Andrew Graham at Ozwinereview reviews Steels Gate 2012 Chardonnay

Andrew Graham ( …

Andrew’s last comment is spot on, hence Steels Gate are focusing on selling the 2011 Chardonnay. 2012 has another year in bottle before it is ideally ready for consumption.

This is what Andrew had to say;

Steels Gate Chardonnay 2012 (Yarra Valley, Vic)
12%, Screwcap, $28

Sourced from the dry-grown estate vineyard, this was barrel fermented with 35% going through malo. Lots of promise in this young label.

Buttercup yellow, a light and delicate wine with some milk bottle funk over sparkling, jaunty acidity. Has shiny freshness but loads of acidity too – bracing acid. Lovely clean lines though, just needing a bit more oomph to kick over the acid.

Good, heading to very good, refreshing style.

Source: Sample
Tasted: April 2014
Drink: 2014-2017+
Score: 17.7/2, 92/100
Would I buy it? I’d drink two glasses, maybe not enough oomph for a third. In another year though?

One Family….One Vision….Hand Crafted….Timeless….Single Vineyard

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Andrew Graham at ozwinereview reviews Steels Gate 2012 Pinot Noir

Andrew Graham ( …

This is what he had to say;


Grapegrowing is a bitch (and a bargain Yarra Pinot)
Steels Gate Pinot Noir 2012 (Yarra Valley, Vic)
13.5%, Screwcap, $28

With just a few more subjects to go until my Masters (in Wine Technology and Viticulture) is finished, I’ve been considering getting into grapegrowing.

Actually, I’ve been thinking about not grapegrowing because, as wines like this show, it is very f’king hard.

Sure that sounds like a defeatist attitude, but how would you feel if 75% of your precious Pinot Noir crop was lost to birds? How do you get up in the morning after the realisation that you have but a hatful of a very good wine, while the birds enjoy the rest, flying away with bunches of dollars in their beaks?

Such is the context for this Pinot Noir, a new release from the fledgling Steels Gate operation of Steels Creek in the Yarra Valley. Produced from a mature vineyard with most of the fruit sold off to other wineries, this Pinot demonstrates just how much heartbreak this grapegrowing can entail.

As mentioned, whilst the majority of the grapes did go off with the birds, what was left was clearly very high quality, resulting in what is a perfectly proportioned, medium weight Pinot Noir, with lovely clear ripe fruit on nose and palate, lifted up by just enough creamy oak richness.

Fresh, vibrant, acid reinforced, yet still gentle, it is a fragrant and pretty wine that is missing only a little more power and complexity to really compete at the top tier. For $28/bottle, however, I wouldn’t complain too much.

As for grapegrowing? I think I’ll stick to writing about the stuff…

Source: Sample
Tasted: Feb 2014
Drink: 2014-2018+
Score: 18/20, 93/100
Would I buy it? Yes.

Steels Gate Wine Available

Available from:

Cohen Cellars (East Melbourne, Victoria)
The Tasting Table (Armadale, Victoria)
Seddon Wine Store (Seddon, Victoria)
Boutique Wineries (Online)

Steels Gate was established in 2009. Based in Steels Creek Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia, the vineyard hosts non irrigated 25-30 year old vines. The vines are cared for by hand and the grapes carefully hand picked at the perfect harvest time.

James Halliday Rates Steels Gate 4.5 Star

Cracka Wines Rates Steels Gate 2011 Chardonnay

Type: White
Variety: Chardonnay
Vintage: 2011
Winery: Steels Gate
Region: Yarra Valley
Vintage Rating: Excellent (9/10)

2012 Steels Gate Chardonnay released with new fresh label design

steels gate chardonnay 2012

The Wine Front – Gary Walsh
RATING 93 Points

Vineyard: Steels Gate Vineyard, Chardonnay block. Situated at 230m above sea level, planted in the early 1980’s on a steep, north-east facing slope on friable grey loam soils. Completely unirrigated.

Winemaking: 100% handpicked on 09 March 2012. De-stemmed and pressed, with overnight juice settling. Fermented and matured in a mixture of seasoned French oak barriques of varying ages. 25% of the blend was allowed to undergo full malolactic fermentation to give creaminess and textural richness. Matured on full ferment lees with monthly lees stirring for 9 months. Bottled 05 March 2013.

Tasting notes: An ideal growing season in the Yarra Valley. The 2012 Chardonnay displays the same breed as the previous two vintages – lots of citrus, fig, and nectarine on the nose, and complex mealy, nutty, creamy notes from barrel fermentation, lees stirring, and malolactic fermentation. The palate is still very restrained, long, fine, and piercing, but with an added layer of texture, generosity, and complexity compared with previous years.

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