Giant Steps Sexton Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010
Pinot Noir from Yarra Valley, Australia
The 2010 Sexton Vineyard Pinot Noir is pretty and supple. It has lovely rustic cherry notes, cinnamon, cloves, dark chocolate and ginger. On the palate, poached cherry, olive, cinnamon and treacle, along with orange peel and vanilla bean. Its focused and fine tannins are assisted by judicious Burgundian oak treatment.
Australian Wine Companion - "From the estate vineyard, with seven clones, 10% whole bunches, remainder destemmed, not crushed (the same for all four wines); five-day cold soak, 12-day ferment with minimal plunging 24% new French oak, 25% one-year old; like all four wines, 11 months in oak. A highly fragrant bouquet with cherry and wild strawberry fruit that carries through to the silky palate. Very attractive wine. "
International Wine Cellar - "Light, bright red. An exotic, perfumed bouquet displays raspberry, blackberry, sandalwood and lavender, plus a hint of blood orange. Racy but deep in red and dark berry flavor, showing exotic floral and spice nuances and strong minerality. Finishes on a tangy blood orange note, with excellent clarity."
The Wine Advocate - "A single vineyard wine from the Sexton vineyard planted in 1997, the 2010 Sexton Vineyard Pinot Noir underwent a wild fermentation in small open top fermenters using 10% whole bunches and was matured 11 months in new (30%) and older French oak barriques. Medium ruby-purple colored, it offers a moderate intensity of ripe red cherry and pomegranate aromas with hints of cedar, lavender and cinnamon stick. Light to medium bodied, it gives a good amount of pure red berry flavors supported by crisp acid and a low level of fine-grained tannins. The finish is long with a little cinnamon toast coming though the berry vibrancy. Drink it now to 2015+.
Wine Spectator - "Lots of raspberry and tobacco flavors slide easily across polished tannins, lingering nicely on the deftly balanced finish. Graceful stuff. Drink now through 2017."
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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 Yarra ValleyView a map of Yarra Valley wineries
A short drive from Melbourne, Yarra Valley is the oldest and most successful of Victoria's wine growing regions. The cool climate of the area makes it suitable for the popular varieties of Pinot Noir & Chardonnay. Shiraz also thrives, and produces elegant and restrained versions of the varietal.
Notable FactsProducers in Yarra Valley have hit their stride when it comes to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Instead of striving to make wine like Burgundy or California, winemakers are crafting a Yarra Valley style, letting the grapes and the soil do the talking. Getting better each year, Yarra Valley is a region to watch.
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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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.