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: Granite Hills

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Granite Hills

www.granitehills.com.au

1481 Burke and Wills Track, Baynton, Keyneton, 3444

Cellar Door: Daily (11-6)

Ph: (03) 5423 7273

label

Granite Hills was established in 1970 by the Knight family. It was one of the pioneering contemporary boutique wineries in southern Victoria and only the second in the region. The 11 hectare winery, is perched atop the spectacular granite strewn hills of southern tip of the Great Dividing Range.

Whenever I see granite outcrops in a cool wine friendly climate I think of Riesling. The Knights more than realise this potential and deliver some of the best Victorian Rieslings. At their best they deliver taut lime and green apple flavours underpinned with the granitic minerality of the terroir. Granite Hills also makes cool climate Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Merlot, Tempranillo and a sparkling Pinot.

After a drop in standards for a while in the 1990s the iconic Rieslings have been restored to their past glory and are again one of our regular purchases. In my view the Pinot Noir, rather than the Shiraz, is now the best of the red wine portfolio. The Cabernet can really struggle in cooler vintages to contain the excessive vegetal characters but the Gordon blend excels in warmer vintages.

Granite Hills vines
Granite Hills on a blustery mid-winter afternoon
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)

New reviews

Granite Hills Riesling 2014

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink: 2016 or 2024 if you like it toasty

(GXY) Tasting:: Sept 2015, from mature forty five year old vines, vibrant and pure lime rind and green apple with ors petal florals and brown spices, crunchy grapefruit acidity finish, has tighter structure than most Victorian Rieslings (****1/2)

Granite Hills Knight Chardonnay 2013

Purchased: Not ($28)

Drink: 2017

(GXY) Tasting:: Sept 2015, ffirst release using Bernard clone, perfumed and crisp white peach, apple and melon with citrus blossom, savoury lees and honey notes, small barrel ferment component, lively lemon rind acidity(***1/2)

Granite Hills Knight Riesling 2013

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink: 2015 or 2022+ if you like it toasty

(GXY) Tasting: Sept 2014, 40 year old vines, fresh and pristine lime and green apple with musky spices and lavender florals, fairly open, viscous and evenly weighted structure with wet slate and lemon sherbet notes, good persistence (****)

Granite Hills Knight The Gordon 2008

Purchased: Not ($30)

Drink: 2018

(GXY) Tasting: Sept 2014, juicy blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot, leafy and vibrant cassis, redcurrant and dark plums with mint and violet notes, fine grained tannins with cedar oak, very good acidity (****1/2)

Granite Hills Knight The Gordon 2007

Purchased: Stall at Federation Square Showcase ($30)

Drink: 2017

(GXY) Tasting: June 2013, this is a meaty blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot, powerful, fleshy and lingering core of well defined cassis, redcurrant and blackberry pastille, medium-full bodied with earth, pepper and mint notes, persistent dusty tannins, unlike many cool region Cabernet blends this is not relying on heavy oaking to fill out the wine, 2007 was a rather hot, drought vintage for most but this high up in the Macedon Ranges has made for a rather special vintage that is closing in on its peak drinking window (*****)

Granite Hills Knight Riesling 2012

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink: 2014 or 2019+ if you like it toasty

(GXY) Tasting: June 2013, this is a return to form after the 2011 botrytis affected vintage, floral granny smith apple and lime with some lemon sherbert aspects, there’s also a hint of passionfruit running down the spine, wrapped up in vibrant steely acidity leading to the flinty finish, good line and length (****1/2)

Granite Hills Knight Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

Purchased: Not ($28)

Drink: 2016

(GXY) Tasting: June 2012, from 30 year old vines with 13% Cabernet Franc and 2% Merlot, red berry entry with a savoury, light-medium bodied plum and cassis mid-palate, lifted violet florals, anise and rhubarb earthiness, spicy caramelised cedar oak with grainy, mellowing tannins (***1/2)

Granite Hills Knight Merlot 2006

Purchased: Not ($24)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: June 2012, Macedon Ranges and Heathcote fruit, fragrant, medium bodied and quite dry, firmish plum and blackberry with white pepper and olive notes, earthy and forward palate filled out with seasoned and toasty French and US oak with some powdery tannic grip (***)

Granite Hills Nardoo Chardonnay 2007

Purchased: Not ($18)

Drink: 2011

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2010, unoaked but fairly stylish yellow peach, melon and nectarine with mineral and lees complexity, fresh lemony acids (***)

Granite Hills Knight Riesling 2009

Purchased: Not ($22)

Drink: 2011 or 2019 if you like it toasty

(GXY) Tasting: Mar 2010, this is their 35th consecutive Riesling vintage, the vine age and location insulates them from the ravages of drought and bursts of extreme heat more than almost any other Victorian Riesling producers, vibrant core of piercing red apple, nectarine and kaffir lime with a range of brown spices, long and focussed with wet stone and chalky grapefruit acids on the finish, good now but will develop in the cellar over the next decade (****1/2)

