Giant Steps ‘Wombat Creek Vineyard’ Chardonnay 2017
Mike Bennie94 points
Light (Light)Full (Full)
Low Tannin (Low Tannin)Tannic (Tannic)
Sweet (Sweet)Dry (Dry)
Low Acidity (Low Acidity)High Acidity (High Acidity)
Critic Scores & reviews
"Almost the last fruit that comes into the Giant Steps winery. Altitude, age of vines, new vineyard, all conspiring here. Stellar new release. Chardonnay looks tops from 2017. Flint, halva, faint wet stone notes, some green apple, some faint buttery notes. Clatters through the palate, lively and refreshing, shows some leesy nuttiness, cool acidity staying perky and alert through the wine. Finishes with incredible velocity of acidity, tart and citrus rind feeling, with a faint stain of malty-nougat stuff. Live wire, interesting, good."
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Australia's wine industry is a thriving part of the country's economy, contributing significantly to employment, production, export, and tourism. In fact, the industry is the fourth-largest wine exporter in the world, shipping out 760 million liters of wine to countries including France, Italy, Spain, and the UK. One of the key factors contributing to Australia's success as a "New World" wine producer is the formal export and marketing of its wines through Wine Australia.
Australia's wine regions are scattered across the south and southeast, with almost every state boasting its own vineyards. Victoria, for example, is home to an impressive 21 wine regions. Some of the most famous wine regions in Australia include Margaret River, Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Eden Valley, Clare Valley, Hunter Valley, Yarra Valley, and local regions to New South Wales such as Cowra, Southern Highlands, and Mudgee.
Australian winemakers are known for producing a diverse range of grape varieties, with Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Noir being among the most popular. They tend to focus on producing wines that are ripe, fruit-forward, and easy to drink, using modern winemaking techniques and equipment such as stainless steel tanks and temperature-controlled fermentation.
With its bold, fruit-driven flavors and reputation for quality and diversity, Australian wine has become a popular choice for wine lovers around the world. And with such a broad range of wine regions and grape varieties, there's something for every palate to enjoy.
The wine region of Victoria has the highest number of grapevines than any other state in Australia. It is home to over 600 wineries and well-known regions such as Yarra Valley, Heathcote, and Rutherglen. Victoria is situated in the southeastern corner of Australia where due to the location, the climate has a cool maritime influence and is known for its outstanding Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, along with producing Australia’s most famed dessert Muscat and Topaque wines.
There are a number of different terroir levels throughout the wine region of Victoria which leads to the production of different ranges of wines. In the southern region of Victoria, the vines are regulated by the cool winds of the Bass Strait. Central Victoria consists of mostly flat terrain that tends to be drier and warmer than the rest of Victoria, which results in more fruit concentrated wines. It may be surprising to note that Victoria is the third most productive wine region in Australia, seeing as it does not have as many areas suitable for viticulture, which has resulted in the cellar door culture of Victoria being concentrated with smaller, but more personal boutique wineries.
The Yarra Valley is a wine region known for producing outstanding Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The region has become a leading wine tourism destination, popular for weekend trips as it is located only an hour’s drive northeast of Melbourne.
The cool climate region has some of the oldest soils in the world, and produces terrific Chardonnays in the leaner, acid-driven style. Long gone are the days of excessively oaked and oily Chardonnays. Superb Pinot Noir is cultivated with tremendous results. Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc and even Sparkling wines of premium quality are also worth seeking out.
Yarra Valley is the oldest wine region in Victoria with the first vines planted in 1838 at Yering Station. Reg Egan founded the iconic Wantirna Estate in 1963, followed by Dr Bailey Carrodus in 1969 who founded equally lauded Yarra Yering in the foot of the Warramate Hills. Nowadays a fleet of new world wine makers and growers are making sure Yarra Valley stays at the forefront of Victorian wine production. Key wineries to look out for are Mayer, William Downie and Macforbes.
The region in 2009 suffered in the Black Saturday fires, with an estimated 25% of all production was impacted.
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About the brand Giant Steps
Gourmet Traveller WIne 'Winemaker of the Year' 2016 - Steve Flamsteed. 5-Star rated Giant Steps of the Yarra Valley are among the regions most awarded wineries, with (at last count) 18 Trophies and 48 Gold Medals at major wine shows, including receiving the Royal Melbourne Wine Awards Single Vineyard Trophy three times for the 2007 (Sexton Chardonnay), 2009 (Tarraford Chardonnay) and 2013 (Applejack Pinot.)
Winemaker Steve Flamsteed works exclusively on the distinctive expression of single vineyard sites throughout the Yarra. As the wines are made with minimal intervention, the growing season shows in the finished product. Vineyards are planted with a selection of clones best suited to the conditions in the Yarra Valley; Chardonnay (Mendoza, 96, 76, 95, 78 and 227) and Pinot Noir clones MV6, 115, 114, G5V15, Pommard, 667 and 777, Merlot (D3V14) and Cabernet (SA125, CW44 and LC10)
No strangers to accolades, Giant Steps have yet again (2013, 2014 & 2015, 2016) been named Winery of the Year by Wines & Spirits magazine for their range of exceptional wines of overarching quality.