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Giant Steps `Sexton Vineyard` Pinot Noir

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 five years.

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Located on the steep north facing slopes of the Warramate Ranges, alongside the vineyards of Yarra Yering and Coldstream Hills, the Sexton vineyard is exposed and demanding. At 130 and 210 metres above sea level, topsoil is thin and root systems have established themselves in shallow gravelly loams above a tough rocky clay base. Vigour and bunch yields set naturally low in this environment. Biodynamic vineyard management principles are being introduced with the purpose of further distinguishing the site and improving grape and wine quality.

Vintage information

The 2014 vintage was a season of mixed fortune. With a minuscule crop set following flowering, the stage was set for a concentrated but contracted intake. Conditions through December and January were cool to warm; sunny, dry and with little wind, resulting in preferred (lower) sugar levels. Harvest commenced in the second week of February and finished in the third week of April. A classic "two vintages in one" season where all varieties from Pinot Noir to Cabernet Sauvignon achieved full ripeness. Reds all had terrific colour, ripe tannins and powerful fruit density. The 2014 wines are the most true to site and exciting wines that Giant Steps have yet made.


Fruit was hand-picked and sorted, then chilled in the cold room. 40% of the ferment was whole bunch, with the remaining fruit destemmed but not crushed. A three day cold soak at 10°C was followed by a 14 day fermentation in oak vats and small open fermenters. The wine was racked off gross lees to oak for indigenous malolactic fermentation. It remained in barrel for 12 months, 30% of which was new French oak (Dargot et Jaegle, Marcel Cadet and Taransaud), 20% 1 year old and 50% older. Selected barrels were racked and assembled into tank. The wine was bottled using gravity, without filtration.

Tasting Notes

Vivid ruby red. The bouquet mingles spice-accented red fruit and floral pastille scents with dried flowers, anise and woodsmoke. An undercurrent of zesty minerality gives focus and lift to the plump raspberry and bitter cherry flavours on the palate. Spice returns on the subtly tannic finish, which lingers with great clarity.

Vintage information

Vintage 2014
Grape varieties 100% Pinot Noir
Region Yarra Valley, Victoria