Located on the steep north facing slopes of the Warramate Ranges, the Sexton Vineyard is exposed to the weather, Topsoil is thin and root systems have established themselves in shallow gravelly loams above a tough rocky clay base. Bunch yields set naturally low in this environment, resulting in intensely-flavoured fruit with high skin to juice ratio.
Grapes are hand-picked without additions and batch-fermented, the Dijon 115 clone portion as whole bunches in small, open oak vats, the smaller MV6 component destemmed and transferred as whole berries to a separate fermenter. After natural ferments relying mainly on carbonic maceration for extraction the wine is pressed to tight-grained, 228 litre, French barriques (about 25% new) for 10 months before blending and bottling without fining or filtration.If there is a ‘typical’ Giant Steps Pinot Noir, this is it.
"On clay, facing east, mostly from one block. One could say Sexton is the spiritual home vineyard of Giant Steps, perhaps.
Ripe and lush bouquet showing stewed cherry, malt, cinnamon but a whiff of spritely cranberry and green herb in the mix too. Fluffy-to-puckering tannins shape a sluice of malt-sprinkled dark cherry flavours, with a good sense of concentration, generosity, then a lightly puckering finish. Very enjoyable."
93 points, The Wine Front (May 2019)
Yarra ValleyThe Yarra Valley was first planted by the Ryrie brothers who explored a way through the Snowy Mountains to the Yarra Valley, planting grapes in 1838 just three years after the foundation of Melbourne. A wine industry (developed by Swiss Settlers particularly Hubert de Castella and Baron Guillaume de Pury in the 1850s) thrived during the gold rush era and heyday of the 19th century. However, the end of the gold rush brought the wine industry into decline and it was not until the 1970’s that the modern wine industry started up again. The region is probably Australia’s best-known cool-climate area, yet it is really a patchwork of meso-climates. This varied topography creates an incredible set of variables. Vineyards are planted on elevations of 50 to 400m on varying aspects and management programmes. The more exposed sites are subject to severe spring frosts and winds. Overall, the area experiences a relatively high rainfall pattern and is known for its temperature extremes during ripening. Site selection is crucial, with the best vineyards often located where the original vines were once planted, generally on sandy clay loams and gravels. The Yarra Valley is well known for high quality Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Blends with Shiraz increasingly garnering attention. Sparkling wine production is also extremely important, with many of Australia’s finest examples produced in the region.