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  5. Mea Culpa Pinot Noir 2022

Mea Culpa Pinot Noir 2022

Innocent Bystander
92 points

Minimum order of 1 case or 6 bottles (Mixed or straight)

A beautifully layered, complex and fragrant expression of Pinot Noir from historic vineyards in the Yarra Valley. Our winemaking guilty pleasure.

Mea Culpa is an admission of guilt, an unapologetic acknowledgment that we should have known better. While we generally steer well clear of the navel gazing snobbery of the wine world, with Mea Culpa we give over to passion, take exceptional parcels of fruit and indulge in winemaking debauchery to create a uniquely expressive wine. This is not a wine that claims perfection, but a wine that delivers an expression of site, vintage and winemaking character. If indulging in your passion is a crime, then we are guilty as charged.

Food Pairings

This seductive libation calls for the union of perfectly seared duck breast topped black cherry reduction, and a dark chocolate lava cake for dessert.

  • 92 points

  • 3x Silver

  • 2x Bronze


  • 92 Points

    winecompanion.com.au 01/04/2024

    A light to medium ruby red. Clearly the pick of this year's Innocent Bystander pinot releases. Aromas of wild strawberries, a touch of earth and attractive floral notes lead onto the well-balanced palate, which manages to have good intensity whilst remaining light on its feet at the same time. Fine, gently persistent tannins round out a wine that will drink very nicely indeed over the next few years.

The winemaking process involved a 2-3 day cold soak with 10% whole bunch fermented in five-tonne open top fermenters. Both natural and cultured yeast were used. The wine matured for 6-9 months in French oak, with 15% in new French oak. Bottled in November of 2023 without any fining or filtration.

Vineyard RegionYarra Valley
Wine AnalysisAlc/Vol: 12.5%

Mesmerizing hue of garnet and ruby.


There’s wafts of blood-red roses, wild blackberry and blueberries with hints of cardamom, cinnamon and cranberry.


It glides across the palate with the nuance and intrigue of a Hitchcock movie. Oozing red fruit richness supported by light, white truffle notes and fine silky tannins. It’s a wickedly complex Pinot that treads the fine balance between elegance and intensity with a dangerous ease.

Peak Drinking

Cellar up to 8 years after vintage.

Growing Conditions

Pinot Noir grapes from Coldstream and Upper Yarra, from the clone vines MV6, 777, Abel and Pommard. The 2022 vintage saw cool and wet conditions through the flowering phase leading to small compact grape clusters. Post Christmas the weather warmed up promoting strong red berry fruit development. The yields stayed low which provided impressive structure and power.