2014 Giant Steps "Sexton Vineyard" Chardonnay Yarra Valley Victoria (Elsewhere $40+)
You can't make great wine by numbers, but the seamless balance of the wine stems from the perfect ripeness linked to its alcohol (or vice versa). Having taken on board the complex white flowers bouquet, it flows across the palate like a shower of confetti, dispensing stone fruit, grapefruit and splashes of balanced acidity.
Light yellow-gold. Complex scents of pear skin, peach pit, tangerine, chamomile and iodine, with a smoky mineral flourish building in the glass. Supple and expansive on the palate, offering intense, mineral-tinged citrus and orchard fruit flavors and hints of fennel and buttered toast. Shows a suave blend of richness and vivacity and finishes smoky, minerally and very long, leaving poached pear and Meyer lemon notes behind. (JR)
Wine & Spirits
A firm, luscious Chardonnay from a hot, dry year in Yarra, this needs air to integrate its alcohol into layers of complex flavors, transforming that warmth into an overtone of sweet orange, while scents of pear skin and earth deepen the finish. The wine has enough intensity to match a veal roast.
Winemaker's Notes: "The nose offers aromas of grapefruit, dried apple, blanched almonds and struck flint mineral notes. The palate is long and lush with beautiful creaminess. Alongside a backbone of crisp and punchy acidity are notes of Granny Smith apple skins, stonefruits, citrus and shortbread. A luscious and complex wine from an excellent, low yeilding vintage. Natural winemaking philosophy, while making quality the priority. Minimal intervention in the vineyard. 100% hand-picked fruit. 100% indigenous wild yeast fermentation in 500L French puncheons 20% new and 80% older. Batonage for the first two months. No malolactic fermentation. 11 months in new and used French puncheons. No filtration at bottling. 430 cases total production." 94 points Wine Front: "Overt oak but not overwhelming - nougat, halva-sweet-nuttiness, raw tobacco scents coupled to mixed citrus peel and bruised apple scents. Still, holds a lofty, bright, vibrant perfume. Clatters across the palate with delicate acidity and a sheath of subtle, vanillin oak character. The freshness and friskiness of the fruit character is notable, it skips and twists through the mouth with a lacy, frisky feel, almost gossamer in texture and finishes mouthwatering and refreshing, fruit pure and crisp. Almost like you need to concentrate. Flighty and delicious for it."