Giant Steps is a privately owned, estate based, Yarra Valley vineyard and winery. Over the years, Giant Steps has forged a reputation for delivering some of Australia’s most consistent, over-performing, varietal wines. As such, they have received global acclaim and established a strong reputation in restaurants and fine wine stores around the world. Applejack Vineyard was planted in 1997 by highly respected viticulturist Ray Guerin Today it is meticulously managed by his son Mark. Applejack Vineyard is situated in the Upper Yarra Valley, to the south-east of the traditional valley floor. The higher altitudes result in cooler growing conditions
Hand picked and whole bunch pressed without additions. Course settled to 500L French puncheons. Indigenous fermentation. Batonnage for the first month, then topped and let rest (maturing) for a further 8 months on lees. New and used tight grain French oak – 20% new, 80% older. Coarse filtration only. Bottled by gravity.
The brand new 2018 Applejack Chardonnay from Giant Steps showcases a characteristically fine yet extended, spicy and firm palate.
Giant Steps is an independent winery in Healesville, Victoria, owned by Phil Sexton. Phil first made his name in establishing some noted micro-breweries, such as Little Creatures, and later established Devil’s Lair in Margaret River. First released in 2001, Giant Steps focuses exclusively on the distinctive expression of single vineyard sites in the Yarra Valley. Grapes are drawn from estate and leased vineyards, as well as a selection of long-term contracted vineyards. Giant Steps wines are produced fastidiously in the vineyard and vinified with minimal intervention so that each is a faithful expression of site, vintage and culture. Giant Steps focuses on restrained Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and cool climate Cabernet/Merlot blends. These single vineyard wines are sourced from five different vineyards throughout the Yarra, so each is a fingerprint of location and site personality. The name Giant Steps comes in part from Phil’s love for jazz and John Coltrane’s album of that same name, and in part due the Giant Step Phil took in relocating with his family from Margaret River to the Yarra Valley. Giant Steps wines are always exclusively single vineyard Yarra Valley wines. They are hand made in small batches using gravity flow principles. Production of the Giant Steps wines is very limited with some vineyards producing as little as 200 cases each vintage – some wines are not produced each year if vintage conditions do not allow. These wines are often hard to find in retail outlets as they are mainly sold through the cellar door and through selected restaurants.
MIKE BENNIE - THE WINE FRONT
This is i10v1, ‘the most boring clone in the chardonnay family’, suggests winemaker Steve Flamsteed, ‘but when you have some altitude, and vine age, things get a little more interesting’. Flinty, lean, racy style. Good puckering feel and tight, squeaky race across the palate. Citrus, wet stone, frangipani floral things to sniff on. Stone and flint licks to taste, a squeeze of grapefruit, green apple, pickled ginger, sparkling almost in its transparent whip-crack across the palate. Electric and lacy, mouth-watering and ultra fresh. Bright and brisk style really nicely done.