Country: Australia Region: Victoria Vintage: 2015
Category: Red Wine Color: Red
Producer: Innocent Bystander
"This winery changed hands in May 2016, with one family company, Brown Brothers, taking it off the hands of another, its founder, Phil Sexton. So associated is Innocent Bystander with the Yarra Valley that the new owners have made the intelligent decision to build a new winery in Healesville, just across the parking lot from Giant Steps. And they are quickly signing contracts with all the grape growers that Phil has used for Innocent Bystander so that the style of the wines remains unchanged.
That style - wines that are regional and varietal, reflecting the soil, climate and topography of the cool climate in the Yarra Valley – has been the base upon which the reputation of Innocent Bystander has been built. Their subtle 2014 Chardonnay has the attractive depth that barrel fermentation lends to the wine, yet is fresh and lifted – it offers a lot of wine for the price. The Syrah, peppery and spicy and nicely defined, is also a steal, while the Pinot Noir takes a lot of beating. The Pinot Gris is attractively combines the zestiness that comes from half the blend being fermented in stainless steel with the texture that is derived from the rest being fermented in old oak.
Their Moscato, made from old vine Gordo (Muscat of Alexandria) and Black Muscat grapes, is a delicious blend of natural sweetness and fizz with crisp acidity. It is available in halves, bottles and 20 litre kegs."
Product Allergens: Eggs or Derived Products Label;Sulphites Label
Winemaker: Steve Flamsteed
This wine is produced from a number of vineyards that span the Yarra from Paul's Range at Dixons Creek in the north across to Bastard Hill in the very cool southern Upper Yarra. These vineyards were chosen in particular for their high diurnal temperature range, resulting in wines with high natural acidity and low pH. Yields are less than seven tonnes per hectare.
The handpicked fruit was sorted, then destemmed and transferred into open top fermenters. The overall blend incorporates 40% whole bunches, chosen based on fruit structure and source. A five day cold soak at 8°C was followed by fermentation with indigenous yeast strains. Both gentle plunging and 'drain and returns' by gravity were applied daily for 10-12 days. Fermentation with indigenous yeast took place in open top fermenters and oak vats, The wine was then matured in a mix of new (10%) and old oak barriques for nine months for malolactic fermentation.
Medium deep ruby red, with clean, lifted fruit on the nose. The use of 40% whole bunches accentuates the aromatic fruit. Clean and restrained; the wine has lovely depth on the palate, nice grip and ripe red dark cherry fruit. Still young, the 2015 Pinot Noir is drinking nicely, especially with food. A very serious wine for such a reasonable price.
With a charcuterie plate or warm salad of rocket, duck breast and bacon lardons. Or try with handmade pasta with oxtail ragu or aged cow's milk Comte.