"This seemed ultra-reserved in the context of the Tarraford, which I’d tasted immediately prior.
Citrus here and red apple, with pear, the citrus both pure juice and preserved. Oak spice, and custard powder characters, are so well threaded, ginger nut/biscuit aspects rising through the finish. World apart from the Tarraford; perfect pigeon pair. The longer it sat in the glass the more those complex, juicy, apple-like characters blossomed, marzipan with them, nectarines squeezed with salted lemons. This is a wine of tight, complex power, the fruit pure and commanding, the finish taut but persistent."
Campbell Mattinson - The Wine Front
"Made mainly from WA's Gingin clone and planted in Gruyere on the same grey clay as Applejack. Whole bunches pressed into French puncheons with 20% new oak. Smells tightly wound and concentrated with aromas of ripe peach and nectarine, together with just a hint of lanolin and apple custard. Equally powerful and punchy on the palate. This has more of everything, including sprightly acid and some phenolic grip on the very long, stone-fruit pithy finish. Today, this is my pick of the 4 single-vineyard 2021 chardonnays, but who knows what will come out on top in 5 or even 10 years from now!"
Philip Rich - Wine Companion
2021 Giant Steps Sexton Vineyard Chardonnay
Robert Parker Wine Advocate – 96pts
"This is made with fruit from the Sexton Vineyard, at 200 meters in altitude (80 meters higher than Tarraford). Within the vineyard, the clones are dominated by Gingin (brought over to Victoria by Phil Sexton), followed by Dijon clones, planted in the 1990s. The 2021 Sexton Vineyard Chardonnay is composed of 60% Gingin. Twenty percent of the parcels went through malolactic fermentation—clone 277 and some of the 96. This is salty as anything—a very good thing in my book—and the sheer intensity of flavor in the mouth is mouthwatering. Preserved lemon and grapefruit pith lace the edges of the mid-palate. Very smart—it has the Yarra precision of acid and streamlined phenolics, but it brings concentration of flavor and thrilling phenolics. Super smart wine."
"So, to the wines. This was a very impressive release. The cooler year played slightly more into the hands of the Chardonnays than the Pinot Noirs, in my opinion, however the purity, delicacy and finesse of these wines as a group was never in doubt. The whites have achieved kaleidoscopic complexity and spice, all of it underpinned by gloriously tight acidity and very fine phenolic texture. The reds are spicy, fine-boned and driven by structure and form rather than overflowing fruit, yet the fruit is abundant (and restrained) in each of the cuvées. My favorite wines were the Sexton Vineyard Chardonnay, for its mouthwatering intensity and caper-brine quality, and a very tough split between the Applejack and Primavera Vineyard Pinot Noirs. This is a brilliant collection overall, which most importantly shows the distinct vineyard DNA of each site in harmony with the Giant Steps house style." - Erin Larkin