Giant Steps Clay Ferment 'Ocarina' Chardonnay 2019

Giant Steps Clay Ferment 'Ocarina' Chardonnay 2019

Giant Steps Clay Ferment 'Ocarina' Chardonnay 2019

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Winemaking and Drinking

 The Giant Steps Clay Ferment 'Ocarina' Chardonnay 2019 is a testament to the innovative spirit and exceptional craftsmanship of the Yarra Valley. The origin of this distinctive wine traces back to the fertile soils of the Sexton Vineyard, meticulously managed by the winemaking team at Giant Steps. Founded by Phil Sexton, Giant Steps has consistently pushed the boundaries of traditional winemaking, combining time-honored techniques with modern innovation.

The 2019 vintage of the Clay Ferment 'Ocarina' Chardonnay is named after the unique clay vessels, known as ocarinas, used during fermentation. These vessels, reminiscent of ancient amphorae, allow for a slow and steady oxygenation process, imparting a distinct character to the wine. The clay fermentation method enhances the natural expression of the terroir, capturing the essence of the Yarra Valley’s unique microclimate and soil composition.

Tasting Notes

The Giant Steps Clay Ferment 'Ocarina' Chardonnay 2019 greets the eye with a pale straw hue, reflecting its purity and elegance. On the nose, it reveals a complex bouquet of aromas, featuring notes of fresh citrus, white peach, and green apple, intertwined with subtle hints of flint and wet stone. As the wine opens up, delicate floral undertones and a touch of brioche emerge, adding depth and intrigue.

The palate is where this Chardonnay truly shines. It offers a harmonious balance between vibrant acidity and a creamy texture, a result of the clay fermentation. The initial burst of zesty lemon and lime is followed by flavors of ripe pear, nectarine, and a whisper of toasted almond. The wine’s minerality is pronounced, with a chalky finish that lingers gracefully, leaving a refreshing and clean aftertaste. The integration of oak is minimal, allowing the fruit and terroir to take center stage.

Awards and Accolades

The Giant Steps Clay Ferment 'Ocarina' Chardonnay 2019 has garnered significant recognition both domestically and internationally. It received high praise from renowned wine critics and publications, securing a place among the top Chardonnays from the Yarra Valley. Notable accolades include a Gold Medal at the 2020 Decanter World Wine Awards and a 95-point rating from James Halliday’s Wine Companion. Additionally, it was featured in Wine Enthusiast’s Top 100 Wines of 2020, highlighting its exceptional quality and craftsmanship.


The Sexton Vineyard, the source of the grapes for this remarkable wine, is situated in the heart of the Yarra Valley. Known for its ideal viticultural conditions, the vineyard benefits from a cool climate, well-drained soils, and meticulous vineyard management practices. The vines are carefully tended to, ensuring low yields and high-quality fruit. The combination of the vineyard’s unique terroir and the innovative clay fermentation method results in a Chardonnay that is both expressive and distinctive.

In conclusion, the Giant Steps Clay Ferment 'Ocarina' Chardonnay 2019 is a shining example of the Yarra Valley’s winemaking prowess. Its origins, steeped in tradition and innovation, along with its complex flavor profile and prestigious awards, make it a standout choice for Chardonnay enthusiasts worldwide.

Wine TypeWhite wine
ProducerGiant Steps
RegionYarra Valley
Volume750 mL