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Giant Steps Sexton Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010

Pinot Noir from Yarra Valley, Australia
  • JH96
  • RP91
  • WS90
13% ABV
  • JH95
  • WE91
  • WS91
  • RP90
  • JH96
  • RP91
  • JH93
  • RP90
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13% ABV

Winemaker Notes

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.

Critical Acclaim

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JH 96
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.
RP 91
Robert Parker's 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+.
91+ Points
WS 90
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

Giant Steps

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Giant Steps, Yarra Valley, Australia
Image of 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.

Yarra Valley

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As the most important area of wine production in Victoria today, the Yarra Valley is most popular for its Pinot noir and Chardonnay, which account for over half of vineyard acreage. A gentle, rolling and rural region alongside the Margaret River, the Yarra Valley has a cool maritime with a lengthy growing season, perfect for these cool-climate varieties.

The warmer, Lower Yarra Valley in the north has sandy loam soils and produces a plush and fruity Pinot noir. The cooler, higher-elevation Upper Yarra Valley in the south has the soils composed of younger, red basalt and produces more angular and mineral-driven Pinot noir.

Yarra Valley Chardonnay is among the best in Australia. The modern style is stony and flinty rather than fat and tropical. Malolactic fermentation is rare, but while barrel fermentation is common, barrel maturation is restrained to preserve the floral aromatics and fresh citrus flavors for which this area’s Chardonnay is so appreciated. The best Yarra Valley Chardonnays display brilliant acidity, leesy characteristics, sweet citrus, stone fruit and flavors of ginger and spice.

Shiraz and Cabernet find success in parts of this region as well.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.

In the Glass

Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.

PIN318665_2010 Item# 113585