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.
Made without compromise using 100% hand picked fruit from meticulously maintained Applejack vineyards. Natural winemaking philosophy, while making quality the priority. Minimal intervention in the vineyard and 100% hand-picked. 50% whole bunch, remainder whole berry, indigenous fermentation in 4000L open oak vats. Delestage by gravity and occasional hand plunges. 11 months in new and used French barriques – 30% new, 70% older.
Named after the Applejack eucalypts that surround the vineyard, which was planted at Gladysdale in 1997. Seven clones including 114, 115, MV6, D2V5, D5V15, Pommard and Abel! I've long considered the Applejack vineyard to be one of the greatest sites for pinot in Australia and I'm not sure I've seen a better version than the 2021. A deep, bright, crimson purple. Maraschino cherry into plum, there's an exotic and riotous amalgam of Asian five-spice and a gentle savoury, umami character. What elevates this vintage is the concentration, along with Applejack's trademark perfume and spice. Just so vibrant and fresh on the palate, the tannins are both silky and plentiful. You will have no problems opening and enjoying this now, but the wine's track record suggests you'll thank me if you still have some to drink 7–10 years from now, if not longer. Drink to: 2032; Price: $70.00; Date Tasted: Feb 2022; Alcohol: 13.5%; Rating: 98 Points & Special Value Star; Philip Rich; James Halliday Wine Companion
Pure red cherry flavours push straight into undergrowth, mushroom, fragrant herb and spices. Cedarwood oak is present but so happily married to the fruit. There are briar notes here, particularly through the finish, and throughout it feels structured without necessarily feeling grippy. There’s a (positive) smoky aftertaste and a (very) good level of richness, in a varietal context. All up, hands down, this is a gorgeous wine to drink. Tasted: Jul 2022; Alcohol: 13.5%; Price: $70; Closure: Screwcap; Drink: 2023-2030+; Rated: 95+ Points; Campbell Mattinson; The Wine Front
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