Regions> Queensland> Granite Belt region

: Robert Channon


Robert Channon

32 Bradley Lane, Stanthorpe, 4380

Cellar Door: Weekdays (10-5); Weekends (11-5)

Ph: (07) 4683 3260

View from Robert Channon cellar door (photo:genxywines)

Queensland's most internationally famous or infamous winery due to its legal stoush with French Champagne giant, Moet et Chandon.

In a somewhat bizarre move Chandon decided in 2001 that its operations would be confused with a then obscure Queenland winery trading under the Channon Wines label. Even though the Queenland winery had to change its name to Robert Channon Wines the attention was tremendously beneficial in lifting the winery's profile.

In 2004 the 2002 Reserve Chardonnay was judged to be the best of its type at the Brisbane Wine Show, one of the most competitive wine shows on the wine circuit.

Robert Channon, a lawyer turned winery owner, is one of the most colourful and passionate characters on the Queensland wine scene, and also one of the most frustrated as the Queensland public remain largely oblivious to his award winning wines

The wines are made by South African born, Mark Ravenscroft, who is a contract maker for at least 10 Granite Belt wineries. Mark provocatively reckons: "Southerners don't rate our wine at all. But they didn't rate our football team either." (the Brisbane Lions won three Australian Football League premierships in a row despite being based in a rugby mad state).

There are 19 acres of vines consisting of Verdelho, Chardonnay, Merlot, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvigon. The vines are enclosed permanent bird protection netting.

I rank the Verdelho as one of the best examples of the non-fortified expression of this variety so far in Australia.

cellar door
Robert Channon cellar door and Singing Lake Cafe (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)

Robert Channon Verdelho 2016

Purchased: Not ($28)


(GXY) Tasting: Sept 2017, vibrant nectarine, peach and honeydew melon with tropical fruit nuances,  tingly minerally  with better persistence and acid balance than standard Verdelhos, the winery is up for sale so this may be the last release one of Australia’s best examples of the variety under the current format, the winemaker recommends medium term cellaring  (****)

Robert Channon Verdelho 2010

Purchased: Cellar Door ($28)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: Apr 2011, another strong example from what some regard as Australia’s leading dry Verdelho producer, vibrant core of nectarine, lychee and honey dew melon, the profound regional minerality and persistent tangy acidity gives this length and textural complexity missing from most non-Granite Belt examples, zesty orange rind acidity (****1/2)

Robert Channon Granite Belt Chardonnay 2009

Purchased: Not ($19)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: Apr 2011, Bronze Medal at Australian Small Winemakers Show, minerally and slightly restrained by regional standards, nectarine, straw and honey dew melon with a light touch of toasty cashew-vanilla oak, fresh mandarin rind acidity (***1/2)

Robert Channon Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2004

Purchased: Not ($30)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: Apr 2011, varietal and earthy blackcurrant and redcurrant with violet and savoury rhubarb aspects, minerally medium bodied palate has good depth, some bottle age mellowness and infusions of the coffee-cedar oak, fine and slightly rounded but dusty tannins, drink up soon (***1/2)

Robert Channon Pinot Gris 2009

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink: 2011

(GXY) Tasting: Apr 2011, Silver Medal at New England Wine Show, slight pink tinge, crisp varietal expression showing pear, apple and melon with a touch of ginger, chalky texture with fresh citric acidity, mid-weight on the Pinot G scale (***)

Robert Channon Pinot Noir 2009

Purchased: Not ($35)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: Apr 2011, Bronze Medal at Qld Wine Show, aromatic plum and redcurrant with light spiciness, quite dry with earthy/savoury complexity, firm medium bodied palate with grippy tannins, ample cedar/chocolate oak on the finish, more in the medium bodied dry red camp rather than fully varietal (***)

Robert Channon Merlot 2006

Purchased: Not ($17)

Drink: 2011

(GXY) Tasting: Apr 2011, medium bodied with a brightly flavoured entry showing blackcurrant and blackberry with fruitcake, liquorice and pepper notes, back end lacks enough fruit concentration and is reliant on the oak for length, soft, loose knit tannins (***)

Robert Channon Shiraz 2006

Purchased: Not ($17)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: Apr 2011, savoury and minerally mulberry and dark plum with black pepper, olive and mint notes, medium bodied and a little broad with some greeness to the tannins (***)

Robert Channon Verdelho 2009

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: Jan 2010, Gold Medal at 2009 Queensland Wine Awards, continues to be a leader for this style with more length and elegance than usual for the non-fortified expressions of this variety, vibrant lychee, passionfruit and honey dew melon is framed in a long backbone of fine chalky lemon acids, there is a bit of mandarin rind on the finish, shows that Verdelho can be more than just an up front fruit bowl of flavours (****1/2)

Robert Channon Verdelho 2006

Purchased: Not ($27)

Drink: 2009

(GXY) Tasting: Dec 2007, Gold Medallist at 2007 Royal Queensland Wine Show (the only gold medal awarded at that show), elegant tropical fruit, mandarin and melon flavours, superbly crafted, flinty minerally backbone with chalky acidity, just lacking the zing of the 2005 vintage, unusual length for the variety, still a classy example of the variety (****)

Robert Channon Reserve Chardonnay 2005

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink: 2010

(GXY) Tasting: Dec 2007, rich and complex bouquet showing stonefruit, nectarine and melon, some light malo adds texture but has kept the crispness, slides seamlessly into spicy cashew oak, assured style with good length (****)

Robert Channon Verdelho 2005

Purchased: Cru Bar, Fortitude Valley, Qld ($27)

Drink: 2008

(GXY) Tasting: Dec 2006, subtle but floral tropical fruit, mandarin and melon flavours, very classy minerally flinty backbone and mouth filling palate, terrific line and length, well balanced acidity and a lingering finish, one of Australia's great Verdelhos, something for Southern winemakers to really take note of (****1/2)

Robert Channon Reserve Chardonnay 2004

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

Drink: 2009

(GXY) Tasting: Dec 2006, rich bouquet of stonefruit, peach and melon, complex but buttery palate shows tropical fruit and peach features, well integrated spicy cashew oak features, lingering finish (****)