‘Kostas Rind’ took the place of ‘Composition’ in the Bindi family. This wine is dedicated to Kostas, a Lithuanian sage who epitomized wisdom and humility. From 1958, at Ballarat Grammar School, Kostas mentored Bill Darshan Singh Dhillon and later introduced him to the culture and celebration of fine wine. It was Kostas who foresaw that Bill would work on the land. The first Bindi wine, 1991 Chardonnay, was a tribute to Kostas and this wine, from the same volcanic and Ordovician soils planted in 1988, continues that acknowledgement. Heavy winter rains led to high soil moisture, but the aerial portion of the vines dried out quickly in the spring. Overall, it was a cooler vintage than usual, which drew out ripening, and a mini late season heat wave did wonders to help ripen fruit. In the worlds of Michael Dhillon himself, “A few challenges along the way, quite cool, then the last two weeks were nearly perfect, dialing the quality up from what I’d say would be a seven out of ten harvest to a nine out of ten harvest.”
The Kostas Rind Chardonnay is grown in a 1.5 hectare plot from the middle and lower sections of the Chardonnay blocks planted in 1988. The grapes were hand-harvested and then 95% were pressed directly and 5% were added as whole clusters to French barriques, of which roughly 25% are new. A small sulfur addition was made at this point. Fermentation occurred about five days later without the addition of cultured yeast and the wine remains in barrel on yeast lees over winter with only a small amount of malolactic conversion taking place. It was bottled with a coarse filtration and small addition of sulfur after ten months of aging in early March.