Original Vineyard retrospective

In the past two weeks I have conducted tastings in Melbourne and Sydney for wine trade customers featuring Bindi Original Vineyard Pinot Noir showcasing ten vintages from 1992 to 2008. The aim of these tastings was to show the ageing capacity of the wines, how vintage variation plays a role and how vine age has given the wines increasing depth. Four bottles were used for these tastings and these notes are compiled from both tastings to give a rounded overview.

Our first Pinot Noir. This wine is surprisingly delicious considering it was made from four year old vines. There were under 50 dozen made. The nose is sweet with some spice and is deliciously fragrant. The palate is still fleshy with some tannin grip and shows good balance. It is past its peak but remains a delicious wine to enjoy. At 17 years of age it is quite a revelation.

Four barrels, just under 100 dozen made. This wine has always been a standout for its depth of flavour and back palate richness. The nose is spicy and earthy with excellent fruit depth and complexity. The palate is strong and powerful and the finish is intense and long. It is quite a sublime wine to enjoy now.

Soon after release this wine received widespread support but closed in somewhat and became quite restrained. It has slowly opened over the years and now is deeply spicy and has delicious sweet fruit. The palate is very intense, fresh and smooth and drives long. It has always been a favourite and the best bottles are still vigorous and will hold and maybe improve.

From one of our most difficult vintages (frost and an erratic summer) at ten years of age it is drinking remarkably well and is not diminished. The nose is spicy and savoury with some herbal notes. The palate juicy in fruit, fresh and long. The tannins are tight and grainy and there are delicious creamy nuances. It is fully mature now.

Whilst a restrained wine in its youth the 2000 has long been a favourite for its classical intensity, balance and purity. The downside is the corks were incredibly variable and bottle variation is high. When you strike one exactly as it should be there is pretty much no better Bindi Pinot Noir. It is deep in spice, earth and red and dark small berries. The palate is very intense and tight and long and is very complex. The best bottles are still young.

All wines under Diam closure from this point. From an even summer with higher yields the 2004 is enjoying a beautiful moment. The nose is spicy and creamy with earth and sweet red fruits. The palate is seamless and seductive, delicious in its smooth texture and length. It will hold this form for another five years I expect.

This is one of the more profound wines for its deep, dark flavours and restraint. It will take several more years to unfold. The palate is very intense, rich and powerful and the tannin carries the sweetness for a long finish. This wine has a decade in front of it.

From a warmer vintage but not forward. This wine is very fragrant and pure with delicious sweet fruit and spice complexity. The palate is very fresh, supple and harmonious and carries long on the palate. It will improve for at least five years though it is such a gorgeous drink now!

From the hottest, driest year it is a revelation to see a wine of bright red and dark fruits. It is in no way sweet nor loose knit. The nose has a remarkable depth of spice/ginger. The palate is voluminous and fleshy and is carried by supple tannin that builds and drives long. For the vines to produce such pure fruit in such tough conditions was incredibly pleasing and the wines has many years of improvement.

2008 barrel sample
This is a wine that presently shows characteristics between 2006 and 2007 but ultimately seems to have links more to 2004 and 2005. That’s a complex equation! It is pure and expressive of cherries and strawberries with some deeper notes of earth and spice. I expect the nose to tighten and close up a bit more still. The palate is full and fresh with beautiful balance and flourish. It will drink extremely well young but as proven by this tasting, there will be no need to rush to consume it.

One of the overriding conclusions from the tasting was that even in more difficult, less classical years, the wines age well for a decade and deliver increased complexity and harmony. It is a folly to believe that because the wines are delicious and so accessible when young that they will not age extremely well.

The Daim closure. Apart from several Diam corks from a compromised batch (a factory packing error in a single batch that is unable to again occur) in 2004 (Block 5, Quartz and Original, not Compositions) we have been very impressed with our wines maturation from 2004. The wines are very consistent and there is no taint. Perhaps the only observation is that for the first minute or so the wines may appear closed on the nose and then open up. Last July I presented 48 bottles to 900 high end tasters at a sit down event in Oregon, USA, and the wines were all consistent and absolutely fine.

Michael Dhillon