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2021 Giant Steps ‘LDR’ Pinot Noir Syrah Yarra Valley

One of the finest pinot noir and shiraz blends we’ve seen. A lifted nose of wild forest berries and spices gives way to a palate of bright fruits, darker mineral notes and a feel that is equal parts savoury and vibrantly fresh.

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The Yarra Valley have picked up the classic old Hunter Valley blend of pinot and shiraz and really run with it, and this is one of the finest we’ve seen. A lifted nose of wild forest berries and spices gives way to a palate of bright fruits, darker mineral notes and a feel that is equal parts savoury and vibrantly fresh.

Tasting note

The syrah was fermented as whole bunches, while the pinot was destemmed and fermented as whole berries. Lifted notes of forest berries, both red and black, with a swish of bracken, white pepper and dark spices. This is bright and midweight, but it’s savoury, too. The palate is poised down a line of fine tannin and mulberry acidity, a tarry line of spice and minerals adding complexity, the flavours fanning out into wild raspberry and tart blackberry, leaving the palate dry and vibrant.

Themes of this wine

Pinot noir shiraz blends

While pinot noir and shiraz are not quite polar opposites, the thought of blending the two varieties together may seem shocking to many. However, in the Hunter Valley in the 40s and 50s, Maurice O’Shea, one of Australia’s legendary winemakers, made arguably some of our greatest and most enduring wines pairing just those two grapes. Today, there is a renewed interest in the blend, and makers from the staunchly traditional to the restlessly creative are getting on board. Checkout our Deep Dive into pinot noir and shiraz blends for more.

Carbonic maceration (cab-mac)

This technique was made famous by Beaujolais. It’s basically a ferment of whole bunches in a fermenter or tank that is closed up, allowing the grapes to ferment as whole berries. You get a really vibrant and bright fruit expression of fruit.

Whole bunch

Yep, the whole thing. If you ferment with whole bunches, you’ll get a different result. The stems add more tannin, and tannin with a slightly different feel in the mouth to grape skin or oak tannin. You’ll also get some of those berries fermenting more or less whole, which yields a brighter fruit profile alongside a raft of spices.

Pinot noir

Pinot noir is one of the wine world’s most revered grapes. Notoriously fickle to grow and make, it makes what many see as the pinnacle of red wine in France’s Burgundy, but it’s also found many happy homes around the world, and none more so than in Australia across our cooler viticultural regions.

Syrah/shiraz

Shiraz dominates the Australian wine industry, accounting for nearly a third of this country’s vines. The grape’s traditional home is in France’s Northern Rhône, with wines that combine elegance and power, while Australia is perhaps best known for the muscular styles from warmer areas. Today, drinkers of Australian shiraz are spoilt for choice with expressions ranging from the elegant and spicy to the monumental.

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