Wine Words & Video Tape

Wine, Words and Videotape

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London Wine Fair: Giant Steps in 2010

Written by JW. Posted in Australia

Caught up with Giant Steps/Innocent Bystander winemaker Steve Flamsteed at the London Wine Fair last week. He was showing their Giant Steps 2010 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir single vineyard wines among others. Great stuff – early days though and you’d expect these to develop well over the medium term. Overall I’m a great admirer of Giant Steps. Production is tiny, the pinnacle of a triangle supported by the Innocent Bystander brand. What’s not to like in their vivacious, bright Pinot Noirs and their classy Chardonnays?

Very hands off winemaking here with no fining, filtration and native yeast ferments. 2011 vintage sounded a bit of a bugger. Just found these excellent videos posted on their site. Steve Flamsteed’s on this one discussing the Tarraford Vineyard site and this second clip has Phil Sexton discussing where Giant Steps Sexton Vineyard where the story kind of began – such beautiful country for winemaking.

Chardonnay, Sexton Vineyard, Yarra Valley, Victoria 2010

Pale straw; minerally, some butter; pretty good; nice minerality and freshness. Sedimentary soils underlie the vineyard. Expect this to put on weight with bottle age. 90+/100

Chardonnay, Tarraford Vineyard, Yarra Valley, Victoria 2010

Pala straw; more piercing Chardonnay with race and nice ripeness; flesh too alongside the drive; very nice wine. Loam soils in the Tarrawarra area, organic. 92+/100

Chardonnay, Arthur’s Creek, Yarra Valley, Victoria, 2010

Pale straw; Burgundian wine with real race again; bit broader more buttery [50% MLF here, stronger acids from this site] from a mature 35 year old vineyard surrounded by gum tree forest. Excellent. Arthurs Creek vineyard is up in the Diamond Valley end of the Yarra on silt. 90-92+/100

Pinot Noir, Sexton Vineyard, Yarra Valley, Victoria 2010

Earthy purple; nice sweet Pinot; cherry with some strawberry; fresh; good grip and structure; still very youful and tight [obviously] but real delicacy and most appetizing. 92+/100

Pinot Noir, Tarraford Vineyard, Yarra Valley, Victoria 2010

More perfumed; cherry and earth with nice forest floor aspect; little more concentrated on the palate; different style to Sexton’s elegance bit more oomph here. 93+/100

Pinot Noir, Gladysdale Vineyard. Yarra Valley, Victoria 2010

Earthy red; voluptuous and accessible on the nose; soft and easy and very sexy Pinot here; palate somehow manages to be harmonious but also display structure and frame for further development. Very promising. Whole bunch ferment. Gladysdale benefit from a 300 metre elevation. 92+/100

Pinot Noir, Applejack Vineyard, Yarra Valley, Victoria 2010

Bit lighter in colour; spicy characters on the nose; whole bunch ferment; quite structured and lacks the harmony [currently] of Gladysdale. Volcanic soils and vineyard on a 33 degree slope. Interesting. See how it develops. 89-91+/100

Giant Steps winemaker Steve Flamsteed

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