Sunday, September 29, 2013
Bindi is the yardstick, but the property is not so easy to find. It is clear that Michael Dhillon (the best winemaker of Indian descent?) likes it that way. His vineyard, shown above, does not look like much, but the soil is quite special. Quartz and volcanic soil is mixed in with siltstone, sand and clay, with the upper part of the vineyard very rocky. Its elevation is over 500 metres. Michael is an interesting guy to talk to. He comes across as quite unassuming, but the whole positioning of Bindi is very strategic. It is clear that his prime focus is the vineyard, though. The property has been in the family for over 50 years, and his understanding of the site is quite deep.
Tasting became almost a sideshow, as we discussed the impact of the soil, organic principles, and the Bindi labelling. It was surprising though, to taste the high quality of his 2011 Chardonnays. This from a very wet year and a high altitude vineyard. The 2011 Bindi Composition Chardonnay comes from the middle and lower part of the vineyard. The citrus flavours are elegant and the wine is simply delicious (93 points). The 2011 Bindi Quartz Chardonnay has to be in the top three in Australia. The flavour profile is similar, but the wine is much more persistent. You need to be quite skilled to not judge this as a top Burgundy in a blind tasting. Lightness, yet length in the wine is astounding. Low yields and the temperature holding and sun reflecting qualities of the quartz are key to this wine (96 points). I also tasted the 2010 Bindi Original Vineyard Pinot Noir, which impresses with its fragrant and cherry flavours. These wines compare well against the best Australia has to offer, as demonstrated by the Block 5 in the recent Langtons Classification tasting.