Wednesday, November 18, 2015

12 Bindi Pinot Noirs

Bindi has been on a steep path to excellence for quite some time now, but as a small producer is not as widely experienced by consumers as it deserves. This tasting went across the different Pinot Noir bottlings as well as across young and older vintages. Thus it allowed a good overall assessment of their Pinot Noirs, which is Bindi's main grape. They also do Chardonnay.

My conclusion is that all wines have a common signature, which is site- as well as winemaking specific. The wines from this cool, isolated location, at 500m altitude in the Macedon Ranges, are not classified organic, but the soil treatment follows those principles. There is no addition of yeast, enzymes or acid in the winery. What all 12 wines have in common is line length, a very elegant texture and fine silky tannins.

After that, vintage variation and vineyard play their part. From 2014, I tried the Dixon (former Composition) Pinot Noir, the Original Vineyard and the Block 5. The yield was very low, and as a result, the fruit is quite intense and dark. These wines need time to develop the typical savoury character of Bindi wines. The Block 5 is the richest of the three, but retains its elegance (92,93,94 points respectively). The general conclusion was that these wines will develop exceptionally well.

This contrasted strongly with the wines from 2011, a cool vintage. The colour of these wines was much lighter, almost with an orange rim. Strawberry and orange peel characters showed. The Kayne Pinot Noir, a new addition from the highest altitude and rocky vinyard, delivered the minerality of the site, but was a little short (91 points). The Original Vineyard was better placed in that year, as the vines are now over 25 years old. The flavours were similar, but the wine had more depth (93 points).  

 The older wines showed really well. The 2005 Composition Pinot Noir was still quite vibrant, with red and black cherry flavours, as well as forest floor, and a long, soft finish (93 points). The 2004 Original Vineyard Pinot Noir was my wine of the night, with dark fruit and a creamy texture. This is a very elegant and silky wine (95 points). The 2008 Block 5 Pinot Noir comes from a very warm year. It is quite open and opulent, and has a slight alcoholic finish (93 points).

Another remarkable wine was the 2010 Kaye Pinot Noir. It is bigger than the 2011, with an excellent frame and structure. It almost had a Barolo profile, with tar and roses flavours - very savoury. The silky texture gave it away as a Bindi (93 points).

There was no disappointing wine in this line-up. Quite an achievement for a small producer with one site, in a marginal climate.


Anonymous said...

Hello Thomas,

Interesting you made no mention of their Heathcote Shiraz........have they dropped it, having tried it probably a wise move on their part !!

Regards Colin r

Alontin said...

You are on the money! They had a Chardonnay and the Pyrette Heathcote Shiraz to bookend the Pinot Noirs. The Shiraz comes from a friend's vineyard, so no control, I think. Bindi harvests earlier than anybody else in Heathcote, partly to be different, partly to get the fruit to their winery before they harvest their own vineyard. I find the wine light and without much character. Yes, they still make it.