Giant Steps, Sexton Vineyard Chardonnay 2018 (1x75cl)
Grape Variety: Chardonnay
Bottle Size: 75cl
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Product Code: AUVC0229B18S
Awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their May 2021 feature on this producer (this is their highest-rated wine) (see blue link below).
Giant Steps, Sexton Vineyard Chardonnay 2018 - May 2021 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 2018 vintage had good winter rains which left the ground with adequate moisture resources for the growing season. The canopies in the vineyard were healthy and the fruit set was highly successful. This allowed for shoot thinning and cluster selection down to one bunch per shoot. The ripening season was slightly earlier than normal and was relatively dry except for a period of rain in January. The fruit was harvested with lower sugar levels but with great natural acidity and flavour concentration.
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.
On the nose, this wine has flinty, wet slate aromas with notes of melon and honeysuckle. The palate is pure and precise with a steely character on the long finish.