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Golden Grove Estate

www.goldengroveestate.com.au

Sundown Rd, Ballandean, 4382

Cellar Door: Daily (9-4)

Ph: (07) 4684 1291

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Skipper for our Granite Belt visit, Lisa, at Golden Grove cellar door (photo:genxywines)

The family owned Golden Grove Estate is a Granite Belt winery to look out for due to its sting of trophies and gold medals at recent Australian Small Winemakers Shows and its eclectic range of alternative varieties.

Mario and Sebastiana Contanzo established stone fruits and table grapes at the location in 1946 although the first vines for wine (Shiraz) were not planted until 1972. Ownership passed to their son, Sam and his wife grace in 1985. Sam continues to tend to the vines.

The third generation (Ray Constanzo) are now in charge. Ray is also the wine-maker.

The vineyard is located at 820 m and now also includes: Tempranillo, Durif, Malbec, Mourvedre, Sauvignon Blanc - and reflecting their Italian heritage - Barbera, Vermentino, Muscat and Nero d’Avola.

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Golden Grove cellar door and autumn views of the Ballandean area (photo:genxywines)
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The nearby Accommodation Creek which is provides the name for their budget brand (photo:genxywines)
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A rather good spot for a picnic to refresh the palate before the next winery on our Granite Belt tour (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)

Golden Grove Vermentino 2016

Purchased: Not $26)

Drink: 2018

(GXY) Tasting: Sept 2017, Silver Medal at Australian Small Winemakers Show 2016, richer style, partial barrel ferment in new oak with a small addition of Semillon, floral, flinty and minerally pear, green apple with citrus blossom notes,  crisp orange peel acidity, excellent line and length with briny phenolics (****1/2)

Golden Grove Joven Tempranillo 2016

Purchased: Not ($26)

Drink:2020

(GXY) Tasting: Sept 2017, Silver Medal at Australian Small Winemakers Show 2016, partial whole bunch, spicy and juicy red cherry and raspberry with sarsaparilla and dried herb notes, medium bodied and savoury with firmish acidity and persistent chalky tannins, fresh style for early consumption (****)

Golden Grove Vermentino 2015

Purchased: Not: ($28)

Drink: 2017

(GXY) Tasting: May 2015, partial barrel ferment, fruit losses due to a Christmas Eve hailstorm meant the estate fruit was supplemented with fruit from Chalmers vineyard at Mildura,  vibrant and brightly flavoured lemon, apple and pear with a touch of tropical fruit , creamy with fine briny phenolics and minerally grapefruit acidity (****)

Golden Grove Vintage Grand Reserve Nero d’Avola 2012

Purchased: Not: ($45)

Drink: 2020

(GXY) Tasting: May 2015, perfumed and glossy black cherry and raspberry with sarsparilla, black olive and rosehip notes,  plush sweetly oaked and medium bodied palate with crunchy blood orange acidity and chewy savoury tannins, varietal bitter chocolate finish (****)

Golden Grove Vermentino 2013

Purchased: Not ($24)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: May 2014, partial barrel ferment in new French and US oak, creamy lime, apple and pear with just a hint of pineapple, fuller and more rounded than the 2011, there is some vanilla bean on the dry, finely phenolic chalky finish, tangy grapefruit acidity (****)

Golden Grove Tempranillo 2011

Purchased: Not ($28)

Drink: 2022+

(GXY) Tasting: Sept 2013, Top Gold Medal at Australian Small Winemakers Show 2012, perfumed, supple, savoury and spicy black cherries and blueberry with a range of black olive, cola, mint and fruitcake aspects, medium-full bodied, long and pristine fruit expression with the regional quartz/graphite minerality, firmish chalky tannins and vibrant acidity, well integrated savoury cedar oak, this is a seriously good, complex Tempranillo (*****)

Golden Grove Vermentino 2011

Purchased: Not ($26)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: May 2012, focussed, linear and minerally pear skin, green apple apple and orange rind with chewy savoury/briny phenolics adding complexity to the finish, lingering tangy lemony acidity (****)

Golden Grove Tempranillo 2009

Purchased: Not ($28)

Drink: 2017

(GXY) Tasting: Apr 2011, well deserved Grand Champion at Queensland Wine Awards 2010, even better than the 2008 I re-tasted alongside this, perfumed, supple, savoury and spicy medium-full bodied redcurrant, blueberry with black olive, mint and fruitcake nuances, deep set, very long and pristine fruit expression with the rich regional minerality, matched with a strong acid/tannin structure and discrete savoury cedar oak, builds intensity nicely along the palate, my first ever five star Australian Tempranillo (*****)

Golden Grove Vermentino 2010

Purchased: Cellar Door ($26)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: Apr 2011, only 150 bottles released minus the one I bought at the cellar door, linear, minerally and relatively austere pear skin, apple and orange rind with some chewy savoury/briny phenolics lifting the textural complexity, persistent tangy lemon acidity, attractive drive and focus (****1/2)

Golden Grove Barbera 2009

Purchased: Not ($22)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: Apr 2011, Gold at Australian Small Winemakers Show 2010, supple and juicy red cherry and plum with fruitcake and brown spice notes, the minerally and medium bodied palate is fruit-driven with the varietal blocky structure, fine powdery texture with light cedar-coffee oak and well balnced acidity, enough drive to lift this above ordinary Barbera (****)

