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Giant Steps `Harry`s Monster` Bordeaux Blend

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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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. Being well up the slopes between 130 and 210 metres, 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, facilitating a low intervention approach to what is otherwise hand tended viticulture. Biodynamic vineyard management principles are being introduced with the purpose of further distinguishing the site and improving grape and wine quality.

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 plenty of warmth and sunshine (and thankfully no heat spikes) and an Indian summer that stretched into April were perfect for ripening late in the season, with harvest taking place during March and April. Fruit condition across the vineyards was excellent, and wine quality across the board is very high.


Fruit was hand picked, destemmed and crushed to small open fermenters. An eight day warm ferment followed. Fruit was then hand plunged twice daily and underwent a daily rack and return for two weeks. On dryness, the cap was submerged for two to three weeks to integrate tannins. Fermenters were then tipped into an airbag press and the wine was racked off gross lees to 225 litre French oak barriques for malolactic fermentation. 40% was new, with the remainder 60% a split of second and third use. After 15 months it was gravity bottled on the 19th of July 2013.

Tasting Notes

Deep ruby in colour. The complex nose of this Bordeaux blend has typical cassis aromas, supported by dried herbs, graphite and subtle molasses, roasted malt and hints of earthy forest floor. Firm tannins on the palate with touches of dark chocolate, fresh vanilla beans, dark roasted coffee and soy. This wine has excellent ageing potential.

Vintage information

Vintage 2012
Grape varieties 82% Cabernet Sauvignon
15% Merlot
3% Petit Verdot
Region Yarra Valley, Victoria
Winemaker Steve Flamsteed
Alcohol (ABV) 13.5%
Acidity 6.88g/l
Residual Sugar 0.5g/l
Wine pH 3.57