Here we have 12 bottles of Cabernet. 11 are from boutique Yarra Valley winery Giant Steps, an elegant blend from the capable hands of accomplished winemaker Steve Flamsteed. Rounding out the dozen is a bonus Cabernet from us, to you. It’s Classified Exceptional, and it’s a household name. Plus, you’ll save 34.86% on the dozen.
The Yarra Valley is no stranger to producing sensational Cabernet blends. The 2018 Giant Steps Harry’s Monster is an exemplar red showcasing just what we love about the cool-climate Cabs from this region. It’s at once savoury, spicy, ripe, and refreshing. It’s an assiduously balanced blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Petit Verdot. We can see this occupying your glass for much of autumn.
And that bonus bottle? Saying too much would give the game away, although we will say it’s in a league of its own. Last year, in fact, Huon Hooke called it ‘masterful’.
Medium-weight in the glass; purple colour with red edges. Its complex - cured meats, mixed berries and spicy oak. Plush and open when sipped - cinnamon with red and blue berries - certainly ripe. Tannins equally ripe. Terrific length unfurls off pristine fruit. Delicious.
96 points, The Real Review
This is a cabernet blend. It’s worth studying. It has finesse, it has flavour, it’s finely-tuned and it feels flush through the finish. Oak and fruit are on great terms, tannin is perfectly formed, and acidity adds a line of freshness to the wine without moving a petal. It’s not a sweet wine but it’s ripe; it’s not bitter but there are layers of herbs; it’s not ‘big’ but it spreads across the palate impressively. It’s worth every cent.
95+ points, The Wine Front
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.