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Giant Steps Sexton Vineyard Chardonnay 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.

    Sexton Vineyard is a unique and highly respected vineyard located in the Yarra Valley, Victoria. Situated on the steep slopes of the Warramate Ranges, alongside the vineyards of iconic Yarra producers Yarra Yering and Coldstream Hills, it is one of the most revered pockets of the Valley. The vineyard is located in Gruyere and has an elevation of 130-210 meters with a north-facing aspect. The vineyard spans across 30 hectares and was planted in 1997, with a soil type of grey clay loam. The Sexton Vineyard is a unique terroir, with a tough, rocky clay base and shallow gravelly loams, resulting in naturally low bunch yields. The topsoil is thin and root systems have established themselves in shallow gravelly loams above a tough, rocky clay base. This environment produces intensely flavored fruit with high skin to juice ratio. The predominant clones used in the vineyard are GinGin and Mendoza, which produce hens and chickens (large and small grapes on the same bunch), resulting in high white tannin and phenolic content to balance the citrus flavors. The unique terroir of the Sexton Vineyard, with its tough, rocky clay base and shallow gravelly loams, results in wines that are highly sought after and respected. The vineyard produces wines that are both complex and delicious, with a balance of acidity and fruit flavors. 

    Giant Steps Sexton Vineyard Chardonnay 2022 is an exceptional white wine from the Yarra Valley, Victoria. The wine is made from hand-picked Chardonnay grapes from the 2022 vintage, which was a terrific vintage for both vineyard quality and quantity. The grapes were harvested with great concentration of flavors and natural acidity, resulting in a wine that is both elegant and refined. On the nose, the wine has intense aromas of citrus, white peach and hints of vanilla and oak. On the palate, the wine is rich and creamy, with a balanced acidity and flavors of ripe stone fruits and a hint of minerality. The Chardonnay grapes were sourced from the Sexton Vineyard, located in Gruyere, with an elevation of 130-210 meters and north-facing slopes. The grey clay loam soil type of the vineyard adds to the complexity of the wine, resulting in a wine that is both elegant and refined. The wine was fermented in 500L French puncheons, with a small amount of bâtonnage and 20% malolactic fermentation. The wine was matured for 10 months in new and used French oak, 20% new and 80% older, Taransaud, Mercurey, and D&J. The wine is vegan-friendly and single-vineyard, showcasing the unique terroir of the Sexton Vineyard.

    This is an exceptional, mid-weighted chardonnay. A mesh of unresolved CO2 and juicy acidity provide trajectory. Vanilla pod oak provides direction. Taut and seamless. Lemon curd and roasted quince, nestled amidst creamed cashew, nougatine and truffle at the core. The finish is endless, joining a matrix of textural rivets and seams, underlain by the flavorful Gingin clone. With wines such as these it is little wonder that Australia boasts the finest expressions of chardonnay with Burgundy. Drinkable now, but best from 2025. - Ned Goodwin MW, Jamessuckling.com, 96 Points.

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