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, 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 without additions. The 115 was transferred as whole bunches to small open oak vats. The MV6 remainder was destemmed and transferred as whole berries to a separate fermenter. Fermentations were both indigenous and left alone with little cap work, relying upon carbonic maceration for extraction. Pressed at dryness to new and used 228L tight grain French barriques for 10 months – 25% new, 75% older. Bottled by gravity with no fining or filtration.
A fantastic Spring with highly successful flowering allowed us to shoot thin and cluster select down to one bunch per shoot. The whole ripening season was a little earlier than average and despite some good January rain, the overall growing season was relatively dry. We picked fruit with lower sugars but with beautiful flavour and stem ripeness.
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.
A finely textured and delicious pinot with ripe-strawberry and floral aromas and flavors. Medium body. Fine tannins. Flavorful finish. Always a gem.
MIKE BENNIE - THE WINE FRONT
On clay, facing east, mostly from one block. One could say Sexton is the spiritual home vineyard of Giant Steps, perhaps. Ripe and lush bouquet showing stewed cherry, malt, cinnamon but a whiff of spritely cranberry and green herb in the mix too. Fluffy-to-puckering tannins shape a sluice of malt-sprinkled dark cherry flavours, with a good sense of concentration, generosity, then a lightly puckering finish. Very enjoyable.