Innocent Syrah


  • Grape : Syrah
  • Country : Yarra Valley, Australia
  • Type : Red
  • ABV : 13.5

12 in stock

SKU: INNO-1 Categories: , , ,

Tasting Notes: Innocent Syrah

This is a smooth, sophisticated expression of a cool climate Syrah with generous aromas of white pepper, cherries, tar and dried rose. On the palate, mature, ripe tannins run through flavours of cherry compote and mocha. Dry to finish with a touch of spice.


Food Pairing: Innocent Syrah

Amazing with meat balls, creamy pasta or roast vegetables, fill a glass and enjoy aromas.


Producer / Region

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 decided to build a new cellar door in Healesville, just across the parking lot from Giant Steps, but the wines are now being made at the Brown Brothers winery in Milawa, just 200 kilometres north of the Yarra Valley. They quickly signed contracts with all of 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, cool climate and topography of the Yarra Valley – has been the base upon which the reputation of Innocent Bystander has been built. Their subtle Chardonnay has the attractive depth thanks to barrel fermentation, yet is fresh and lifted, offering a lot for a wine at this price. The Syrah – peppery, spicy and nicely defined – is also a steal. The Pinot Noir, which marries bright red fruit aromas with earthy notes, also punches above its weight. The Pinot Gris attractively combines the zestiness that comes from half the blend being fermented in stainless steel with the texture that is derived from the rest being fermented in old oak.

VINTAGE 2019 was an outstanding vintage for Syrah in the Yarra Valley. The grapes benefited from the longer hang time provided by a cool January and February, allowing flavours to fully develop.

AWARDS Decanter World Wine Awards 2021, Silver Medal

PRODUCER,  Innocent Bystander’s reputation has been built upon the style of their regional and varietal wines, which reflect the soil, climate and topography of the cool Yarra Valley. Owned by one of Australia’s leading family-owned wine companies, Brown Brothers, the Yarra Valley fruit is harvested and immediately transported to their winery in Milawa, Northern Victoria. Here the winemaking team process the grapes in their ‘Kindergarten Winery’, specially designed for small batches and different winemaking techniques for minimal intervention. VINEYARDS Fruit was selected from vineyards in the Central Yarra. Vineyard management is intensive, with tasks such as shoot thinning, crop thinning and harvesting all carefully carried out by hand. 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.

VINIFICATION Whole bunches were used in batches at varying percentages based on fruit structure and source. The overall blend incorporates 20% whole bunches. A 10 day cold soak on the skins was followed by fermentation in stainless steel, open top fermenters with mainly indigenous yeast strains. Variations of hand plunging, pigeage and ‘drain and return’ were applied to the ferments, the frequency varying from parcel to parcel. Fermentation peaked at 32°C. The wine was then matured for twelve months in French oak barriques and puncheons (of which 10% were new) during which time malolactic fermentation was allowed to take place.