Giant Steps (Yarra Valley)
❁ Giant Steps (Yarra Valley) www.innocentbystander.com.au
Sexton family 336 Maroondah Highway, PO Box 1479, Healesville VIC 3777
Tel: 03 5962 6111 Fax: 03 5962 6199
Phil Sexton it seems has a thing about Chardonnay. More than 20 years ago he established Devil’s Lair in the Margaret River and soon produced a leading example. In 1997 he and his family took an almighty leap eastwards and took root again in the Yarra Valley. Of a range of impressive single vineyard wines now made those from one variety are the most thrilling: Chardonnay. Seven different Chardonny clones are planted and the wines are made as naturally as possible with hand harvesting, whole bunch pressing, no added yeasts, and minimal use of sulphur. Sexton Vineyard Chardonnay has real dimension, weight and a slightly Chassagne-like fruit and style. Tarraford vineyard is slightly more Puligny-like with its intensity and drive. Both wines can lose a little definition in a very warm vintage but otherwise do consistently well. well. Arthur’s Creek Chardonnay lies somewhere between the too, tight yet with a rich, intense core of fruit. Pinots, derived from five clones, are are also among the better examples made in the Yarra Valley with good expression and a certain elegance but need at least 5-6 years’ age to open out fully. Still more can be expected as the vines age. Shiraz is also made – in the slightly exotic, succulent Miller vineyard example, a small amount of Viognier was fermented together with the Shiraz. Tiny amounts of Jones Block Shiraz are produced from very old McLaren Vale vines for a very dense and concentrated style that needs plenty of time. Harry’s Monster, made from equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot is a fleshy, affable character only missing a little depth and refinement. Innocent Bystander wines are soundly made range from mostly bought-in fruit. A third label, Mea Culpa, now accounts for premium Chardonnay and Shiraz (£E).
To find out more about Giant Steps and their wines, and to see how we reviewed and rated their wines you can check out the Regional Guide here..
Or indeed you can check out the Main Guide that is 2250 pages, reviews over 4000 vineyards and over 30,000 wines here …