Chardonnay Yarra Valley Victoria
The Giant Steps team pointedly sourced several conspicuous clones of Chardonnay from California, Burgundy and Champagne, to be established on the coolest, lowest slopes of the superlative Sexton property. Vine vigor and yields are naturally low, encouraging a low intervention approach to hand managed viticulture. The crisp, cool ripening conditions and flinty, almost mean soils of Yarra Valley's temperate slopes yield a vibrant style of Chardonnay in the nectarine, citrus, melon and white peach range of flavours.
Chardonnay clones Mendoza and 227, 96 and 78 and 85 are all hand picked, sorted and chilled, parcels of whole bunches and destemmed fruit are treated to three days of cold soak at 10°C. Batches are sulphured before a wild indigenous yeast vinification in oak vats and small, square open fermenters for a fortnight. A course of minimal drain returns and light plunges are employed for optimal extraction. Upon completion, ferments are gravity transferred through an airbag press, racked off gross lees to a selection of French Burgundy coopered 500L oak puncheons and 225L oak barriques for a term of age, followed by assemblage into the finished wine and bottling without filtration.
Pale golden hue. Fresh cream bouquet, white peaches and nectarine, river stones and spearmint, curry leaf and muesli. Lush with beautiful chalkiness, great approach, crisp and punchy acidity. Granny Smith skins, green mango and arrowroot biscuit. A very good balance of fruit within a rich, complex wine of great linearity and driving length, drinking brilliantly on release.