Giant Steps Applejack Chardonnay 2017
- Yarra Valley
I’m sure you know by now that we’re fans of Giant Steps. 2017 appears to have been a giant leap for this brand. Steve Flamsteed and his team have quietly ramped up followership over the past few years, by delivering consistent improvements on already very good wines, and refining their focus. It’s Yarra Valley, pinot and chardonnay, and some shiraz (from Yarra, the Vale and Pyrenees), in that order.
Go to the cellar door, look at the winery. Study it. There are open stainless fermenters, stainless tanks, a bladder press or two, and barriques. It’s not complicated. Gravity is used whenever possible, pumps (the gentle, peristaltic ones) are used sparingly. Everything’s meticulously clean, even mid-vintage. The care is self-evident. Screams of OCD, and between Phil and Steve, I don’t think there’s much room for error.
Limiting such variables creates the perfect conditions for wine to flourish, to become the greatest version of itself, under watchful, thoughtful eyes. Such as this chardonnay. This is the first time that the Applejack chardonnay has been pulled out of the Estate as a single vineyard wine, and we’re glad for that decision.
At the Tasting Bench, anyone who tasted this had that kind of sheepish look that said ‘I get paid to do this’. “Lemon meringue pie”, “vibrant” and “textured” were some of the phrases thrown about. It’s citrus-apple core is matched to such a long, layered, subtly oatmealy fabric that it’s almost ludicrous. It’s like sampling the flavour of someone adeptly walking a tightrope stretched between two cloudy horizons. As in, it goes on a long time. And you don’t want it to stop. Sadly, it does eventually - joyfully, that means you need to take another sip.
We’re just waiting for the genie who made that packet of never-ending TimTams to show up now.
“First Applejack chardonnay that Giant Steps has done. Isolated for its personality. It’s been seen as a single vineyard wine, but normally blended into the ‘Yarra’ wine. Steve Flamsteed et al saw that something special, and they weren’t wrong. How good is intuitive winemaking? Numbers can go hang, here. What a belter. Phwoar. Parisian almond, lemon rind, grapefruit juice, faint wet slate notes. Saline tang to acidity, some light creaminess of savoury nuttiness though the mainstay is a core of blisteringly fresh tart fruit flavour underlying. Incredible velocity and freshness, character, complexity, nerviness. Beautiful, super thing.”
It’s cool, we get it, you want to know absolutely everything about this wine. Well here you go, go nuts.
- Yarra Valley
- Alcohol by Vol.
- Bottle Vol
- Blend Info
- 100% Chardonnay
- Serving Temp.
With a history spanning over 175 years, there's no doubt that Yarra Valley is one of Australia's most celebrated cool climate wine regions. Victoria's first wine growing district and today home to over 80 wineries specialising in Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Shiraz and some of our country's best sparkling wines. With stunning hillside, lush greenery, vast space and an enviable climate - it's no wonder that medals, trophies and coveted points are plentiful here.
The rules are there ain’t no rules, but here are some foods we think will work pretty well with this wine...
Lime and cumin chargrilled chicken with mango chilli salsa
- 1 cup basil leaves
- 1 large Coles RSPCA Approved whole chicken, cut into 4 pieces
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds, toasted
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- Juice of 1 lime
- Grated zest of 2 limes
- 2 mangoes, sliced
- 1 cup mint leaves
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 long red chilli, thinly sliced
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 210°C or 190°C fan. Use a mortar and pestle to pound garlic, cumin seeds and salt until a coarse paste forms. Stir in lime zest, lime juice and oil. Rub all over chicken.
- Preheat an ovenproof chargrill pan on high. Cook the chicken, skin-side down until charred. Turn and cook for 1 min to seal. Place pan in oven and bake for 30 mins.
- Combine the mango, chilli, basil and mint in a bowl. Cut the chicken into smaller pieces and transfer to a platter. Drizzle over the pan juices and serve with the salsa.