Country: Australia Region: Victoria Vintage: 2018
Category: Red Wine Colour: 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
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 well up the slopes between 130 and 210 metres, 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, facilitating a 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.
Fruit was hand picked, destemmed and crushed to small open fermenters. An eight day warm ferment followed. Fruit was then hand plunged twice daily and underwent a daily rack and return for two weeks. On dryness, the cap was submerged for two to three weeks to integrate tannins. The wine was racked off gross lees to 225 litre French oak barriques for malolactic fermentation. 40% was new, with the remainder second and third use. After 15 months it was gravity bottled on the 1st of August 2014.
Bright, deep crimson; a powerful, intense yet perfectly balanced array of black, blue and red berry fruits interwoven with touches of vanilla, cedar and graphite. A medium to full-bodied wine densely packed with black fruit and spice, with firm, grainy tannins and just enough acid to lift the long finish.
Food Suggestion: Slow cooked lamb shoulder with cinnamon and bay leaf. Chargrilled lamb cutlets with Dijon mustard. Rabbit and wild onion casserole. Aged cheddar.
Closure: Stelvin ABV:14.1%