The Ocarina Chardonnay is sourced from north and east-facing slopes in three vineyards (Sexton, Gruyere Farm and Applejack) at between 130m and 300m in various parts of the Yarra Valley. The aim is to make a distinctive Chardonnay style with enhanced texture and complexity.
The grapes are picked early, by hand, for freshness, whole-bunch pressed without additions, and then transferred, with solids, to 650 litre ceramic eggs for indigenous fermentation. After fermentation is completed the eggs are topped up and sealed for winter. There is no malolactic fermentation and the wine is bottled by gravity without fining or filtration.
"Produced in ceramic eggs. Fruit is sourced from three vineyards under the care of Giant Steps. More imagination and execution from Steve Flamsteed and team, a near indefatigable force. This wine hangs out in egg from harvest to after winter, then is pretty much decanted into bottle with nothing added aside a splash of sulphur.
Textural white of high interest and compelling drinkability – light chalkiness, faint stoney characters meshed to green apple, ripe citrus and white chocolate notes. So much going on. The wine slips over the palate with ease, finds some good concentration of flavour, delivers inherent freshness. Dials up the chardonnay fruit character yet holds such essential purity then, again, that texture is such a charm and so unique. A wonderful expression. I’m in."
95 points, The Wine Front (February 2019)
"Light straw colour with a complex, smoky, oatmealy bouquet - cashew nuts and almonds, very fine and taut and restrained. Irresistibly complex bouquet, but fresh as well. Lovely wine, with a long, warming finish."
91 points, The Real Review (October 2018)
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.