I don’t want to be Australian-ist (?), but when I saw that this Cabernet Sauvignon was an Australian Cabernet Sauvignon, I didn’t even take a first look at the vintage. I knew I was in for something bright, fun, and ready to drink now. Besides, what could go wrong with a bottle that says “smile” in such large font?

Home cooked meals make me smile…

About the Wine: Here’s the thing about Lindeman’s — they have a long, and actually quite interesting, history in Australia. The foundation for the winery started way back in the early 1800s (much like my familiar California wine history — the difference is this one wasn’t interrupted by a stupid Prohibition…). But, to be quite frank, it seems that Lindeman’s is parallel to a Sutter Home or Kendall Jackson when it comes to “name brand” association. I promise you, though, the wines are of good quality (worth writing about anyhow).

Lineman’s Bin 45 Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon harvested from various vineyards in South Eastern Australia. It was aged in combination French and American oak (age of barrels and length of maturation unknown, though based on my notes, I would guess predominantly neutral oak for, well, not that long).

13.5% ABV

Flavor Profile: Upon opening the bottle, there’s an immediate aroma of dark, dank fruits — overripe plums, prunes, dried black cherries. There’s also a wet woody scent and I almost thought — maybe my Australian stereotyping was wrong.

That worry continues with the pour — the Linderman’s Bin 45 Cabernet Sauvignon has a brownish tint to its purple coloring. It’s a bit thick and gluggy going from bottle to glass. But once in the glass, the aromas give off freshness. Think fresh black cherries hanging from a tree, and there’s an herbaceousness reminiscent of anise-meets-mint.

The palate is a combination of all these aromas and smells. The best way to describe it is like those healthy fruit roll ups mom used to put in your lunch bags. The ones labeled fruit “leather” rather than the ones that have cartoon cut-outs all over them. Flavors are fun and fruity: strawberry, cherry, blackberry fruit leather.

And yet there is and earthy element. It took me awhile to figure out exactly what it was. But I’ve come to the conclusion that it is a smoky, slightly burnt homemade loaf of bread.

The tannins here don’t appear until the finish — and they are quite prominent, gripping each individual tastebud. But by that point, who cares? This is an easy drinking Cab and a fun one to figure out.

Food Pairing: Because I had “fun” and “smile” on the brain, I paired the Linderman’s Bin 45 Cabernet Sauvignon with a pizza. And it really is the perfect pizza pairing — especially if you like a bit of heat. Peppers, sausages, even chili flakes will play with that mystery “smokey” element in the wine.

Pizza. I’m going to drop the mic and end it there.

More Info: I received Lindeman’s Bin 45 Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 as a sample for review. (Cheers!) Retail: $6 For more information and to purchase wines directly, please visit the Lindeman’s website.

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