Innocent Bystander, Yarra valley Syrah
Shiraz fruit was selected from the Tarraford vineyard in the Central Yarra, with a little from the Lone Star Creek vineyard on the Upper Yarra basalt soils to add a hint of pepper. Innocent Bystander’s vineyard management is intensive, with tasks such as shoot thinning, crop thinning and harvesting all carefully carried out by hand. The vineyards are adapting to biodynamic practices with the express purpose of further distinguishing each site and improving grape and wine quality. The Yarra Valley climate is cool (slightly cooler than Bordeaux and slightly warmer than Burgundy) and although alpine, gets some maritime influence due to being on the southern (seaward) side of the Great Dividing Range. This results in slow and steady ripening of grapes. After hand-picking, whole bunches were used in batches at varying percentages based on fruit structure and source. The overall blend incorporates 40% whole bunches. A cold soak was followed by fermentation with mainly indigenous yeast strains. Variations of hand plunging, pigeage and ‘drain and return’ by gravity were applied to the ferments, the frequency varying from parcel to parcel depending on the fruit structure. Fermentation peaked at 32°C. Maceration lasted three days. The wines was then matured for 12 months in French oak barriques and puncheons. Separate batches of wine completed natural malolactic fermentation, before blending and bottling. Exotic pink pepper, fresh cherries, dried orange peel, dark cocoa and a hint of star anise on the nose. Earthy and luscious flavours, with black olives, cardamom spice and a hint of earthy smoky char to finish.
Yarra valley, Victoria, Australia
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Standard Bottle (750ml)