Giant Steps Sexton Vineyard Chardonnay 2015
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.
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 on the higher slopes, topsoil is thin and root systems have established themselves in shallow gravelly loams above a tough rocky clay base. Bunch yields set naturally low in this environment, facilitating our low intervention approach to what is otherwise hand tended viticulture. Biodynamic vineyard management principles are being introduced with the purpose of further distinguishing the site and improving grape and wine quality.
The Sexton chardonnay vineyard was planted in 1997. It’s at Gruyere in the lower valley. It turns out terrific chardonnay. This is rich, fine, seamless, quartz-like. It’s complex in an integrated way; no bells, whistles or alarms but plenty going on regardless. Grapefruit and white peach, spent matches buried into the fruit, a smoky mineralogy. It turns the power on but is long and gorgeous – and it’ll be better again ion 12-24 months. Alcohol : 13.6%; Price : $45; Drink : 2017 - 2024+; Rating: 95+ Points; Campbell Mattinson; The Wine Front
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