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Innocent Bystander Chardonnay 2014

The Experience

Drink When...
Keeping it real
Listen To...
Simple Song by Shins
Think About...
Stone the crows!
Drink With...
Comte cheese and toasted hazelnuts

The Oddbins Take

‘Make great wine for drinking and enjoying, not for crowing over,’ is the ethos of Steve Flamsteed, winemaker at Innocent Bystander. They might want to share this with Ken Flimflam at Nuisance wines, whose motto ‘wine for crowing over!’ isn't working...

‘Forest floor notes, my eye!’ mithers Ken as he takes another swig of Pinot Ordinaire from his tankard.

‘Actually Ken I've got a distinct whiff of sewage farm’, claims winemaker Derek Dastardly.

‘I'll phenolic you, yer leather-tongued philistine’, roars Ken, heaving himself over the table for a scrap…

Oh dear. Perhaps a night at Innocent Bystander's celebrated winery and restaurant would show Ken the light. Then he, too, would make glorious wines like this peachy, zesty and beautifully expressive Yarra Valley Chardonnay.

The Vital Statistics

Yarra Valley
Can Be Drunk Now - Will Evolve Over the Next 10 Years
Bottle Size
Regular - 750ml
Residual Sugar
2.2 g/l
Alcohol Units

In stock



Free UK Standard Delivery on orders > £100, Standard Delivery £4.95, No minimum order

The Style

Chardonnay (100%)
Light Full bodied
Dry Sweet

Notable Features

  • Suitable For Vegetarians

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  • Innocent Bystander Chardonnay Australia White Wine
Innocent Bystander Chardonnay Australia White Wine

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Matthew Jukes in The Daily Mail, 11/12/15: "This wine made it into my 100 Best Australian Wines of 2015/16 initiative and that means that it is one of the finest wines on the planet. The layered, sultry fruit and impeccable winemaking found in this beautiful wine will enchant your palate. There is no point spending any more money than this in order to impress your pals because this Chardonnay has it all! Don’t drink it ice cold, just fridge cold as ice will kill the delicate blossom notes on the nose and dull the palate a touch."

Brian Elliott in Scotland on Sunday, 1/12/15: “If... your fish is accompanied by a substantial sauce, then perhaps the creamy texture and buttery depth of 2014 Innocent Bystander would work even better. It adroitly counterbalances any required sturdiness with floral flintiness, gentle suggestions of vanilla and the muted but crisp lemon acidity that cooler areas, like its Yarra Valley homeland in Victoria, do especially well.”

Giant Steps/Innocent Bystander was founded in Yarra Valley 1997 by Pete Sexton. It specialises in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, alongside Pinot Gris and cool-climate Syrah and a sparkling pink Moscato. Located in Healesville, an hour from Melbourne, the winery describes itself as ‘an exercise in function over form’, rather underplaying its dazzling architectural modernity. The building also houses a celebrated restaurant and bar.

Innocent Bystander seeks to make regional varietal wines which reflect the terroir - the soil, climate and topography - of the cool-climate Yarra Valley. Its reputation rests on over-performing yet affordable ranges.

Head winemaker Steve Flamsteed has worked for Leeuwin Estate, Hardy's Yarra Burn Winery and was chef at his own restaurant in the King Valley before heading over to Giant Steps/Innocent Bystander in 2003.

The grapes for this Chardonnay were entirely hand-harvested and whole-bunch pressed. 80% of the free-run juice was fermented with ambient yeast, and 20% with selected strains, with fermentation and maturation taking place in seasoned French oak at 20-24C. Barrels were lees-stirred monthly and blended in tank, where the wine was cold stabilised and lightly fined.

Peach and orange zest on the nose, backed up with notes of ginger, while the palate brings stone fruit, grapefruit and a slight aniseed twang. Surprisingly light at the front of the palate, it opens to a fine texture and a long, spice-tinged finish.