The 2016 vintage was awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their December 2017 edition review of cool-climate Australian Chardonnay (Victoria and Tasmania) (see blue link below).
Giant Steps Sexton Vineyard Chardonnay 2016 - December 2017 Decanter review
The 2015 vintage was awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their September 2017 edition review of Australian Chardonnay (see blue link below).
Giant Steps Chardonnay 2015 - Sept 2017 Decanter review
Giant Steps is a privately-owned, estate-based, Yarra Valley grower and winemaker that has forged a reputation for delivering some of Australia’s most consistent, over-performing, varietal wines. The Giant Steps Single Vineyard range is produced from the most site-expressive fruit off the best vineyards in great years. Their aim is to express in each wine the character of the site, grape and vintage, and this they achieve by meticulous work in the vineyard and minimum intervention in the winery. Head winemaker Steve Flamsteed and his team are making some of the best wines in Australia from these sites.
Located on the steep north facing slopes of the Warramate Ranges, alongside the vineyards of Yarra Yering and Coldstream Hills, the Sexton vineyard is exposed and demanding. Being well up the slopes between 130 and 210 metres, topsoil is thin and root systems have established themselves in shallow gravelly loams above a tough rocky clay base. Vigour and bunch yields are naturally low in this environment, facilitating a low intervention approach to what is otherwise hand tended viticulture. Organic vineyard management principles are being introduced with the purpose of further distinguishing the site and improving grape and wine quality.
The fruit was hand picked. Upon arrival at the winery, it was lightly pressed to tank and the juice transferred to puncheons with no settling. Fermentation took place with 100% indigenous yeast in 500 litre French puncheons at 18 - 24°C. The lees were stirred twice only between May and June. The wine spent ten months in French puncheons, 20% of which were new. No malolactic fermentation took place. The wine was bottled, unfiltered, by gravity.
Flinty, wet slate aromas combine with notes of melon and honeysuckle on the nose. Lengthy and elegant at the same time, the palate is fuller bodied than the 2015 vinatge, with preserved lemons complementing subtle melon, and a steely character on the long finish.