The Granite Belt is Queensland's premier wine region and boasts some of the highest (most between 850-950m) and coldest vineyards in Australia. Last week the temperature dropped to -9C! I recently enjoyed an excellent weekend in the region. Check out my adventure here.
Poor granite soils dominate the vineyards and the vines struggle to produce their fruit, yet the fruit which is the result delivers a handy product.
Getting the word out about the Granite Belt is a struggle at times too as the vast majority of wineries rely on Cellar Door sales to move the wine to the consumer. Quantities produced by the wineries are small compared to southern counterparts and therefore it is hard to get into the big players in the retail sector. Recent years have seen more and more Granite Belt wineries creeping into the retail market which is a pleasing sign for them.
The wines selected for the evening were done to showcase the region and wines with a point of difference.
So to the wines....
Lean and clean. Made in the aperitif style (10.7% alc). Lemons. Damn this is seriously good!
Cypress Post Viognier Marsanne 2011 http://www.cypresspost.com.au/
Nose of apricot and paw paw. Apricot and peachy flavours on the palate. An oily feel on the palate too which adds some interest. A great food wine (14% alc).
Funky as!! Wild ferment, taken off lees to remove buttery characteristics. Mustard seeds, oyster shell, toasted almonds, and herby characters all on the nose. The palate was awash with stone fruit flavours. A Chardonnay with a difference and very yummy!
Ravens Croft Chardonnay 2011 http://www.ravenscroftwines.com.au/
Fruit sourced from Bungawarra Wines at Ballandean. A tight and toasty nose with butterscotch. Lees stirred. 25% was wild fermented and 25% Malo. New oak was used (50%) and of this, it was an even split between French and American. Cashews leap out. It was likened to a Pinot Gris by some. Fruit screaming loudly. Lean, pear and even apple. Well made and some serious delish factor!
A good whiff of oak, dark cherries and herb. Minimal acid, A lovely rounded palate with juicy fruit and good length. Impressive.
Hidden Creek Tempranillo 2009 http://www.hiddencreek.com.au/
Plummy and savoury with enjoyable length. A little firmer tannin mouthfeel. Bold style typical of Spain. Winemaker Jim Barnes has spent vintage time in Spain and modelled his Tempranillo on that experience. This won plenty of fans.
Cherries, plummy, rounded with a touch of spice. Soft and very approachable. Acid noticeable. Have a plate of salami handy and load up!
Summit Estate Queensland Cabernets 2009 http://www.summitestate.com.au/
A fruit salad of Cabernet, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot. Fragrent violets prominent. Intense concentration of blackberry fruit on the palate. A big wine yet classy with a long, lingering finish.
Soft yet has an acid edge which points to plenty of aging potential. Fruit abundant with oak adding to the profile nicely. Spice, pepper, cherries all kicking on. Tannins complement the wine very well. Many stood up and took notice.
Bent Road Syrah Cabernets 2009 http://www.bentroadwine.com.au/
Soft and elegant with complexity. Super long and delicious finish. Fruit punches through very well. A well made wine in a tough vintage. Value deluxe at $19!
Big black fruit flavours. Sexy earthiness. American oak creeping in. The palate is coated with softness and a savoury finish to wrap it all up. Super drinkability.
Pyramids Road Wines Mourvedre 2011 http://www.pyramidsroad.com.au/
Has only been in the bottle six weeks. A European style Mourvedre - bright nose, acid driven, bone dry and finishes with chalky tannins. Very impressive and the best of it is yet to come. The crew LOVED it!
Late harvest. Rated the best in the world by some judges. Honey, apricots and citrus peel nose. Canned tropical fruit, marmalade and rockmelon palate. Clean finish. Damn fine!
Witches Falls Botryis Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2008 http://www.witchesfalls.com.au/
Oh sweet mumma! This is super delish and it is hard to stop sipping. A good whiff of stone fruits and citrus. Palate of apricots and peaches. Well balanced. Palate flush with sticky goodness. It would be rude to not lick the glass.