Giant Steps Sexton Vineyard Chardonnay 2017

Sale price$66.95
Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia

Style: White Wine

Variety: Chardonnay

Closure: Screwcap

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Giant Steps Sexton Vineyard Chardonnay 2017

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, usually ready in 2-4 days

Burke Road
Camberwell VIC 3124

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Producer: Giant Steps

Country: Australia

Region: Yarra Valley

Vintage: 2017

Critic Score: 95

Alcohol: 13.5%

Size: 750 ml

Drink by: 2028

A wine of depth and concentration, power and drive. A top quality full-bodied chardonnay. Very tasty - Huon Hooke

"Winemaker Steve Flamsteed's chardonnays are Yarra Valley benchmarks."  Ralph Kyte-Powell

Giant Steps is recognized as a global benchmark for cool climate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The winery was established in 1998, one year after founder Phil Sexton arrived in the Yarra Valley in search of ideal sites to produce Chardonnay and Pinot Noir of purity and finesse. The Giant Steps Single Vineyard range is produced from the most site-expressive fruit off the best vineyards in great years.

"Rich biscuity notes run from the nose to the palate with a seamless, fleshy flow of gently creamy, succulent and satisfying chardonnay flavors. Terrific drinkability and presence here."  James Suckling

The Sexton Vineyard is located at Gruyere in the Lower Yarra Valley and was planted in 1997The 30 hectare vineyard is at an elevation of 130-210 metres and has north facing slopes on grey clay soils.

"Hand picked and whole bunch pressed without additions. Course settled to 500L French puncheons. Indigenous fermentation. No malolactic fermentation. Batonnage for the first month, then topped and let rest (maturing) for a further 8 months on lees. New and used tight grain French oak – 20% new, 80% older. Rough pass filtered and naturally fined. Bottled by gravity."  Giant Steps

Expert reviews

"Lower Yarra Valley, Mendoza, 277 and 96 clones, fermented in French puncheons (20% new), matured for 10 months. One of the cornerstones of the estate-owned vineyards, the low yield obvious on the bouquet, shifting to purity and precision of the palate and lingering aftertaste. Drink by 2027."  James Halliday, Halliday Wine Companion - 95 points

"A step into grapefruit, ripe peaches and praline here. There are some oak in the mix, all nicely integrated. Rich biscuity notes run from the nose to the palate with a seamless, fleshy flow of gently creamy, succulent and satisfying chardonnay flavors. Terrific drinkability and presence here. Drink or hold."  James Suckling, - 95 points

"Mendoza clone here. A fuller figured wine typically. Applejack's stout but jolly friend, and just as well groomed. Great to hear of the winemaking practices applied to these wines from Steve Flamsteed, winemaker of Giant Steps. Universal application, minimal intervention, natural fermentation, left alone save topping up and some lees stirring. Definitely broad minded approach to wine, not following a dogma of science lab numerics to find the lit path to fine wine.

Smoke, almonds, flint, spice, ozone character, tropical lemon-lime citrus character, green apple whiffs. Light creaminess, has a fuller figure yet that's all corseted together with chalky puffs of 'mineral' feel and the belt of green mango acidity. Generous flavours, you could say, certainly stains the palate well, perhaps needing some time to all come together completely. Still, has mojo. Good chardonnay here. Drink: 2018-2025."  Mike Bennie, The Wine Front – 93+ points

"Subtle but lightly smoky aroma with some charcuterie notes. This is a wine of depth and concentration, power and drive. There is generous oak backing and lots of nutty, toasty nuances as well as stone fruit and citrus. A top quality full-bodied chardonnay, loaded with character and up-front. Very tasty wine."  Huon Hooke, The Real Review - 92 points

Sexton vineyard

Giant steps Sexton VineyardSexton Vineyard  (Lower Yarra Valley)

Located on the steep slopes of the Warramate Ranges, alongside the vineyards of iconic Yarra producers Yarra Yering and Coldstream Hills, the Sexton Vineyard is in one of the most revered pockets of the Valley. Being well up the Range's north-facing slopes, 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. 

The clonal selection of Pinot Noir off this site includes the G5V15 clone, which responds well to the warmer conditions and sunlight exposure to produce juicy and plush wines. The Pinot Noir produced from Sexton have a lovely texture, with dark cherries and plums, sweet spice notes and youthful tannins.

The predominant Chardonnay clones are GinGin and Mendoza which produce hens and chickens (large and small grapes on the same bunch), which results in high white tannin and phenolic content to balance the citrus flavours.

