Just as I was regaining the love for Leasingham wines; both high end and low, the brand goes and hits a hurdle. A whole row of them even. Key vineyards have been sold, the winery's been sold off, there's been a recent change of ownership and even Leasingham's website is under construction now. For the sake of one of Clare's most significant names, I do hope these hurdles can be cleared.
In keeping in tune with some of Leasingham's recent successes, this Bin 56 looks and smells joyously bright, without a shred of the over-ripeness found in many of South Australia's 2008s. Menthol-tinged scents of cassis, mulberries and red plums leap from the glass in a magnificently fruited, vivid style after an hour in the decanter, with a secondary accompaniment of soft vanilla/mocha oak thrown in for good measure. A smidgeon of the region's classic eucalyptus also appears, siding with its menthol aromas nicely. Thankfully, these characters slide into the mouth with ease, as it unfolds a silky, medium-bodied palate defined by its vibrancy. If anything, its menthol/eucalyptus touched berry flavours only lack the complexity and integrated elegance of reserve labels, but it still finishes beautifully long and imposingly dry, revealing earthy tones underneath a nervy yet merging structure of gripping acids and tannin, helped into place by some thoroughly modern winemaking polish. It's quite amazing really; a genuinely happy surprise.
ü+ Brightly fruited and flavoured, tight and dry, the 2008 Bin 56 defies my expectations of its vintage and price immeasurably. My fingers are steadfastly crossed for the future of Leasingham now. Drink to 2020.