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. Located on the steep slopes of the Warramate Ranges, alongside the vineyards of iconic Yarra producers Yarra Yering and Coldstream Hills, the Sexton Vineyard is in one of the most revered pockets of the Valley. Being well up the Range’s north-facing slopes, topsoil is thin and root systems have established themselves in shallow gravelly loams above a tough, rocky clay base. Vigour and bunch yields are set naturally low in this environment, facilitating a low intervention approach to what is otherwise hand tended viticulture.
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 newly released Giant Step’s Sexton Vineyard Chardonnay 2018 vintage promises to match the success of it’s 2017 counterpart, perfectly balancing an intensely flavoured fruit with fresh natural acidity.
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
Fragrant wine, high toned perfume shows talc-mineral notes over citrus, green apple, wet slate. Elemental and floral, is kind of the gist. Sleek in the palate, poised and yet juicy, brisk and mouthwatering, a little sticky-mouth coating savoury-nutty-nougat here, but you’re mostly seeing sweet lime, green apple and just ripe stone fruit things going on, finishing lightly flinty.Texture and grip is a thing here. A wine of fine detail, immense charm and drinkability.
GARY WALSH - THE WINE FRONT
I think this was my favourite of the Chardonnay releases. A little struck match, melon, spiced oatmeal. Big flavour, powerful fruit with a lime drizzle, acidity to belt it in, good grip and texture, tang and brightness on a long finish. Such a good thing to drink.