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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 four years.

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Vineyards

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

2013 was an exciting vintage in the Yarra Valley. The entire vintage was harvested in just 35 days – a record. Excellent weather at flowering led into cool, mild growing conditions, with an accelerated final stage of ripening due to some warm nights. The estate vineyards produced small crops with intense flavour and solid natural acidity – critical to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The wines are all very strong in primary fruit and possess a generosity and mouth feel not seen since 2010.

Vinification

Fruit was hand picked to 300 kg bins and chilled. It was 30% whole bunch pressed. The remaining fruit was de-stemmed, but not crushed. A three day cold soak followed. Fermentation with indigenous yeast took place for 11 days with minimal drain and returns and light plunges. The fermented must was gravity transferred into a pneumatic press and pressed to tank. The wine was then racked off its gross lees to oak for malolactic fermentation for 12 months in French burgundy coopers, of which 30% was new, 20% one year old and 50% older. It underwent coarse filtration before bottling on the 14th of May 2014.

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 2013
Grape varieties 100% Pinot Noir
Region Yarra Valley, Victoria
Winemaker Steve Flamsteed, Tim Shand, Phil Sexton
Alcohol (ABV) 13.5%
Acidity 5.4g/l
Wine pH 3.7