Someone recently presented me with this wine to review and I thought I’d wait for an evening of relaxing to settle in to do a proper review, one where I had time to pull out the old notebook and give it the ‘top to bottom’. First off this is one of Wyndham’s new Bin series (to be released in Canada) that comes from the ‘birthplace’ of Australian Shiraz. George Wyndham planted Australia’s first commercial Shiraz way back in 1830 and I am sure we can use the phrase ‘the rest is History’. This, as well as the Bin 525, have been released here to compliment the successful Bin 555. Wyndham has done a nice job with the 500 Bin line, reasonably priced palatable Shiraz based wines, bringing the Australian wine-making strength to the common man. At $16.95 a bottle you will be treated to what Mrs. CWG refers to as “good bang for your buck.” On to the tasting!
Bin 515 is a blend of Shiraz and Viognier at a 92 to 8 % ratio. Viognier, as I think of it the grape of Languedoc, is mostly an ignored white variety to North Americans, but this very finicky grape is being used a great deal of late to work with Shiraz/Syrahs. Generally when blended with Shiraz it will soften the wine and add some lighter aromas to the nose. In this wine it is obvious. The first nose gives you sweet cherry and a hint of floral. The colour is a distant crimson and while this is only a 3 year old wine (remember the Aussies harvest 6 months earlier then the northern hemisphere) it already is seeing a bit of rust in it’s colour palate. On first taste the cherry disappears and a strawberry jam with plum comes out. One thing right away is noticed, even on first tastes, the wine is very evenly balanced, quite a treat for a sub $20 wine. As you get into the tasting the jam-plum disappears a bit and the wild berries with a hint of vanilla start to exhibit themselves. A nice side note to this wine is, unlike many mass produced Shirazs this wine is not killing your taste buds with oak, always appreciated here. Overall the wine surprised me, I was really nto expecting it to be so balanced from start to finish. While you could cellar this, I am not sure anything more then a year or two in bottle will help this wine, it is ready to drink now through 2011.
Rating this is of course subjective but I think it is solid enough to earn a mid 80s and will not disapoint you or your guests if you were to bring a bottle (or three), 86 out of 100.
Mrs. CWG is contemplating making this a regular table wine in the household.