Wednesday, December 15, 2010


- Granite Belt, QLD
- $23-$28
- Screwcap
- 13.5%alc

Well, my noble search for a Queensland wine to review on Australian Wine Journal has come to a happy conclusion, courtesy of the very kind Stu of The Wine Wankers. Stu's choice is exactly the type of wine I've been looking for. It's something of a regional specialist style, made by Queensland's most decorated maker of verdelho.

Although the varietal/regional descriptors for Granite Belt verdelho are hardly over publicised, I sense a brightness of tropical fruit within Robert Channon's 2009 which immediately casts my mind to the Sunshine State. It goes well beyond the simple citrus zest/hay aromas of Australia's better known, generic verdelho, by delivering a well defined (for the style) fragrance of lemon, nettles, paw paw, kiwi fruit and perhaps even under-ripe banana, with a passing of minerals adding refinement. Punctuated by a juicy glob of ripe, rich tropical fruit salad flavour that has me thinking 'summer', its palate is relatively straight forward in texture, if a touch viscous, but it goes on to finish long with a mouth-filling extract of verdelho's typical, softish/spiky acids and a trace of herbal character. Whether it's a good thing or not, I can't help but think of sauvignon blanc with this wine.

O Robert Channon's 2009 is a darn good verdelho with a more expressive, tropical fruit-like component than its competitors from the southern states, but I just hold a question over its value for money at $27.50rrp, regardless of where it comes from. Bottom line: I'd happily drink it, but I'd want change from a twenty. Drink to 2011.
89 points


  1. This is the first time I've EVER sat down and contemplated over a wine from Queensland in the comfort of my own home, so once again, big thanks to Stu!

  2. Hey Chris, glad you enjoyed it. I have two main issues with Queensland wines/ wineries:

    1) Price - like this, there are many wines over-priced for what they deliver. There are exceptions.

    2) Market - they are really pitched at the tourist and some of the cellar doors leave me slightly riled (a South African bush themed CD anyone?). Again there are exceptions.

    The most notable exception to this, and possible QLD's "best" winery is Boireann. Making some excellent 'Bordeaux' blends amongst other. Check out some (as ever excellent) reviews on Jermey Pringle's site. I'm hoping JP might see this post and chip in to it too - he (as ever ;) has some opinions.

    Glad to have participated in the cultural exchange!



  3. Hey Stu,

    Likewise, I was very happy to of taken part in the cultural exchange. You'll have to let me know how my end of the deal holds up :)

    Other than this bottle of verdelho, a single tasting of a Sirromet Chardonnay about 4/5 years ago and another tasting of a Sirromet Chardonnay a few months ago, all of my experiences with Queensland wine revolve around the time I walked into the food and wine pavilion at the Ekka festival about 2 years ago, where I was happy to discover I could taste a wide and large range of Queensland's wines for the mere cost of entry.

    I certainly agree that there are some issues with the cost of QLD wines. Most of the wineries I sampled from made a shiraz, a chardonnay, a rose, a sparkling red, none of which seemed truly distinctive or perhaps sadly, not much better than a good wine from the Riverlands or a cross regional blend given the notable price difference. I also think verdelho could be a difficult sell as a regional specialty, but from what I've read, tempranillo could be interesting.

    I've always loved reading Queensland wine reviews on Jeremy's site. I draw a lot from them and would love to see more, but I think it's been a while, and could see there might be a downside to drinking too much QLD wine in the scheme of things... (if you're reading this JP ;)

    Cheers Stu,
    Chris P

    Oh yeah, don't forget to let me know how my end of the cultural exchange holds up, even if it is in a couple of years ;)

  4. Hey Chris,
    Just saw this review of yours and like the comments you and Stu make.
    Agreed that price doesn't reflect what you get in some instances, but the industry in Qld just doesn't have the volume to drive prices down. There are some wineries which pump out volume like Sirromet as you say, but in my opinion they are well off the best from what Qld offers.
    If you are interested in a tempranillo, check out Ridgemill Estate. They have the oldest Tempranillo vines in the Granite Belt and dish up some fantastic efforts.
    The area is trying to find its feet with a distinctive wine and maybe Verdelhho is that wine. That said, and as you mention, Chardonnay and Shiraz keeps getting better and better.
    In the end, the wines are getting better and more street cred which makes the less than good wines stand out even more.


  5. Hi Chris,
    If you get a chance, check out Sarah Ahmed's article, on under blogs, a focus on the granite belt.
    Great article and a comprehensive list of wines reviewed....

  6. I enjoyed the article by Sarah Ahmed except she didn't try any of Robert Channon's wines. A good way to reduce the price is to join their wine clubs. I am in Robert Channon's, Boirean and Tobin's. I look forward to opening my cases when they are delivered. I normally cellar them and drink the ones from the previous years.