Size & Type
The 2021 has classic Kostas lemon, lime and grapefruit aromas mixed with spice, cream, chalk and blossom. It is fresh, racy, mouth filling, textured and very long. It will take 6+ years to mature.
The juice goes to barrel straight from the press tray, with no additions of yeast, nutrients or enzymes. Once the juice is in barrel a small amount of sulphur is added and then we wait, usually about five days, for the fermentation to begin. The wine spent 10 months on yeast lees in French barrels, of which 25% were new, and was bottled in early March.
It’s great to have someone with as much experience as Michael so clearly articulate what has been a massive period of evolution the Australian wine industry. Particularly on the Pinot front. This is a must watch for any Pinot fanatic!
Michael Dhillon’s been around the block. Mostly Block 5 & a few others that Bindi planted moons ago. After over a generation of growing grapes and making wines, Bindi, has the reputation of one of Australia’s great Pinot and Chardonnay producers. They aren’t resting on their laurels!
New high density planting are in the ground and will soon bare fruit. The ever present desire to achieve the most delicious wine possible still beats stong in his heart.
‘Bindi’, 50 kilometres north-west of Melbourne in the Macedon Ranges, is the family property of the Dhillon family. Originally purchased in the 1950s as part of the larger grazing farm ‘Bundaleer’, ‘Bindi’ is a 170 hectare farm of which 7 hectares are planted to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Fifteen hectares are dedicated to managed plantation eucalypts for high grade furniture timber whilst the remainder of the land is maintained as remnant bush land and important indigenous grasslands.
The Bindi vineyard is the fundamental focus of our endeavors. Our vineyard and winemaking philosophy is to seek balance and purity in the expression of our various individual vineyard sites and this philosophy is applied to farming and conservation at ‘Bindi’; the preservation of the natural harmony.
The Bindi labels featured under the link ‘wine styles’ provide some of the stories of people and place that define our endeavour.
Vineyard elevation 500 meters above sea level. Soils predominantly shattered quartz over siltstone, sandstone and clay (Ordovician period sub soils-480 million years old) with some eroded volcanic top soil over clay (Approximately four millions years old). Generally infertile.
Production ranges from 1,800-3,000 dozen bottles per vintage
Yields typically 1.5 to 2 tonnes per acre (3.5 to 5.0 tonnes per hectare)
Typical hand management regimes of fastidious small vineyard philosophies are maintained encompassing hand pruning, frequent passes (at least ten passes each vine) though the growing season managing the vertical shoot positioned canopy and hand harvesting
Since 2005 we have been implementing organic procedures and inputs where the focus is on promoting soil life and balance leading to excellent vine health. This involves compost, undervine cultivation and aerating the soil (opening up the soil for air, moisture and soil applications).
Chardonnay plantings – 2 hectares
Kostas Rind Chardonnay in 1988
Quartz Chardonnay in 1988
Pinot Noir plantings – 5 hectares
Original Vineyard Pinot Noir in 1988
Block Five Pinot Noir in 1992
Block K Pinot Noir in 2001
Darshan in 2014 (high density Pinot Noir (11,300 vines per hectare in a 1.1m x 0.8m))
Block 8 in 2016 (high density Pinot Noir (11,300 vines per hectare in a 1.1m x 0.8m))
Our fermentations occur without addition of yeast, yeast nutrient or enzyme. Unsettled Chardonnay juice goes straight to barrel, reds are gently worked, delicate pressing, long lees ageing in French barrels and minimal racking. No fining and restricted filtration regimes are followed.
Vigneron: Michael Dhillon
Michael was born in the town of Gisborne (where his family on his mother Kaye’s side have been since 1853) , 55kms north west of Melbourne, and grew up at Bindi, a 170 hectare farm just outside the township. Today he and his family produce chardonnay and pinot from their vineyard at Bindi which Bill and Michael Dhillon established in 1988.
Michael served as assistant winemaker to Stuart Anderson from 1991 until 1998 when he assumed full responsibility. Michael learned his craft working with Stuart as well as experiencing vintages in Europe, where he spent time with the Champagne house of Jean Vesselle in Bouzy, with Alain Graillot in Croze-Hermitage and four vintages in Tuscany at Tenuta di Valgiano. During the mid 1990s Michael also worked with John Wade over parts of three vintages when John was establishing Howard Park Winery. Michael’s passion for Burgundy has seen him visit over 100 different domaines over two decades.
The 2021 vintage, our 31st harvest by Bindi
There are challenging seasons that continue to be testing to the very end and then there are challenging seasons that end with a flourish that elevates quality to unexpected heights. Thankfully, 2021 is the latter. What was a cool and often damp season became defined by two of the most incredible finishing weeks we have experienced. Perhaps the conditions were THE most important quality building weeks experienced at Bindi? Regardless, what was a healthy and moderate crop was elevated to the equal of the very best that we have done since planting in 1988.
These finishing days of sunshine and warmth (consistently mid to high 20s) also benefited the fruit due to the cool and sometimes cold nights that preserved freshness, delicacy and acidity. The grapes accumulated flavour and sugar while retaining the brightness and vivacity in the fruit that is so defining here. What a blessing!
The Block 5 2021 will be held back until next year to be released with the Bindi Darshan and Bindi Block 8 Pinot Noirs. We have now made ten individual wines so far from these new sites and will release the 2021s in Autumn next year. It’s very exciting to feel ready to approach this release and to also know we will have made the 2023s by then for further comparison. It’s been a fantastic decade of working and learning and tasting and we feel there is coherency and success in the vineyards, the wines and the relevance to what we have done over the preceding three decades. Next autumn will come around fast enough.
Bindi is in Gisbourne within the Macedon Ranges, one of Victoria’s cool climate wine regions. Look to the north and a little west of Melbourne.
Where in the world does the magic happen?
Bindi Wines, Gisborne-Melton Rd, Gisborne VIC, Australia