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Phil Sexton of Giant Steps loves this vineyard. The utmost care is being taken in the farming of it, now using some biodynamic principals to farm it. In a cracking vintage like 2015, the vines sing. This is a blistering Chardonnay. A powerhouse from the Yarra. The handpicked fruit was ferment wild followed by 2 months lees stirring, 11 months in 20% new oak and finally no filtration before going to bottle. Simple yet intelligent winemaking, Flamsteed doing just enough to let the fruit show its best. Campbell Mattinson gave this 95+ points commenting that "It turns the power on but is long and gorgeous..." It's a stunning Chardonnay from one of the great sites in the Yarra.
What it Tastes Like
"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." - Campbell Mattinson (The Wine Front)
95+ points. "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." - Campbell Mattinson (The Wine Front) 95 points. "A complex, multi-message bouquet hinting of the (relative) richness of the palate; unashamedly lower Yarra Valley with layers of grapefruit and white peach flesh and skin." - James Halliday (Australian Wine Companion)
SEXTON VINEYARD Located on the steep slopes of the Warramate Ranges, alongside the vineyards of iconic Yarra producers Yarra Yering and Coldstream Hills, the Sexton Vineyard is in one of the most revered pockets of the Valley. Being well up the Range’s north-facing slopes, topsoil is thin and root systems have established themselves in shallow gravelly loams above a tough, rocky clay base. Vigour and bunch yields are set naturally low in this environment, facilitating a low intervention approach to what is otherwise hand tended viticulture. APPELLATION: Yarra Valley VARIETAL: 100% Chardonnay CLONE: Mendoza, 76, 277 HARVESTED: February 2015 BOTTLED: January 2016 VOLUME: 5,166 bottles ALC/VOL: 13.5% TA: 8.89 g/L PH: 3.16 CLOSURE: Screw Cap CELLARING: 1 - 6 years WINEMAKER REPORT Lovely winter rains and a wonderful spring made for a good, even fruit set. Ideal summer growing conditions, with an average January temperature of 27.5°C. We had a welcome rain event in mid February that gave us a little breathing space. All our Chardonnay was in near perfect condition at the winery. Lovely flavours and crisp acidity. VINIFICATION / MATURATION: • Natural winemaking philosophy, while making quality the priority. • Minimal intervention in the vineyard. • 100% hand-picked. • 100% indigenous fermentation in 500L French puncheons at 18-24°C, 20% new and 80% older. • Batonage for the first two months, then just topped. • No malolactic fermentation. • 11 months in new and used French puncheons. • No filtration at bottling.
Closure: Screw Cap
Bottle Size: 750ml
About the Producer
Giant Steps is a premium Yarra Valley outfit founded by Phil Sexton located in the in the township of Healesville. Since appointing Steve Flamsteed as his head winemaker and eventual business partner, Sexton and Flamsteed have developed a reputation for producing some of the region’s finest examples of single vineyard wines.
From the vineyard to the final bottled wine, every aspect of the Giant Steps process is geared towards making truly world-class wines. The focus is on what the Yarra does best - Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Shiraz/Syrah and Bordeaux-variety blends - and showcasing the unique terroirs of some of the region’s finest vineyards.
For three years running, Wine and Spirit Magazine have named them as one of the Top 100 wineries in the world, and winemaker Steve Flamsteed capped off an amazing run by being named Gourmet Traveller Wine’s 2016 Winemaker of the Year, another jewel in the Giant Steps crown. Their ultra modern cellar door is one of the must-visit experiences for any wine tourist stopping through the Yarra Valley.
The Yarra Valley stands tall as one of the country’s finest cool-climate wine regions. Only a short jaunt from Melbourne, the Yarra has become a tourist hot-spot for its stunning scenery, high quality produce, and of course, as the home to some of the country’s most iconic wine producers. From the extraordinarily elegant Cabernets and Syrahs that populate the ‘Valley floor’, to the precise and complex versions of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir that hail from the higher climes of the Yarra, this region is diverse and in a state of change. As temperatures rise and phylloxera infiltrates each pocket of the Yarra Valley, the range of alternative varieties from continental Europe is sure to increase to create a more colourful picture of the region. The Yarra embodies so much of what is great about the modern Australian wine scene.
Australian Chardonnay is a seductive variety that comes in all shapes and sizes. From the toasty and voluptuous to the lean, flinty and minerally, there is a Chardonnay out there to suit everyone. Australia’s developing prowess with this variety has been marked by the international community with wine writers such as Jancis Robinson marvelling at the outstanding value to be had right across the country. The prestige brands of Margaret River offer wines of deep flavour and power, often crafting fuller-figured Chardonnay of outstanding quality. The cooler-climate wines from the Yarra Valley, Tasmania and the like are more focused and linear, building complexity around a backbone of pristine acidity. Whatever your preference, there is an Australian Chardonnay to enchant all comers.
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