This week, we sampled nine glasses of fine wine from Giant Steps new releases, including four 2015 Chardonnays and five respective Pinot Noirs paired with a delectable dinner at Restaurant Blackwood.
Hailing from Yarra Valley just northeast of Melbourne, Giant Steps is a privately owned, estate-based grower and winemaker offering some of Australia’s most consistent varietal wines.
Now, we know what you’re thinking: Wine from another state other than SA? Sacrilege! Well let us tell you, Giant Steps produce some of the most impeccable wines we have had the pleasure of tasting, so we there’s no complaining here.
On arrival, we were greeted with a glass of the new release Yarra Vallery Chardonnay, shortly followed by a spiel by Head Winemaker Steve Flamsteed about Giant Steps and the wine we were indulging in.
Steve brings a wealth of wine knowledge to the table, but not only has he been extensively been involved in the wine industry, he has also spent some time working as a cheesemaker, too. A man with many talents, Steve undoubtedly held the audience in captivation, telling stories of his experience and the business (our attention was caught particularly at the word ‘cheese’).
The entrees served by Blackwood consisted of some truly unique and interesting dishes, including pickled seasonal vegetables, crunchy cauliflower salad, prawn schnitzel and fried native saltbush leaves which tasted oh-so similar to salt and vinegar chips (yet much healthier… score!).
Entrees were paired with Giant Steps 2015 Chardonnays: the Lusatia Park Vineyard, Sexton and Tarraford Chardonnays. A perfectly light and refreshing start to the evening, each Chardonnay was smooth and tastefully crisp.
For the main course we were spoiled with some incredibly hearty winter delights, consisting of homemade potato damper with BBQ chicken butter, Nonna’s gnocchi, hay-cooked pork and the earthy smoked pumpkin with macadamia and warrigal greens dish.
Appropriately served alongside the mains were four spectacular 2015 Pinot Noirs from Giant Steps’ new releases: the Primavera Vineyard, Lustatia Park Vineyard, Sexton and Applejack Pinot Noirs. Our favourite was the Applejack which exuded a significant depth of fruit (hence the deeper colour), leading to a cherry/dark chocolate flavour profile – the perfect winter relaxer.
To end the night, we dug into a Woodside blue goats cheese dish which was rich and divine, combining marscapone and native bee honey to create the ultimate dessert treat. The cheese was paired with the final 2015 Giant Steps Yarra Valley Pinot Noir.
A big thank you to Giant Steps and Blackwood for hosting us – hopefully next time we travel over to Melbourne we can get the chance to check out the winery!