The 2015 vintage was awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their June 2017 edition review of 'Everyday Wines' (under £25) (see blue link below).
Innocent Bystander Pinot Gris 2015 - June 2017 Decanter review
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 made the intelligent decision to build a new winery in Healesville, just across the parking lot from Giant Steps. They quickly signed contracts with all the grape growers that Phil used for Innocent Bystander, so that the style of the wines remains unchanged. This regional and varietal style, reflecting the soil, climate and topography of the cool climate in the Yarra Valley is the base upon which the reputation of Innocent Bystander has been built.
The grapes are 100% hand-picked from two very special vineyards from the upper King Valley: Symphonia Vineyard at Myrrhee (altitude 350 metres) and Crouchers Vineyard at Whitlands (altitude 800 metres). Both these parcels add a spike of minerally citrus to the wine.
The 2017 vintage was one of the longest on record, characterised by relatively dry conditions with little disease pressure. Cooler weather also provided great natural acid retention. The resulting wines are very elegant.
The fruit was 100% hand picked and whole bunch pressed. 70% of the fruit went into stainless steel for a long, cold fermentation to preserve freshness in the wine. The remaining 30% of the fruit was fermented and matured in French oak (10% new) to give a luscious mouthfeel.
The nose is brimming with fresh cut pears, snow pea shoots, and notes of lemon thyme. The palate is marked with lime flowers and an intriguing touch of miso. It is fresh, crisp and bone-dry and finishes with a lemon sorbet twang.