2012 Giant Steps Applejack Vineyard Pinot Noir

The Applejack Vineyard

The Applejack Vineyard

Gee wiz, this vineyard has a lot of character. Owned by viticulturist Ray Guerin and run by his son Mark, it’s close planted and “located on a dramatic slope”. Yet another site I’d love to visit. The wine probably needed about half an hour in the glass to organise itself but when it did it was very special indeed.

Expressively red fruited at first although darker cherries become a feature with air and whole bunch work becomes more evident. It’s the second time I’ve tasted a Giant Steps Pinot from here and the feature that I’ve begun to identify with the place is a spicy capsicum flavour. Indian and Asian five spice at that. Generously seasoned too. Suggestions of orange rind, baked rhubarb and roasted beetroot amongst sappy, foresty savoury notes. A busy, busy wine. Labyrinthine flavours to get lost in and a slinky texture that makes that possibility all the more alluring. Bright acid, relatively assertive and fine smudgy tannin. Terrific. 95

Region: Yarra Valley
Alcohol: 13.0%
Closure: Screwcap
Price: $45
Tasted: July 2013


This entry was posted in Pinot Noir, Yarra Valley and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to 2012 Giant Steps Applejack Vineyard Pinot Noir

  1. Michael Charles says:

    Tasted this over several hours last night. Geez that’s a very good descriptive tasting note you have there, and I don’t think I can do better. There’s a clear continuum between this and the 2010 model. It’s just a little shyer and slinkier, which is why I like it a little less, and you might like it a little more. It’s a tease of a wine – you think it’s going to give you precisely what you want, but it doesn’t quite give itself up to you entirely. I’m about a very solid 93 at the moment. It’s not in Timo Mayer 2012 territory for me, at least not quite at the moment. I think it will cellar very well with those silty tannins and almost sour cranberry acid. I’d say “roasted capsicum” over “spicy capsicum” (I use a lot of the former in my cooking – so I know the taste pretty well!), but there’s quite a bit of spice action in there too, and an interesting jelly crystal-like hint on the nose.

    Although 93-94 is my cut-off point for cellaring these days, and soon 94 (I know that’s ridiculously arbitrary, but I have to draw the line somewhere), I’m tempted to put a couple of this away. Best of the 2012 Giant Steps releases so far, the Sexton to go – probably tonight. So far, these 2012 Giant Steps are reasonably understated wines, and you’ll really dig them if you dig that. Truth told, I tend to like a little more flamboyance.


  2. Simon1980 says:

    I understand this won 3 trophies at the Melbourne wine show last night, but not the Jimmy Watson, as production levels need to be over 250 cases to be eligible. So this is the JW winner in all but name.

    I bought last weekend after tasting…but sadly only two. No chance of finding now. Will I never learn…


  3. Yes, I missed out too. I expect the 2012 Yabby Lake will be a damn fine wine though.

    ps- it seems a strange rule. But I don’t profess to know much about wine shows.

    • Shit rule. Shows are shit too.

      • Simon says:

        Ha! I like it Rich. I sometimes temper my enthusiasm for “winning wines” by looking at some of the wines that don’t get a medal. Quite how The Story Tinkers Shiraz 2012 failed to get over the 85 points, or whatever needed, for a bronze I cannot fathom. Thank The Lord the world has moved on, and we have sites such as this, where more considered, long term tasting brings (in my view) a more accurate picture of the wines quality, and key characteristics.


  4. At RMWS 2012 Giant Steps Sefton scrapes into a Bronze with 87 points. Results appear incongruous . Do we know who judged the Pinot Noir class ? cheers

  5. I was at Innocent Bystander yesterday for lunch. They are down to 50 bottles remaining of The AppleJack 2012. I bought one bottle, probably should have bought two (the limit). The Sexton and Gladysdale Pinot’s were also great.

    I’m yet to try a bad 2012 Yarra Valley Pinot Noir.


    Dave T

  6. Interesting Dave. I can’t imagine they’ll last long. My own personal tastes lean more towards the Gladysdale even though I ended up rating the Applejack slightly higher – for me the Applejack is the extrovert, Gladysdale the introvert. Splitting them in terms of quality may just be a matter of taste and nothing more. There are certainly plenty of smashing 2012 Pinots coming out of the Yarra and the Mornington Peninsula.

  7. Dave says:

    Hi Jeremy, the Sexton & Gladysdale were both good Pinots. I did prefer one over the other but my wife and I forgot which was which ????

    And I agree with your comment about splitting them in terms of quality, there is nothing in it other than taste.


    Dave T

  8. Should’ve won the Jimmy? Why stop there? Given the Melbourne Show like any other show has wines in it from other vintages, why limit the trophy to one year old wines? Then it truly would be a wine of show. The rationale is simple, like it or not (and nobody should have to like it if they don’t want to), any show exhibits need to have quantity rules to follow, especially for a trophy that include many wines still in wood. Otherwise the trophy could be more easily (and openly) manipulated than any other trophy ever has been before.

Comments are closed.