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Giant Steps `Arthurs Creek Vineyard` Chardonnay

Yarra Valley, Victoria

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 four years.

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Vineyards

Arthurs Creek Vineyard is uniquely located in a low lying creek flat at 170 metres above sea level. The well drained soil is made up of fine, lime-rich silt, built up from the old creek bed. The vineyard is cool and sheltered, with frost an ever-present danger throughout spring. Planted in 1976, fruit from this north facing vineyard is spectacular; in particular the slow ripening Chardonnay which expresses fine limey acidity.

Vintage information

2012 was not an easy growing season, but a very rewarding one if the vineyard was managed well. Spring rain gave healthy canopies. Mild summer days with plentiful warmth and sunshine - thankfully without the heat spikes of warmer vintages – and an Indian summer that stretched into April were perfect for ripening late in the season, with harvest taking place on the 9th of March. Fruit condition across the vineyards was excellent, and wine quality across the board is very high.

Vinification

Fruit was hand picked and whole bunch pressed to tank. The juice was transferred to 500 litre puncheons after eight hours of settling. Fermentation with indigenous yeast took place in 25% new oak, 35% one year old and 40% older oak for nine months at 18-24°C. Lees were stirred weekly, then monthly between May and August. No malolactic fermentation took place. The wine was transferred by gravity to tank with its fine lees in December for six months elevage in stainless steel. Bottling took place on the 16th of May 2013.

Tasting Notes

The most restrained of the single-vineyard chardonnays from Giant Steps, this has an air of power to it. Young, fresh stone fruit, lots of cedar and chalky notes and spiced nougat contribute to its complexity. The palate delivers a crisp, bright, fleshy impression of ripe stone fruits that are densely packed and powerful. Succulent through the finish.

Vintage information

Vintage 2012
Grape varieties 100% Chardonnay
Region Yarra Valley, Victoria
Winemaker Steve Flamsteed, Tim Shand, Phil Sexton
Alcohol (ABV) 13%
Acidity 6.3g/l
Residual Sugar 0.82g/l
Wine pH 3.19