This 20ha vineyard was planted on red clay loam soil at Woori Yallock in 2001 by Lou Primavera, with whom Giant Steps has a long-standing grape-supply relationship. Pinot Noir (114, MV6 and G8V3 clones) grown here on the north and north east facing slopes at 230m is noted for its complex structure and pronounced perfume.
The 114 and MV6 are fermented as whole bunches in open vats, while the G8V3 is destemmed, given a long cold-soak and fermented separately to enhance its aromatic contribution. All ferments use indigenous yeasts and the whole-bunch components are periodically foot-stomped to release additional juice. The wines are pressed to 228 litre, French barriques (about 8% new) for 11 months before blending and bottling without fining or filtration.
"This has so much personality. A wonderful thing this. The standout from the 2018 releases though likely will ‘stick out’ for some people. That’s wine, sometimes, or a lot.
Pale garnet colour. Light, delicate but defined perfume of pomegranate juice, green herbs, white pepper, faint game meat. Lovely. Swishes through the mouth with supple sour cherry, game meat, a lick of dark chocolate and tannins of fine, powdered chocolate, finishes with an earthy-amaro-like botanical lick. Geez, I like this. Plenty of personality, high drinkability, electric acidity, pretty flavour and freshness in spades. Delicious drinking, charismatic, exotic. Love it."
95 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.