Golden Grove Malbec 2009

Purchased: Not ($28)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: Apr 2011, Trophy for Best Queensland Red at Australian Small Winemakers Show 2010, silky and supple blackcurrant and blackberry with iodine, mint, black pepper and herbal meat motes, minerally medium bodied palate has good depth and clarity, finishes with fine powdery tannins and subtle spicy cedar/dark chocolate oak, the limitation is the blocky varietal structure rather than the wine-making (****)

Golden Grove Mourvedre 2009

Purchased: Not ($28)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: Apr 2011, Gold Medal at Australian Small Winemakers Show 2010, silky and richly flavoured blackberry and fruitcake with pepper and liquorice notes, the medium-full bodied palate shows mineral/savoury/earthy complexity, good line although shows the varietal loose knit tannins, finishes with chocolate-cedar oak (****)

Golden Grove Semillon 2007

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: Apr 2011, Gold at Queensland Wine Awards 2010, waxy lemon, lanolin and dried pear with orange blossom and dried herb notes, focussed palate is tightly wound with crisp lemony acids, subtle oak inputs (****)

Golden Grove Accommodation Creek Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2010

Purchased: Not ($18)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: Apr 2011, Bronze Medal at Queensland Wine Awards 2010, portion wild yeasted ferment in seasoned French oak, slightly muted passionfruit and paw paw with some leesy creaminess, dried herb and a touch of pea pod, linear with assertive quinine-like minerality, persistent chalky lemony acidity (***1/2)

Golden Grove Durif 2009

Purchased: Not ($28)

Drink: 2016

(GXY) Tasting: Apr 2011, medium-full bodied plum and fruitcake with mint, spice and liquorice notes, creamy cedar-coffee oak, good length but the lighter body makes the high alcohol (14.9%) this variety needs to ripen is more evident on the finish than Rutherglen examples (***1/2)

Golden Grove Sauvignon Blanc 2010

Purchased: Not ($18)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: Apr 2011, wild yeast ferment with 40% barrel ferment, first release in this revamped style, minerally, restrained passionfruit, lychee and paw paw with honeydew melon and cut grass notes, savoury with a spine of limey acidity, toasty vanilla oak with some pea pod on the finish (***1/2)

Golden Grove Vintage Port 2005

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: Now - 2025

(GXY) Tasting: Apr 2011, Silver at New England Wine Show 2008, fortified blend of 90% Shiraz and 10% Durif, relatively savoury for the style, raisens, blackberry jam, liquorice and spice with chocolate and coffee, warming brandy spirit, will develop for up to 20 years (***1/2)

Golden Grove Castalina 2009

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: Apr 2011, Silver at Qld Wine Awards 2010, this is a low alcohol late harvest Semillon, lush candied pineapple, mango, honey and lime marmalade, the archilles heel is the citric acidity which lacks enough cut and thrust to lift the vibrancy of the palate (***)

Golden Grove Shiraz 2008

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: Apr 2011, Silver at Qld Wine Awards 2010, from 45 year old vines, glycerolly and medium bodied plum and mulberry with cracked black pepper, mint and the regional minerality, fine powdery tannins with coffee-cedar oak, lacks the richness of the 2007 release (***)

Golden Grove Estate Granite Belt Shiraz 2007

Purchased: Not ($35)

Drink: 2016

(GXY) Tasting: Jan 2010, Trophy for Best Queensland Shiraz at Australian Small Winemakers Show 2008, sourced from the original 1972 Shiraz vines, rich and complex showing deep set blackberry and mulberry with fruitcake and black pepper features, a good backbone of dusty tannins, genuine fruit length with balanced oak (****1/2)

Golden Grove Estate Granite Belt Durif 2008

Purchased: Not ($28)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: Jan 2010, Bronze Medals at the 2009 Australian Small Wine-Makers and Alternative Varieties Shows, ripe and deep set blackberry and blackcurrant with liquorice and toasty brown spices, medium-full bodied with chewy tannins but not too grippy, creamy chocolate-cedar oak inputs on the finish (****)

Golden Grove Estate Granite Belt Tempranillo 2008

Purchased: Not ($22)

Drink: 2011

(GXY) Tasting: Jan 2010, Gold at Queensland Wine Awards 2009, in a juicy light-medium bodied joven style that should be drunk in the short-medium term rather than later, fresh and savoury cherry and plum with a light dusting of spice and a touch of mint leaf, fine tannins with gentle cedar-vanilla oak, pretty good length and presence (***1/2)

Golden Grove Estate Granite Belt Sauvignon Blanc 2009

Purchased: Not ($22)

Drink: 2010

(GXY) Tasting: Jan 2010, Bronze Medal at New England Wine Show 2009, ripe and taut style showing passionfruit, honey dew melon and paw paw alongside the varietal grassiness, crisp lemon acid finish with a touch of snow pea (***1/2)

Golden Grove Estate Accommodation Creek Mediterranean Red 2009

Purchased: Golden Grove stall at Caloundra Markets, Qld ($18)

Drink: 2010

(GXY) Tasting: Jan 2010, rather eclectic blend of Tempranillo, Durif and Barbera, fruity drink now style showing savoury up front cherry and blackberry with a hint of blueberry and mint, the Durif provides some tannic structure and fruit depth , just the thing to drink slightly chilled on a humid summer evening (***1/2)

Golden Grove Estate Castalina 2008

Purchased: Not ($15 for 375 ml bottle)

Drink: 2010

(GXY) Tasting: Jan 2010, low alcohol and late harvest Semillon showing lime marmalade, mango, honeysuckle and pineapple sweetness that is counter-balanced with some crisp and chalky lemon acidity, best served lightly chilled if you in a warm climate to ensure that the sweetness and the acids are in balance (***1/2)