Mon 28 Jun 2010
Every print and online wine publication in the Northern Hemisphere has been promoting what we’ll call Wines for Summer Sipping lately, and here at BTYH we’re no different. Few activities are more relaxing than sitting on the porch or patio, lounging by the pool or gamboling in forest cool and dim or meadow wide and fragrant at a picnic while sipping a refreshing, delicate, summery wine. And here’s one of the most attractive around. The name and label are quite clever; notice, class, the provocative use of negative space.
Innocent Bystander Pinot Gris 2009, from the Yarra Valley region of Victoria — the large geographical bump on the bottom of southeast Australia — is, in three words, charming, delightful, appealing. A blend of 91 percent pinot gris grapes and 9 percent viognier, aged a few months in older French oak barrels, and sporting a lovely pale-straw-gold color, the wine offers a seductive bouquet of jasmine, green apple and lemon balm infused with bee’s-wax and hints of cloves and ginger. Bone-dry but nicely ripe and rounded, Innocent Bystander Pinot Gris 09 delivers flavors of pears and roasted lemon buoyed by touches of dried thyme and lime peel, pea shoots, more ginger and just a pass at the tang of grapefruit’s bracing bitterness, way out at the edge of the finish. Crystalline acidity and a nod at damp limestone complete an irresistible package. Try with grilled shrimp and mango salsa, sushi, simply prepared fish dishes (no cream sauce, please) or as a crowd-pleasing aperitif. Very Good+. About $15-$16, a Great Value.
Imported by Old Bridge Cellars, Napa, Cal. A sample for review.