Giant Steps Sexton Vineyard Jones Block Shiraz 2004
Syrah/Shiraz from McLaren Vale, Australia
Nose: Dark rose flowers, violets and raspberry coulis. Carmelized Spanish onions and balsamic vinegar. Asian spices and soy.
Palate: Earthy, rain on granite. Roasted beetroot and chocolate.
Cellar: Drink now or hide in the cellar for 3-10 years for additional complexity.
Australian Wine Companion - "Very good colour; McLaren Vale with a dose of elegance; finely balanced plum, black cherry and blackberry fruit; fine tannins, good oak."
Wine Spectator - "Polished and vibrant, a silky wine with gorgeous tobacco-scented blackberry and dark plum flavors that sail on and on through the open-textured finish. Pure and seductive, appealing now but it can get better with cellaring."
The Wine Advocate - "The chocolate, berry fruit, pepper, and spice characteristics found in the 2004 Shiraz Jones Block Sexton are alluring. A deeper, more layered effort than the Pinot Noir, it possesses good density, ripeness, size, and balance. Drink it over the next 2-3 years. "
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Giant Steps Winery
Giant Steps is owned and operated by a small team - Phil, Allison and Harry Sexton. Their story starts 1600 miles and 23 years ago when Phil established the Devils Lair vineyard in Margaret River. He was joined there in 1990 by Allison, an American biochemist. Five years later, their son Harry was born. While they loved the wines they were producing, they dreamed of creating a small, specialized cool climate vineyard together, as a family, from scratch. In 1997, they sold Devils Lair and crossed Australia to a dream site on the slopes of Victoria's Yarra Valley, alongside benchmark cool climate vineyards they had long admired.
Great wine is made in the vineyard. At its best, it is like a fingerprint, inextricably linking the personality and mood of the land from which it has sprung. The Sextons feel their role as winemakers is to express the true character of the fruit, shepherding it through the winemaking process with minimum intervention. They seek to grow fruit and make wine that is less overt and obvious than is encouraged in Australia. They look for structure and length rather than breadth, finesse rather than largesse and above all, fruit rather than artifact. All work is done by hand, and they strive to grow the best fruit possible, whatever the cost.
About McLaren ValeView a map of McLaren Vale wineries
McLaren Vale is home to the oldest Australian vineyard, with grapes planted in 1838. It's a coastal area with the Indian Ocean bordering the west, which contributes a cooling factor that prevents the grapes from getting too hot. In all, the climate is a perfect one for the vines.
Notable FactsIn McLaren Vale, there are vines as far as the eye can see. As in other parts of Australia, Shiraz and Grenache are the most-planted grapes of the region. While red rules, whites are able to hold their own here too. With the warm yet reasonable Mediterranean climate, white grapes like Chardonnay, Semillon and even some Sauvignon Blanc grow well. The wines are round and smooth and the producers in the region are excellent.
About AustraliaLike the United States, which is about the same size, Australia's winemaking regions are huddled into one or two pockets of the country. The state of South Australia, which produces about 60% of the country's wine, also has the most wineries and sub-regions, including McLaren Vale, Clare Valley, Coonawarra and Barossa Valley. New South Wales is home to the Hunter Valley, while the smaller, southern state of Victoria is best known for theYarra Valley. Head way west to the very large state of Western Australia and you'll find the tiny region of Margaret River at the southern tip.
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