Innocent Bystander‘s best Pinot to date, from a fantastic vintage. Aromas of berry fruit and fennel seeds are complemented by hints of bergamot and cloves. The palate has fresh, ripe raspberries and beetroot earthiness. Pure and silky with smooth, earthy tannins.
Fruit comes from 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, 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.
2012 was a very rewarding season in well managed vineyards. Spring rain gave healthy canopies. A mild, sunny summer – thankfully without the heat spikes of warmer vintages – that stretched into April was perfect for ripening late in the season. The crops were small with intense flavour and solid natural acidity.
The handpicked fruit was sorted and then destemmed to open top fermenters. The overall blend incorporates 25% whole bunches, chosen based on fruit structure and source. A five day cold soak at 8 degree C was followed by fermentation with indigenous yeast strains. Both gentle plunging and ‘drain and returns’ by gravity were applied daily. Fermentation peaked at 32 degree C with a short extended maceration at dryness to integrate tannins. 60% of the wine was matured in stainless steel to retain freshness. Natural malolactic fermentation occurred across all batches. The wine was settled and one coarse lenticular filtration applied before bottling. It comes with the vintage information as follows: Vintage: 2012; Grape varieties: 100% Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris; Region: Yarra Valley, Australia; Winemaker: Steve Flamsteed; Closure: Stelvin; Alcohol (ABV): 13%; Acidity: 6.08g/l; Residual Sugar: 0.9g/l; Wine pH: 3.3.