Regions> Queensland> Granite Belt region

: Ballandean



Sundown Rd, Ballandean, 4832

Cellar Door: Daily (9-5)

Ph: (07) 4684 1288

Ballandean Estate cellar door from outside (photo:genxywines)

Ballandean is one of the pioneering wineries of the modern Queensland wine industry and more importantly one of the state's flagship wineries in terms of quality.

Its root lay in the wave of Italian migration to the area in the first half of the 20th century. Amateur wine-making began at the site in 1930 with Salvatore Cardillo, and was continue by his on-in-law, Alfio Puglisi, who took over the farm in 1941. His son, Angelo and wife Mary, took over in 1968 and bravely decided to elevate the wine-making to a commercial level at a time when there were only a couple of other commercial wine-makers in the sometimes maligned region.

Until 1988 the winery was known as the Sundown Valley Vineyards and has gradually carved out respect from national wine judges despite the stigma of lying the wrong side of the border from NSW.

The 21st century Ballandean Estate, with Angelo still making the wines (although Dylan Ryhmer is now the senior winemaker) now crushes grapes for at least five wine producers and is a tourist focus for the region with its Opera In The Vineyard.

The large state of the art winery now employs about 17 people to handle the vineyard, cellar, cafe and administration.

It has a good portfolio of Granite Belt staples including the powerful but elegant reds, a varietal Viognier and the lemon sherbert-lime Sauvignon Blanc but the stand out different wine is the rare Late Harvest Sylvaner. There is also a Nebbiolo with daperavi and Durif vine splanted in 2009.

When people rubbish Queensland wine I somtimes pull out a Ballandean Cabernet from my cellar and they quickly realise the folly of their ways.

Ballandean Estate cellar door from roadside (photo:genxywines)
Skipper Lisa at Ballandean Estate barn and vines (photo:genxywines)
The cellar door features a section dedicated to the local gourmet produce (photo:genxywines)
Graham outside the winery marquee set up for the annual Opera In The Vineyard event. Nearly 2500 people attend the event. (photo:genxywines)
Tasting Notes

There are three types of Tasting notes:

(W) Notes from the winery (blurbs from bottle)

(GXY) Notes from a GenXY wine reviewer

(G) Notes from GenXY's Tasting events (collective opinions)

Ballandean Nebbiolo 2015

Purchased: Dynasty Wines, Malvern, Melb ($29)

Drink: 2023

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2017, firm black cherry, raspberry and dark plums with rose petal and violet notes, leafy, modestly tarry and medium bodied with slightly grippy powdery tannins (****1/2)

Ballendean Estate Josephine Liqueur Muscat 1986

Purchased: Not ($65)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: May 2014, tribute to Josephine Puglisi, treacly and complex burnt toffee, orange marmalade, raisens, malt biscuits and sweet spices, good acid balance with a warm finish from the 17.5% alcohol, very good persistence (****1/2)

Ballendean Estate Messing About Saperavi 2012

Purchased: Not ($42)

Drink: 2025+

(GXY) Tasting: May 2014, first release, Champion Wine of Show, Queensland Wine Awards 2013, aromatic, tarry blueberry and prune with liquorice, iodine and violet notes, full bodied and deep set with some savoury/foresty complexity, chewy tea-like tannins, good persistence, spicy vanilla oak, slightly warm finish from the 15% alcohol (****)

Ballendean Estate Late Harvest Sylvaner 2012

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink: 2018

(GXY) Tasting: May 2014, sweet floral nose, clean and fresh tinned pineapple, apricot marmalade and sweet limes, lush but not treacly, bright mandarin acidity on the minerally finish, not super-complex but is well balanced (****)

Ballendean Estate Messing About Fiano 2013

Purchased: Not ($26)

Drink: 2016

(GXY) Tasting: May 2014, fresh and modestly viscous apricot peel, melon and pineapple with creamy honey and musky spice notes, finishes quite dry and savoury, there was plenty of sulphur/matchstick on the nose but it will blow off, fine phenolics with balanced citric acidity (***1/2)

Ballandean Estate Generations 3 2005

Purchased: Not ($45)

Drink: 2017+

(GXY) Tasting: Apr 2011, an elegant Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz blend, perfumed, supple array of black fruits, a focussed core of blackberry, blackcurrant and black cherry with black pepper and lifted violet notes, minerally and medium-full bodied palate has very good length and balance and is framed with dusty tannins, well integrated spicy cedar oak (****1/2)

Ballandean Estate Late Harvest Sylvaner 2005

Purchased: Cellar Door ($18)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: Apr 2011, Sylvaner is closely related to Riesling so brings some spicy/floral complexity to this sweet dessert wine, rich glazed pear, candied pineapple, lime marmalade and melon with underlying minerality, bright mandarin acidity and perhaps a whisper of vanilla oak, good length, starting to blossom but will develop further for another couple of years (****)

Ballandean Estate Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2010

Purchased: Not ($18)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: Apr 2011, it will be hard to get hold of this 60:40 blend except on a plane as Qantas has bought nearly all of their stock of this wine, crisp and neatly balanced passionfruit, lime and lemon with a touch of mid-palate lanolin, snowpea and dried herbs, fine chalky texture, zesty citric acids, subtle spritz and very good length, shows that WA doesn’t have a monopoly on strong, commercial styles of this synergestic blend (****)

