merlot I have tried over the years. The taste is a little harsh, the finish is bitter, and the overall experience is unpleasant.
To see if temperature could be a factor in the taste, I decided to chill the wine for a short time, lowering the temperature to about 55 degrees. At this temperature, Lindemans Bin #40 Merlot was a little more tolerable, but not by much. The added chill took away some of the bitterness in the finish and made the wine more tolerable overall. But it was still a chore to drink. I noticed that the flavor of vanilla became more prominent as the wine warmed up, but the harshness become more evident with each passing degree.
Lindemans recommends drinking this merlot immediately or within three years after bottling. The company also recommends serving it with beef, lamb, or pasta, but I can think of many different wines and other beverages that would taste better with these or other foods. This wine could tame a vicious slab of beef, yes. But the combination of flavors wouldnt necessarily make it the best to pair with beef or any other food.
Overall, 2006 Lindemans Bin #40 Merlot is a wine to forget. I found it tolerable at first, but my opinion gradually declined as I attempted to taste more. The acidic flavor and the alcoholic bite left me cringing a little bit with each sip and I was unable to finish more than two small glasses. It did nothing to improve my negative perception of merlot and it is yet another merlot product that I have permanently removed from my future buying list.
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Winery Name: Lindemans
State or Region: South Eastern Australia
Wine Rating Scale: Drinkable