Granite Hills Knight Tempranillo 2007

Purchased: Not ($24)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: Mar 2010, sourced from a small vineyard at Romsey which is a short drive from the winery, chalky, ripe plum and redcurrant with olive notes, savoury and medium bodied palate, grainy tannins with toasty coffee-cedar from the American oak (***1/2)

Granite Hills Knight Chardonnay 2008

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: Mar 2010, 10% barrel ferment, bright and crisp melon, white peach, lychee and pineapple with some creamy and nutty lees inputs and restrained spicy cashew-vanilla oak, balanced by some racy grapefruit acidity but the overall impression still is rather candied (***)

Granite Hills Knight Macedon Ranges Pinot Noir 2005

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: Mar 2008, black cherry and tangy plum, bright fruit expression albeit a little bit confectionary and glazed, spicy with a smooth and earthy with some sappy edges that contrast the fruit sweetness, fine powdery tannins (****)

Granite Hills Knight Macedon Ranges Tempranillo 2004

Purchased: Not ($24)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: Mar 2008, black cherry, plum, raspberry with a touch of rhubarb, earthy and light-medium bodied with chalky savoury tannins, discrete coffee-cedar oak (***1/2)

Granite Hills Knight Macedon Ranges Chardonnay 2005

Purchased: Not ($18)

Drink: 2010

(GXY) Tasting: Mar 2008, bright and flavoursome melon, white peach and stonefruit, crisp palate if slightly forward, nice cut of grapefruit acidity, light cashew-vanilla oak (***1/2)

Granite Hills Knight Macedon Ranges Shiraz 2003

Purchased: Not ($32)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: Mar 2008, fragrant blackberry and dark plum with liquorice, herbal and black pepper notes, ripe, forward and slightly jammy, filled out with assertive chocolate-cedar-vanilla oak, some acid grip (***1/2)

Granite Hills Knight Macedon Ranges Cabernet Sauvignon 2002

Purchased: Not ($26)

Drink: 2008

(GXY) Tasting: Mar 2008, a big rhubarb nose, earthy medium bodied palate shows rhubarb and redcurrant flavours, sappy edges, lean finish with cedar oak, overly vegetal and trying too hard to be a Pinot (**1/2)

Granite Hills Knight Macedon Ranges Riesling 2006

Purchased: Not ($22)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: May 2007, austere musky citrus nose but shows intense palate flavours, lime and green apple with sweet lemon sherbert and some spice touches, tight minerally backbone, lingering tangy citric acid finish (****)

Granite Hills Knight Macedon Ranges Chardonnay 2004

Purchased: Not

Drink: 2007

(GXY) Tasting: May 2006, lively peach, melon and grapefruit nose, slightly forward palate, subtle vanilla oak, finishes a touch green (***)

Granite Hills Knight Macedon Ranges Pinot Noir 2003

Purchased: Not

Drink: 2008

(GXY) Tasting: May 2006, soft and earthy style showing raspberry and black cherry flavours, some spiciness developing, soft tannins (***1/2)

Granite Hills Knight Merlot 2004

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink: 2009

(GXY) Tasting: May 2006, from a vineyard that borders the Macedon Ranges, very sweet for a merlot, cherry, plum, palate shows some jamminess alongside varietal earthiness and floralness, creamy chocolate oak, finishing quite acidic with powdery tannins, needs time (***)

Granite Hills Knight Macedon Ranges Cabernet Sauvignon 2001

Purchased: Not

Drink: 2008

(GXY) Tasting: May 2006, up front palate of red berry and blackberry, subtle cedar and chocolate oak, slightly sappy finish with varietal mintiness (***)

Granite Hills Shiraz 2002

Purchased: Not ($32)

Drink: 2007

(GXY) Tasting: May 2006, blackcurrant flavours with pepper and chocolate notes, forward palate finishing a touch thin and sappy, subtle vanilla-cedar oak (***)

Granite Hills Knight Macedon Ranges Riesling 1998

Purchased: Parkhill Cellars, North Melbourne

Drink: 2005

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2005, deep yellow, toasty flavour of aged Riesling but retains core of citrus and pear, lingering finish (***1/2)

Granite Hills Knight Macedon Ranges Riesling 2004

Purchased: Parkhill Cellars, North Melbourne ($22)

Drink: 2011

(GXY) Tasting: (1) March 2005, elegant balance between lime and passionfruit with chalky minerality and well balanced acidity, shame to drink it so young but it was my birthday but it should develop nicely (****), (2) May 2006, has developed musc and orange blossom complexity on top of the lime and passionfruit base, still showing chalky mineral backbone and lively acid (****)