Innocent Bystander Chardonnay 2016 (1x75cl)
Awarded 87 points and Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their December 2017 edition review of cool-climate Australian Chardonnay (Victoria and Tasmania).
This winery changed hands in May 2016, with one family company, Brown Brothers, buying it from its founder, Phil Sexton. So associated is Innocent Bystander with the Yarra Valley that the new owners made the decision to build a new winery in Healesville. They quickly signed contracts with all the grape growers that Phil 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.
Fruit for this wine was sourced from three of the the Innocent Bystander estate vineyards: Sexton, Tarraford and Applejack. This selective approach results in highly expressive wines, true to the regional characteristics of the Yarra Valley.
Fruit was hand picked and whole bunch pressed, with the free run juice kept separate from the pressings. No racking or clarification of the juice occurred, so the free run was fermented on juice solids. Fermentation was done using indigenous yeast in new and seasoned French barriques and puncheons, with the lees stirred monthly until winter. No malolactic fermentation took place. The wine was lightly fined only prior to bottling in February 2016.
Fresh pear and lemon perfumes with notes of delicate white flowers. Lovely soft aromas of poached apple and marzipan evolve in the glass. Crisp, fresh and dry on the palate, the wine is tightly sprung as a new release, unwinding to reveal a citrus pith texture, wrapped around a fresh stone fruit core.
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