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Mea Culpa Syrah 2020

Innocent Bystander

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

An exceptionally smooth and layered single vineyard Syrah from an outstanding Yarra Valley vintage. 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. 

Tasting Notes

The Mea Culpa Syrah is an exceptionally smooth and layered single vineyard wine from the outstanding Yarra Valley vintage. It embodies a guilt-free indulgence, born out of passion and a commitment to creating a uniquely expressive wine. On the nose, seductive notes of blackberry and raspberry lure you in, accompanied by a wicked sensation of white pepper spice. The palate delivers an intense burst of flavours reminiscent of childhood memories, where picking berries and tasting their juicy sweetness was a delight. Bright, spicy notes add depth and complexity, leading to a smooth and satisfying afterglow. This wine is an expression of the vineyard site, vintage, and the winemaker's artistry. Pair it with grilled meats like lamb chops or beef steaks to bring out its bold character, or consider dishes featuring berries or fruit glazes for a touch of sweetness.

Food Pairings

Consider serving it alongside grilled meats like lamb chops or beef steaks, where the wine's peppery undertones can complement the rich flavours. For a touch of sweetness, pair it with dishes that feature berries or a fruit glaze, such as roasted duck with blackberry sauce.

  • 1x Gold

  • 1x Silver

The winemaking process for the 2020 Syrah involved careful steps to capture the grapes' essence and showcase their unique characteristics. After destemming and a two-day cold soak, fermentation took place in an open stainless steel fermenter with selected Syrah yeast. The skins were in contact for seven days, with hand plunging and pump overs for extraction. Malolactic fermentation occurred in tanks before maturation in French oak barrels for 18 months, including 20% new oak. Minimal fining and filtration preserved the wine's natural qualities. Bottled in March 2022, this Syrah is a vibrant expression of cool-climate winemaking, offering a rich, plush profile with pepper and spice notes. Its supple tannins contribute to the structure, and cellaring for 2-8 years is recommended for further complexity. Vegan-friendly, it appeals to a wide range of wine enthusiasts.

Vineyard RegionYarra Valley
Wine AnalysisAlc/Vol: 14.5%

Alluring and intense shade of red, capturing the essence of blackberry and raspberry.


A seductive breath of blackberry and raspberry leads you on to a wicked sensation of white pepper spice.


Remember picking berries as a kid, juice running down your chin, hands stained red? Now put it in a glass and gorge yourself on the intense flavours that glide across the palate, supported by bright, spicy notes to a smooth and satisfying afterglow. 

Peak Drinking

Peak drinking 2028

Growing Conditions

The growing conditions for the 2020 Syrah in the Yarra Valley were marked by varying weather patterns. Late 2019 was characterized by wet conditions that continued into December, followed by a dry and warm period. However, concerns arose in January and February 2020 as the rain returned. Fortunately, it broke in early March, providing an ideal remainder of the season for Syrah cultivation. These conditions resulted in powerful fruit intensity and no disease pressure. The Syrah vines were planted in 1999, with clones PT23 and 1654 contributing to the vineyard's diversity. Harvest took place on 18th March 2020 when the grapes reached a Baume measurement of 14. This careful cultivation and harvest process in the Coldstream sub-region of the Yarra Valley have contributed to the exceptional quality of the 2020 Syrah.