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.
A little more volume than the other 2019 Giant Steps single vineyard releases, Sexton pushes ripe citrus, green apple, nuttiness and a Parisian almond/marzipan character. It’s flinty too, minerals don’t escape, but the main gist is a wine of quiet power, depth, concentration and drive. Exceptional length, the finish is a starburst of flavour, then chalky and puckering. It opens up beautifully, indeed needs some time to reveal more and more, so you get a complex wine with incredible detail going on. Long term fans of the Giant Steps chardonnay world will recognise the pedigree here. It has it all. Tasted: May 2020; Alcohol: 13%; Price: $60; Closure: Screwcap; Drink: 2020-2032; Rated: 96 Points; Mike Bennie; The Wine Front
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