Giant Steps is a Yarra Valley winery established by entrepreneur Phil Sexton back in 1997 (here’s a review of a visit I made in 2004). He’s already established a successful brewery (Little Creatures) and winery (Devil’s Lair) in Western Australia, and then sold these and headed to the Yarra to build a new, impressive urban winery with 75 hectares of vineyards and contracts with local growers. Winemaker Steve Flamsteed joined in 2003, and in summer last year Sexton sold to Jackson Family Wines of California, who already had some Australian wineries (Yangarra and Hickinbotham in McLaren Vale). Sexton and Flamsteed are staying on, which bodes well. This wine comes from a site that is 130-210 m high with grey clay loam soils.
Giant Steps Sexton Vineyard Chardonnay 2019 Yarra Valley, Australia
13% alcohol. This is all about restrained richness. It’s a Chardonnay with some richer elements: some meal, toast and spice, together with pear, peach and pineapple, but also some finesse and some lean citrus and green apple notes. Shows purity and concentration, with a bit of crystalline citrus fruit. There’s a lot of latent potential here: while currently it’s a bit constrained and turned in on itself, with a primary sort of character, I think it could develop really well. 93/100
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