Country: Australia Region: Victoria Vintage: 2014
Category: Red Wine Color: Red
Producer: Giant Steps
"The Sexton vineyard is owned and run by Phil Sexton, the founder and owner of Giant Steps. Situated next to Coldstream Hills and Yarra Yering, it is in the heart of the Yarra, where mean soils produce miserly yields, leading in turn to intense and concentrated wines. The Applejack vineyard is situated in the Upper Yarra, where soils are generally deep and more volcanic in origin. Despite this, the Applejack vineyard is on a friable, clay soil, where root penetration is easy for the vines. This reduces vigour and yields, making it ideally suited to Pinot Noir. The site elevation is just under 300 metres, but its proximity to dense temperate rainforest makes this site significantly cooler than Sexton and Tarraford. Soils in the Tarraford vineyard are a clay/loam duplex and contain a fairly solid ironstone content. The root profiles are deep and vertical, which means the vines are accessing material deep into the soil subsurface. The Chardonnay that comes off Tarraford is highly perfumed, and there is a citrus peel element that is characteristic in Chardonnay from this site irrespective of vintage conditions.
Recent additions to the portfolio include three Single Vineyard wines from the Primavera and Lusatia Park vineyards. The Primavera vineyard sits at an elevation of 240 metres above sea level. The red friable soil is critical in shaping the complex structure and pronounced perfume of the wine. The Giant Steps team have a long-standing relationship with the Primavera family, having sourced fruit from the vineyard for some years. The Lusatia Park vineyard was established in 1985 on the Lone Star Creek in the Upper Yarra Valley. Its north-facing aspect, deep free-draining red soils and close-planted vines ensure intense varietal flavours derived from long, consistent ripening. At 220 metres above sea level, this elevated, marine influenced site enjoys significantly cooler conditions to those on the valley floor, lending itself to more elegant wine styles.
The 2015 vintage may well prove to be their best vintage yet. Winemaker Steve Flamsteed commented that he cannot remember a year where good yields were matched in harmony with such pristine fruit quality. It will be exciting to see the progression of these wines over the coming 12 months and beyond."
Winemaker: Steve Flamsteed & Julian Grounds
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. At 130 and 210 metres above sea level, topsoil is thin and root systems have established themselves in shallow gravelly loams above a tough rocky clay base. Vigour and bunch yields set naturally low in this environment. Biodynamic vineyard management principles are being introduced with the purpose of further distinguishing the site and improving grape and wine quality.
Fruit was hand-picked and sorted, then chilled in the cold room. 40% of the ferment was whole bunch, with the remaining fruit destemmed but not crushed. A three day cold soak at 10°C was followed by a 14 day fermentation in oak vats and small open fermenters. The wine was racked off gross lees to oak for indigenous malolactic fermentation. It remained in barrel for 12 months, 30% of which was new French oak (Dargot et Jaegle, Marcel Cadet and Taransaud), 20% 1 year old and 50% older. Selected barrels were racked and assembled into tank. The wine was bottled using gravity, without filtration.
Vivid ruby red. The bouquet mingles spice-accented red fruit and floral pastille scents with dried flowers, anise and woodsmoke. An undercurrent of zesty minerality gives focus and lift to the plump raspberry and bitter cherry flavours on the palate. Spice returns on the subtly tannic finish, which lingers with great clarity.
Food Suggestion: Enjoy with beef wellington, roast duck or rabbit dishes.
Closure: Stelvin ABV:13.5% Acidity [g/l]: 5.64