"a Chardonnay of fine balance and appeal" - 94pts Gary Walsh, WineFront
2021 was a terrific vintage for both vineyard quality and quantity, a wet spring followed by a healthy amount of sunshine and some well timed rain in January, leading to large green healthy canopies. The overall temperature during the growing season was lower than average which led to a long slow ripening period and great concentration of flavours and natural acidity.
All Giant Steps fruit is 100% hand-picked. The Chardonnay grapes are chilled overnight and whole bunch pressed lightly into 500L French oak puncheons, 15% new, 85% old.
The juice then ferments on full solids with wild yeasts. 10% of the barrels went through a spontaneous malolactic fermentation. The wine stayed in barrel until October when it was racked, chilled and bottled.
"A blend of Sexton, Tarraford, Applejack, Primavera and Wombat Creek vineyards. 15% new oak (puncheons). About 10% malo. Flavour, crunch, gloss, and all up a Chardonnay of fine balance and appeal. White peach, almond, a little fennel and lime, fine acidity, flinty texture, a cool cucumber thing happening, and clean, with a well-defined finish of excellent length. Very good in 2021." 94pts, Gary Walsh, WineFront
Where this wine comes from - Yarra Valley
Just 50 kilometres from Melbourne, Victoria’s Yarra Valley is a star of the wine regions surrounding the city, known as the ‘Melbourne Dress Circle’. With plenty of microclimates and sub-regions, the Yarra Valley doesn’t have a weak link. Certainly the region’s reputation has been built on the quality of its cool climate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. As far as Chardonnay goes, Yarra Valley strikes the right balance of ripeness, without going over the edge. There’s white peach, lemon pith and Fuji apple supported by a fine spine of citrus-like acidity complemented by supportive oak maturation. The region’s Pinot Noir certainly produces that ethereal quality that Pinot-philes go crazy for – with lifted cherry notes, texture and length. Pinosity? It’s here in spades. Don’t discount Yarra Valley Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, which also have a long history in the region and are being recognised for producing their own unique regional styles. Game on!