2021 Giant Steps Equate Chardonnay

The debut release of an icon Chardonnay showcasing the very best of Giant Steps Chardonnay from the legendary 2021 season.

Sale price$120.00
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In 2021, a remarkable vintage unfolded in the Giant Steps Yarra Valley vineyards, setting the perfect stage for the launch of this new project.

This is the culimantion of more than two decades of great farming on the Sexton vineyard. Two blocks on this site; Block 2, planted with the 96 clone, and Block 12 planted with Mendoza clone, both consistently outperform the other Chardonnay blocks on this signature vineyard. In 2021 they were combined into this, something of a 'Super Chardonnay' from this elite Yarra Valley producer.

Sexton vineyard boasts shallow gravelly loams over a rocky clay base, promoting low bunch yields and intensely flavoured fruit with a high skin-to-juice ratio. The 96 clone contributes intense and pure fruit flavours, while the Mendoza clone, known for producing small and large berries on the same bunch (also known as hen-and-chicken), enriches the wine with elevated white tannin and phenolic content to balance the citrus nuances.

Only a very small amount of this inaugural vintage was produced. Arguably the greatest Chardonnay ever made by Giant steps, this will be a collector's item for decades to come.

"2021 was a terrific vintage for vineyard quality, we knew this was the year to launch this new project."
- Mel Chester (Giant Steps)

Vintage Notes
2021 was a terrific vintage for vineyard quality, we knew this was the year to launch this new project. We had a wet spring followed by a mild summer and some well timed rain in January, leading to healthy canopies. The overall temperature during the growing season was cooler than average which led to a long slow ripening period, thick grape skins, higher white tannin development, natural acidity retention and concentrated natural flavours as the grapes could hang out for longer. These aspects of the wine create high anti-oxidant properties and a higher natural acidity, hence a longer ageing potential for this wine.

Vineyard Notes
Location: Gruyere Planted: 1997 Elevation: 130 - 210 metres Soil Type: Grey clay loam over granite / ironstone Aspect: North facing slopes Size: 30 Hectares For 20 years we have farmed Sexton Vineyard and always kept an eye on our best performing blocks. The sum of this knowledge has lead to us identifying the two blocks used in this wine as being superior and consistent each year, and so the concept for a new wine was created. Located on the steep north facing slopes of the Warramate Ranges, the Sexton Vineyard is our premium Chardonnay Vineyard. 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, resulting in intensely flavoured fruit with high skin to juice ratio, hence the higher phenolics in this wine. The 96 clone delivers intense and pure fruit while the Mendoza, which produces small and big berries on the same bunch (millerandage), results in high white tannin and phenolic content to balance the citrus flavours. We hope you enjoy drinking this wine as much as we enjoyed making it.

100% handpicked from our two blocks which are consistently strong year after year: Block 2 planted to 96 and Block 12 planted to Mendoza. The grapes are handpicked, meticulously sorted in the vineyard, and the fruit is then refrigerated overnight to cool before whole bunch pressing. The juice is transferred to barrel by gravity with no settling, allowing all the solids to go to ferment. The barrel selection is all one year seasoned 500L French puncheons on full solids, all second fill 2020 oak; Taransaud and Mercurey. After primary fermentation, the wine was bâtonnaged to taste each month and let the barrels go through natural malolactic fermentation. Maturation for 11 months in barrel, 1 month on lees in tank and 2 years in bottle.

Giant Steps

Giant Steps is a premium Yarra Valley outfit founded by Phil Sexton and located in the township of Healesville. Beginning with the vision of original head winemaker Steve Flamsteed, Giant Steps developed an international reputation for producing some of Australia's finest examples of single vineyard Pinot Noir & Chardonnay.

In 2021 the exceptionally talented Melanie Chester joined the team as the new head of winemaking and viticulture, marking an exciting new chapter in this elite producer's story.

Every aspect of the Giant Steps process is geared towards making truly world-class wines from the vineyard to the final bottled wine. 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.

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