Ballandean Estate Reserve Viognier 2009

Purchased: Not ($22)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: Apr 2011, Bronze at Australian Small Winemakers Show, varietal and spicy green apple, pear and orange with ginger notes, richly flavoured but not excessively oily or alcoholic, lingering chalky finish with lemon sherbert notes and controlled phenolics (****)

Ballandean Estate Messing Around Nebbiolo 2009

Purchased: Not ($18)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: Apr 2011, from 16 year old vines, ruby red colour, bright and glycerolly plum, redcurrant and fruitcake with savoury/herbal and rose petal aspects, medium bodied palate shows lots of cracked black pepper, slightly smoky finish with grainy tannins, solid regional rather than fully varietal expression (***1/2)

Ballandean Estate Family Reserve Cabernet Merlot 2007

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: Apr 2011, leafy and brightly flavoured cassis and plum with violet, menthol, olive and pepper notes, medium bodied palate becomes quite savoury and is infused with fine, dusty tannins, rich coffee-cedar oak, slightly green feel (***1/2)

Ballandean Estate Family Reserve Chardonnay 2008

Purchased: Not ($22)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: Apr 2011, this smooth and rounded wine has undergone substantial malo and barrel fermentation, buttery yellow peach, melon and tropical fruits with some leesy complexity and emergent toastiness, fine chalky texture with rather overt toasty cashew-vanilla oak and some residual sugar (***)

Ballandean Estate Family Reserve Shiraz 2006

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: Apr 2011, bright up front blackberry and plum flavours with a touch of cigar box and lots of cracked black pepper, the forward, minerally and medium-full bodied palate finishes with the charry/creamy oak dominating the back palate, fresh spine of acidity with slightly green tinged tannins (***)

Ballandean Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2008

Purchased: Dan Murphys, Kawana, Qld ($15)

Drink: 2010

(GXY) Tasting: Jan 2010, quite dry and minerally showing vibrant passionfruit and lime zest with snowpea and mandarin on the back half of the palate, underpinned by a zesty cut of chalky lemon acids, slightly spritzy (***1/2)

Ballandean Cabernet Sauvignon 2004

Purchased: Dan Murphys, Kawana, Sunshine Coast ($17)

Drink: 2017

(GXY) Tasting: Dec 2007, very fragrant nose with intense flavours despite the relatively low alcohol (13.9%), impeccably defined blackcurrant and black cherry with anise and menthol, extractive but medium-full bodied palate has glycerol smoothness that frames an array of complex spices including pepper and cinnamon, toasty cedar-vanilla oak with coffee aspects, the only flaw is that it is trying too hard, give it some more French oak and tone back the extraction and it would be a worthy gold medal winner at any Australian wine show, the sort of wine I pull out to rebut those who say that all Queensland wines are mediocre (****1/2)

Ballandean Family Reserve Shiraz 2002

Purchased: Flaxton Barn, Sunshine Coast Hinterland ($20)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: Dec 2007, dense blackcurrant and dark plum, smooth glycerol palate with menthol and cinnamon and black pepper spiciness, American oak adds some discrete cigar box features, fine rounded tannins with some acid grip for long term cellaring (****)

Ballandean Late Harvest Sylvaner 2002

Purchased: Flaxton Barn, Sunshine Coast Hinterland ($25)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: Dec 2007, yellow gold colour, sweet and complex palate shows apricot marmalade, lime and melon with sweet tropicalÄfruit and quince features, well balanced crisp finish with mandarin acidity; class act (****)

Ballandean Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2006

Purchased: Dan Murphys, Kawana, Sunshine Coast ($17)

Drink: 2009

(GXY) Tasting: Dec 2007, attractive, albeit sweet style showing mandarin, orange, passionfruit and lemon sherbert, zesty minerality with lemon citric acidity and green bean showing on the finish (***1/2)

Ballandean Family Reserve Viognier 2006

Purchased: Flaxton Barn, Sunshine Coast Hinterland ($18)

Drink: 2008

(GXY) Tasting: Dec 2007, pale colour, quite restrained and avoids the pitfall of excessive phenolics commonly associated with this variety, varietal apricot with lemon citric acids with spice and ginger notes, good length with a dry, minerally finish (***1/2)

Ballandean Late Harvest Sylvaner 2000

Purchased: Cru Bar, Fortitude Valley, Qld ($25)

Drink: 2011

(GXY) Tasting: Dec 2006, medium gold colour, bouquet of sweet apricot and mandarin, sweet and complex palate shows apricot marmalade, lime and melon with sweet tropical fruit and quince features, well balanced crisp finish; class act (****)

Ballandean Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2004

Purchased: Cru Bar, Fortitude Valley, Qld ($20)

Drink: 2008

(GXY) Tasting: Dec 2006, fresh tropical fruit nose, lighter dry style despite the nose, grassy lemon-lime palate with herbal Semillon lift and a lemon-citric finish, easy drinking, good quaffing wine (***)