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Giant Steps is best known for their stunning Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and in more recent times, Syrah, but their Bordeaux variety wines from the famous Sexton vineyard in the Yarra Valley are phenomenal wines in themselves. Merlot has had a hard time of it in Australia, but this wine is, as James Halliday put when describing the previous 2014 vintage, "near the very top of the merlot tree in Australia"._ The 2015 vintage has served up what is obviously excellent fruit, with the typically meticulous and minimalist Giant Steps winemaking regime resulting in a wonderful finished product. A Merlot to prove the doubters wrong. Stunning.
What it Tastes Like
This is a serious Merlot from the first whiff. Dark and brooding nose with black fruits, toasty oak and earth. Waves of plums, blueberries and cassis on the palate, with mouth-coating texture and brilliant, firm tannins. Imposing length of flavour. Big mouthful of wine but everything in proportion. Delicious.
2014 vintage: 95 points. "Hand-picked, destemmed, warmed for fermentation to start immediately, once complete the fermenter sealed with water bags for 3 weeks maceration on skins, blended Jan ?14 and matured in French oak (40% new) for 17 months. This is near the very top of the merlot tree in Australia, needing no apology of any kind. Excellent colour, a come-hither bouquet and a palate alive with flowing cassis and plum fruit; the tannins are A-grade, the oak providing the frame for a perfect portrait of an oft-maligned variety." - James Halliday (Australian Wine Companion)
From the Sexton vineyard. Minimal intervention in the vineyard. 100% hand-picked fruit. Natural winemaking philosophy, while making quality the priority. Indigenous fermentation in small open fermenters. Lots of aerative drain and returns by gravity along with regular hand plunging. Once the ferment was complete, the fermenters were sealed with water bags and left to macerate for three weeks on skins. 100% malolactic fermentation. 14 months in new and used French puncheons - 40% new, 10% one year, 50% older. Bottled by gravity. 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.
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