The Courier-Mail - QWeekend

Earthy flavours a balancing act

- Desmondhou­ghton1@gmail.com

We arrived at Balancing Heart Vineyard on the Granite Belt at dusk to see flames leaping from a fire pit in front of the lake and pizza sizzling in the outdoor oven.

And we learned a new word: Petrichor, explained winemaker Mike Hayes, was the earthy smell produced when rain falls on dry soil. The word was derived from Greek petra, “rock”, or petros, “stone”, and ichor, the fluid that flows in the veins of the gods in Greek mythology.

Petrichor was on show in Balancing Hearts Wild Ferment “Synergy & Wild” Syrah 2017 ($36). Kissed by the gods, perhaps? Made in the old French style it displayed earthy flavours; the palate coloured in with raspberry and licorice.

And the shiraz story got better. More complex and showing exceptiona­l fruit flavours, Balancing Heart “Alchemy & Art” Rock Shiraz 2017 ($54) was elegant and effortless; perhaps the best Queensland shiraz we had tasted. It’s a giddy parade of blueberrie­s, chocolate and white pepper with a gentle seam of acidity. Balancing Heart Vineyard, formerly Balancing Rock, is a vineyard of many personalit­ies with 13 varieties under vine. The vineyard, 30km south of Stanthorpe, has had the good fortune to fall into the hands of Brisbane entreprene­ur, Greg Kentish, who plans a multimilli­on-dollar makeover with a new cellar door and a set of luxury villas. Kentish is the sort of rich guy unafraid to get his hands dirty. He worked feverishly all night welcoming guests and serving pizza, and when it was his turn for a drink he chose a feisty Balancing Heart “Ambrosial & Lush” Sagrantino 2017 ($49), an Italian variety indigenous to Umbria. It’s a bold wine with a fruit profile running from sour cherries to sweet and salty plums. There is a welcome ironstone note.

The best of the whites was a zippy verdelho and a textural viognier.

 ??  ?? Balancing Heart “Ambrosial & Lush” Sagrantino 2017
Balancing Heart “Ambrosial & Lush” Sagrantino 2017

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