2021 Giant Steps Applejack Vineyard Chardonnay
Brashly spicy and complex, this has aromas of espresso, blueberries, toasted spices and grilled bread, as well as forest wood and violets. The palate delivers alluring depth and a round, fleshy build. Acidity explodes on the finish, releasing fresh red-cherry and blueberry fruit flavors. Wonderfully layered and complete. Drink over the next eight years. Screw cap.
JamesSuckling.com (July 2022)
The 2021 Applejack Vineyard Chardonnay is a fascinating wine, and I clicked part of the way through tasting it that the Pinot Noir from the same vineyard is usually the wine that turns my dials—a realization that made this tasting all the better. Fruit is from the Applejack Vineyard, just "down the hill" from Wombat Creek Vineyard (actually about a 10-minute drive up a winding, hilly road, taking you up about 100 meters in elevation). This is taut, linear and shaped by firm yet supple phenolics that show an array of characters on the mid-palate and beyond: white miso, red apple skins, cheesecloth and musk. This, again, like the other Chardonnays, is salty and littered with preserved lemon, crushed nuts and orchard fruit. It's a brilliant wine and one that will only get better as it ages and gathers spice momentum. Drink 2022 - 2035.
Erin Larkin - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (June 2022)
Another 50 metres further up the hill, so to speak.
The 2021 Giant Steps single vineyard chardonnays mean business. They have the reserve of the confident. This seemed yet more reserved than the Sexton, which itself was more reserved than the Tarraford, and yet like them both it feels commanding. Stones, green pineapple, musk and poached red apple flavours, almost and pretty much effectively into quince, with grippy texture even as it pushes (confidently) through the finish. There is the influence of florals here, the influence of pear, the influence of crushed woodsy spices. This needs time but wow what a wine. Drink 2025 - 2030+
Campbell Mattinson - The Wine Front (June 2022)
Pale greenish straw. Really very fine, alluring fruit with no shortage of acidity but a definite suggestion of creaminess. Very little obvious oak and quite enough fruit (not acid water) but the acidity will presumably always be high. Lemon is the dominant flavour. Fresh as a daisy. Drink 2022 – 2027.
16.5 / 20 Points
JancisRobinson.com (May 2022)