Location: Warramate Ranges, Gruyere                
Elevation: 130-210 metres          
Aspect: North facing
Size30 hectares                    
Soil TypeGrey clay loam
Chardonnay Clones: Gingin, Mendoza, 277, 96, 76, 78     
Pinot Noir Clones: MV6, G5V15, Abel, POM5, D


Gint steps Vineyard Map

About the winery

Giant Steps Yarra Valley Range In 1997 Phil Sexton arrived in the Yarra Valley in search of ideal sites to produce Chardonnay and Pinot Noir of purity and finesse. He was looking for sites with altitude, aged soils, slopes of exposure, regular rainfall and cool to cold nighttime temperatures and a gentle breeze off the protecting mountain ranges. The Giant Steps winery was established one year later in 1998.

The focus is on the production of high-quality, single-vineyard wines. The Giant Steps Single Vineyard range is produced from the most site-expressive fruit off the best vineyards in great years. Each single vineyard wine tells a story about the vineyard, vintage and variety. Production of these wines is very limited with some vineyards producing as little as 200 cases.

The single vineyards comprise the Sexton Vineyard in the Lower Yarra and the Applejack Vineyard in the Upper Yarra (both owned by Giant Steps), the Tarraford Vineyard in the Lower Yarra under long-term lease, the Primavera Vineyard in the Upper Yarra under long-term supervised contract and the Wombat Creek Vineyard owned by Hand Picked Wines. In addition, Giant Steps produce a Yarra Valley range of wines made from handpicked fruit from their estate vineyards. They are highly expressive wines, true to the regional characteristics of the Yarra Valley. 

The Giant Steps wines have received global acclaim and are now recognized as a global benchmark for cool climate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Since 2003 Giant Steps wines have been awarded 34 trophies and over 100 gold medals at major international and domestic wine shows and has been named one of the Top 100 Wineries in the World by US Wine & Spirits Magazine for each of the last six years.

Giant Step's success is due in no small part to Steve Flamsteed, Chief Winemaker since 2003. Steve had previously worked for Leeuwin Estate (1999 – 2002) and the Hardy Wine Company at their Yarra Burn Winery in the Yarra Valley (2002 – 2003). Steve was named Gourmet Traveller Wine 'Winemaker of the Year' in 2016. "Steve Flamsteed is a man of many talents with a finely tuned palate, an instinctive flair for winemaking and fastidious attention to detail. This shows particularly in the stunning single-vineyard chardonnays and pinots of Giant Steps: distinctive wines that reflect their sites and glow with impeccable finesse."  Peter Forrestal, chairman of judges, Gourmet Traveller Wine Winemaker of the Year

Melanie Chester joined Giant Steps as Head of Winemaking and Viticulture in 2021. She came to Giant Steps from Sutton Grange Winery in Central Victoria, where she was Head Winemaker. In 2014, Melanie became the youngest ever scholar selected for The Len Evans Tutorial. In 2015, she was named Young Winemaker of the Year by Gourmet Traveller Wine magazine, and in 2018, Melanie was recognized by Young Gun of Wine as the People's Choice award winner for favourite winemaker.

Giant Steps was acquired by the Jackson Family in 2020. The Jackson Family own a vast stable of wineries in California (Napa Valley, Sonoma County, Mendocino County, Monterey County, Santa Barbara and Oregon), Australia (Yarra Valley and McLaren Vale), Chile, France, Italy and South Africa.

Wine region map of Victoria


Victoria is home to more than 800 wineries across 21 wine regions. The regions are Alpine Valley, Beechworth, Bendigo, Geelong, Gippsland, Glenrowan, Goulburn Valley, Grampians, Heathcote, Henty, King Valley, Macedon Ranges, Mornington Peninsula, Murray Darling, Pyrenees, Rutherglen, Strathbogie Ranges, Sunbury, Swan Hill, Upper Goulburn and Yarra Valley.

Victoria's first vines were planted at Yering in the Yarra Valley in 1838. By 1868 over 3,000 acres had been planted in Victoria, establishing Victoria as the premier wine State of the day. Today, the original vineyards planted at Best's Wines are among the oldest and rarest pre-phylloxera plantings in the world.

Victoria's climate varies from hot and dry in the north to cool in the south and each wine region specialises in different varietals. For example, Rutherglen in the north is famous for its opulent Muscats and Topaque and bold reds, while the many cooler climate regions near Melbourne produce world class Chardonnay and pinot Noir. Victoria is truly a wine lover's playground.