2018 – 2019 Vintages – What I Preferred

There were a few criteria for this list.

1. These are all high quality wines.

2. The wines reflect my stylistic preferences and should always be treated as such.

3. I looked for wines that had a little more X-Factor even if there was just a tissue paper in it.

4. All the wines had to be made from local GI fruit. So e.g. there is no Mencia, Ansonica etc in the list

5. There are notable absentees e.g. Tempranillo. All the temps I tried were excellent and really showcasing how this variety has improved enormously on The Granite Belt but it was difficult to find a specific X-Factor. Also there is not one Rosé in the list as I drink and enjoy very little Rosé. If I was a professional wine reviewer this would be different but, as it stands, the experience reflects my personal joy in wine.

6. On this occasion the above were the right criteria for me, that could change on another occasion.

Please note the use of what “I” preferred. You will most likely have different preferences at that’s the way it should always be. We have different biochemistry and therefore different palates, always let yourself be your true litmus. So what follows, although sometimes strongly stated, can realistically only be read as my preference and there may be some overlap but I would expect differences between myself and others. The main rule is that you are the head of judges in your own wine show!


2019 Pyramids Road Cabernet Sauvignon
2019: Boireann Cabernet Sauvignon
2019 Ravens Croft Pinotage
2019 Ridgemill Estate Saperavi
2018 Pyramids Road Shiraz

Special mention:

Golden Grove 2018 Mourvedre
Golden Grove 2019 Nero D’Avola
Anything Tannat made with local GI fruit (Boireann, Just Red Wine, Summit Estate)


Ballandean Estate 2019 Malvasia
Heritage Estate 2018 Chardonnay
Heritage Estate 2019 Pinot Gris
Ravens Croft 2019 Pinot Grigio
Ridgemill Estate 2019 Chardonnay
Summit Estate First Harvest 2019 Albariño
Caveat – I haven’t yet tried the Golden Grove 2020 ‘The Skins’ Vermentino.

Two Extraordinary Wines:

The 2019 Boireann and 2019 Pyramids Road Cabernet Sauvignons are the most unusual and exciting Cabernet Sauvignons I have ever encountered on The Granite Belt in approximately 30 years.

Idiosyncratic Comment:

I strongly suspect most people are going to prefer the Second Pick 2019 Pyramids Road Shiraz to the 2018 Shiraz, perhaps due to greater fruit power and more oak. I preferred the 2018 as, while there is good fruit weight there, it has impeccable balance and structure. Get some now if you can, open one straight away, next in 10 years, then 20 .. and so on, it will outlive me.

All in all:

There are many exciting things happening in the world of wine on The Granite Belt, so always new things to discover and explore not only in wine but many other industries from small cottage to large more corporate concerns. However I think the thing we all love about the region are the local families with their businesses and their convivial honest welcomes as this is the passionate beating heart of the region.Things to Keep an Eye on:

Locally grown and made Mencia
Vermentino coming out of the Rees Road Vineyard – Ray, the acknowledged master, at Golden Grove may finally get a little competition!
Sinatlis at Ballandean Estate – OK I know this was a one off blend with some Durif beefing up the Saperavi due to 2017 vintage conditions but this worked so well I’m kind of hoping the blend continues.
Aglianico – Oh those tannins! .. when Andy at Hidden Creek decides to release it. Would love to see some of this in the ground locally, global warming could make it a possibility.

I’m really excited about the future of the region and I will follow Albariño/Alvarinho with genuine interest. I suspect that this variety early picked and tank fermented and matured may become the Riesling (and a quite complex one) of The Granite Belt. Riesling is my favourite white wine variety, Summit Estate have now planted a lot more Albariño, it’s in the ground at Sancerre Estate/View Wine and at Symphony Hill both at Ballandean, Mark Ravenscroft has just planted some as well.

Posted by Peter Pacey

Leave a Reply