2018 Pinot Noir "Innocent Bystander", Yarra Valley
100% Pinot Noir. This Pinot Noir has beautiful fruit which shines through its velvety mouthfeel and soft, savoury tannins. Only large, old oak barriques are used to age the wine, keeping the fruit character to the fore. This Pinot Noir has aromas of boysenberries, cherry and cranberry with earthy notes of dried spices. On the palate, this wine has a velvety mouthfeel with soft savoury tannins which make a lovely finish.
This wine is produced from a number of vineyards that span the Yarra Valley from Paul's Range at Dixons Creek in the north across to Bastard Hill in the very cool southern Upper Yarra. The 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.
All grapes were hand picked and destemmed, with 10% kept as whole bunches. The must was cold soaked for four days before fermentation took place in stainless steel open fermenters with daily hand plunging. The wine was matured in a combination of French oak (10% new) and stainless steel tanks for nine months.
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.
John Duval, `Plexus` Barossa Shiraz/Grenache/Mourvèdre
This wine is a rich and vibrant purple-red in colour. The nose is lifted and pronounced, displaying aromas of ripe red fruits and cinnamon, with hints of smoky oak. On the palate, generous layers of black and red fruits are married with savoury spice and velvety tannins that linger on the long finish.
One of the world’s great winemakers, John Duval was given the ‘Grange’ torch by Max Schubert, the man who created Australia’s most famous wine. John passed it on to his successor when he left Penfolds in 2003 to start his own label. He sources fruit from long-time friends in the Barossa, all of whom own vineyards with vines aged from 50 to 100 years old. The wines are made with minimal intervention and showcase the best of the Barossa.
Alpha Box & Dice ‘Fog’ Nebbiolo, Adelaide Hills
Every fog must lift. And when it does, we shall devour the treasures unveiled. While Nebbiolo may derive its name from the Italian word ‘nebbia’, meaning ‘fog’, relating to the fog-like milky veil that forms over the berries as they mature, our Fog is even more mysterious and whimsical still. The long maturation process in seasoned large oak and barriques is necessary to unleash the grape’s full potential. The reward, a tannic wine with velvety mouthfeel and characteristics of Turkish Delight, sandalwood and rose petal is a welcoming, comforting light at the end of a long, murky tunnel, making our Fog a more Nebbi-YOLO than Nebbiolo.
Brick red in colour , with a nose of cherry cola/all spice with a hint of sandalwood. Flavours of ripe red fruits and cherry pie, leading to a long high key finish.
Pair with Italian foods. All of them. And duck.