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Giant Steps `Applejack Vineyard` Pinot Noir

Yarra Valley, Victoria


  • Silver - Decanter World Wine Awards

Giant Steps

While the Innocent Bystander wines are made from grapes grown across the Yarra, the Giant Steps wines are produced exclusively from single vineyard sites...

Grapes are selected from estate-owned and leased vineyards, as well as from long-term contracted growers. Head winemaker Steve Flamsteed and his team are making some of the best wines in Australia from these sites. Their aim is to express in each wine the character of the site, grape and vintage, and this they achieve by meticulous work in the vineyard and minimum intervention in the winery. Wines from their three main vineyard sites (Sexton, Tarraford and Applejack) have won 12 trophies and 27 gold medals across all wine shows in the last five years.

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Applejack Vineyard is owned by highly respected viticulturist Ray Guerin and is managed by his son Mark. This vineyard is situated in the Upper Yarra Valley and has similar growing conditions and challenges to that of Gladysdale Vineyard. Planted in 2001 at 330 metres on red/brown clay loam soils, Applejack Vineyard is located on a dramatic east facing slope and is close planted and meticulously managed.  

Vintage information

2014 will be remembered for spectacular quality wines, a year where vines yielded very low crops. Spring rains during flowering resulted in a low number of bunches per vine. A wet spring gave way to a perfect summer, allowing flavour development and sugar accumulation to ripen in sync, without the threat of summer rain. Harvest in the Applejack vineyard began on the 3rd of March. Fruit condition across the vineyards was excellent and wine quality across the board is very high. 


The grapes were hand picked and hand sorted. This wine was assembled from two parcels of fruit, one of which was 100% whole bunch ferment, the second 100% destemmed to whole berries. Both parcels were given a cold soak for five days but the whole bunch ferment commenced fermenting after three days so it was allowed to warm and progress naturally. Ferment temperatures peaked at about 32°C in both vats. Once the ferments were dry, the vats were emptied into an airbag press and pressed to tank. The wine was racked off gross lees to oak for indigenous malolactic fermentation. It remained in barrel for 11 months. 28% of the oak was new and from Taransaud and Sauray. 19% of the oak was one year old and 53% older. Three rackings were performed for clarity before gravity bottling on the 21st of January 2015.

Tasting Notes

Very herbaceous on the nose with smoky cherry fruit and pronounced green bell pepper aromas. The youthful palate shows complexity with cherries, spiced oak and fine tannins. A wine with great potential to develop and shine.

Vintage information

Vintage 2014
Grape varieties 100% Pinot Noir
Region Yarra Valley, Victoria
Winemaker Steve Flamsteed & Julian Grounds
Alcohol (ABV) 13.5%
Acidity 5.65g/l
Wine pH 3.76