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Giant Steps Applejack Vineyard Pinot Noir 2022

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    Giant Steps Wines is a renowned winery that was established in 1997 in the Yarra Valley. The winery has built a reputation for producing expressive wines with purity and finesse. The wines are a direct reflection of their individual vineyard sites, which are located across the Yarra Valley from Tarrawarra to Gladysdale. The founder of Giant Steps Wines, Phil Sexton, is a wine industry pioneer who ventured from Margaret River to Yarra Valley in search of the ideal site to cultivate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir of purity and finesse. Phil found his holy grail near Gruyere in the Sexton vineyard, which he planted in 1997 on the steep slopes of the Warramate Ranges. Being a mad jazz fan, Phil named the winery after John Coltrane’s album and fitting metaphor “Giant Steps.” In 2003, Winemaker Steve Flamsteed joined the team, and the two set about producing a range of iconic Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays that express a profound sense of place from six finite sites in Yarra Valley. The winery's Head of Winemaking and Viticulture, Melanie Chester, who joined the team in 2021, is committed to honoring the expressions and diversity of its single sites. This means keeping the winemaking tight and transparent so that the diversity of the site is what you taste. “The wines will never look the same because the vineyards continue to change,” she explains, “but we are committed to ensuring that the quality will be the same if not better.” For more than 20 years, Giant Steps has been advancing Australia’s reputation for cool-climate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The Single vineyard range is sourced from each of the six vineyard sites around the Valley, using the most site-expressive fruit from that year’s vintage. The winery's loyal followers have played a significant role in the success of the winery.

    Applejack Vineyard is a special site located on a dramatic slope in the upper Yarra Valley. This vineyard is closely planted and fastidiously managed, making it a unique and highly sought-after site for wine production. It was planted in 1997 by respected viticulturist Ray Guerin. The underlying volcanic soil and rock at Applejack Vineyard are basalt-based, which produces a characteristically fine yet extended, spicy, and firm palate. The higher altitude results in a cooler and extended growing season, making it ideally suited to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The growing season is typically 3-4 weeks later than central Yarra Valley, which gives the grapes more time to develop their unique characteristics. Applejack Vineyard joined the Giant Steps family of Single Vineyards in 2013, marking a significant milestone for the winery. The vineyard's unique characteristics and exceptional quality grapes have contributed significantly to the winery's reputation for producing iconic Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays that express a profound sense of place. The team at Giant Steps is committed to honoring the expressions and diversity of its single sites, and Applejack Vineyard is no exception. The vineyard is closely monitored and managed to ensure that the grapes are of the highest quality. The result is a range of wines that are elegant and complex.

    Giant Steps Applejack Vineyard Pinot Noir 2022 is a remarkable red wine from the Yarra Valley, Victoria. The wine showcases the unique terroir of the Applejack Vineyard, which is located on a dramatic slope in the upper Yarra Valley with an elevation of 300 meters. The wine is made from hand-picked Pinot Noir grapes from the 2022 vintage, which was a challenging but high-quality season in the Yarra Valley. The grapes were harvested with lovely concentration and flavor, with great natural acidity and tannin. On the nose, the wine has intense aromas of dark cherries, blackberries and hints of spice and earthy notes. On the palate, the wine is elegant and refined, with a fine yet extended, spicy and firm palate. The higher altitude of the vineyard results in a cooler and extended growing season, ideally suited to Pinot Noir, resulting in a wine with intense flavor and texture on the palate. The earthen flavors combined with fine tannins make this wine a world-class Pinot Noir. The wine was fermented in small oak fermenters and stainless steel open vats, with almost 20% whole bunch fermentation. It was then matured for ten months in French oak, 20% new and 80% older, in 225L barriques from Taransaud and Dargaud. This careful winemaking process has resulted in a wine that is vegan-friendly and single-vineyard, showcasing the unique terroir of the Applejack Vineyard.

    Medium-full red with a purple rim, the bouquet red and darker cherries, dusty dried-herb notes, a trace of nutty oak, a hint of liqueured cherry as it aired. There is excellent intensity and volume of flavour, allied with good structure thanks to well shaped tannins, the finish long and the flavour and structure finish right out. Superb pinot noir. - Huon Hooke, The Real Review, 96 Points.

    Given the cooler conditions, much of the whole-bunch quotient has shifted to whole berries. Still, 20%. The semi-carbonic approach exudes floral perfumes, red to blue pastille, red apple skin and rosewater. Mid-weighted, sappy, nicely crunchy and joyous. An earlier drinking wine in the context of the site. Really delicious. Drink or hold. - Ned Goodwin,, 94 Points.

    Named after the Applejack eucalypts that surround the vineyard, which was planted at Gladysdale in 1997. Seven clones comprising 114, 115, MV6, D2V5, D5V15, Pommard and Abel. Whole bunches (15%) and 20–25% new French barriques. Like a Mahler symphony, all of the elements of this wine are in perfect harmony. Aromas of crushed rose petals, red and black cherries, satsuma plums and subtle hints of sandalwood and fennel fronds. There's a little charcuterie and a discreet touch of wet stone. On the palate, this is the most concentrated, structured and saline Applejack I can remember, yet you barely notice the tannins due to the core of pure raspberry and cherry fruit. There's a gentle sappiness on the long, lingering finish. Simply irresistible. - Philip Rich, Halliday Wine Companion, 98 Points.

    Winner Pinot Noir Of The Year - James Halliday

    The Finer Details
    Style - Red Wine
    Varietal - Pinot Noir
    Country - Australia
    Region - Yarra Valley, Victoria
    Vintage - 2022
    Bottle Size - 750ml
    ABV - 13%