Yarra Valley based vigneron, Phil Sexton lives with his family in the middle of their 80 acre vineyard established on the high north face of the Warramate Ranges in the dress circle of the Yarra Valley. Specialising in Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Giant Steps explore site, micro climatic and clonal differences between several specialized vineyards in the Yarra Valley including their own multi-clonal vineyard and the highly regarded Tarraford vineyard. Focused intently upon reflecting the individual and unique characteristics of each single vineyard, Giant Steps adopts a minimalist approach to winemaking including, whenever possible, vinification using indigenous yeasts and gravity flow transfers.
A new vineyard to join the suite of sites from Giant Steps. Applejack and Sexton vineyards are the other two, of course. What a superb set of wines from 2015. One also forgets that the wines are produced with gentle touch – hand picked, natural ferment, sent to mostly old oak for 11 months. This wine is 100% whole bunch too; and it’s formative in this wine. It’s what I called ‘the most captivating’ wine, in my notes. Sexton is spicy, sleek, elegant, Applejack is sinewy yet ethereal. More to come on those wines shortly…Haunting perfume of undergrowth, decaying flowers, pot pourri, rose water, pickled cherries, pepper, earth. It’s elemental, guttural and wild to inhale. The palate has a swirl of dark cherry fruitiness, but again, savoury, earthy, briary character takes over. It crackles and swerves in the palate – there’s juiciness but its ribbed with tannin and feels alive with crisp acidity. Long, so long, untamed, unkempt, but beautiful in its sweeping expression. Stains the glass with primal, sexual scent. A broad rugged landscape painted in detail. It’s unbelievably good wine and will mature so, so intriguingly and well. . Alcohol : 13.5%; Price : $50; Drink : 2016 - 2030; Rating: 96 Points; Mike Bennie; The Wine Front
Another take on this great vintage, with savoury, spicy aromas and flavours surging over the bouquet and palate alike, putting whole bunch fermentation up in giant neon letters. The tangy, herbal, forest floor characters will always be the raison d'etre of the wine, and I hope I'm around to see how this evolves over time. Rating: 96 Points; James Halliday Wine Companion
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