Wine review — Capital Wines, Z4 & Ten Minutes by Tractor

Capital Wines Canberra District The Backbencher Merlot 2006 $25, The Frontbencher Shiraz 2007 $25, Kyeema Vineyard Reserve Shiraz 2007 $52
This is an incredibly high quality trio from Capital Wines, formed last year by the Mooney and McEwin families to market Canberra wines made by Andrew McEwin and sourced principally from his Kyeema Vineyard, Murrumbateman. In style ‘Backbencher’ merlot sits somewhere between shiraz and cabernet, with a sweet perfume, delicious mid-palate fruit (a bit like shiraz) and fine but slightly austere tannins (a bit like cabernet) – lovely drop. ‘Frontbencher’ shiraz is all perfume and sweet fruit. It’s fine-boned, soft, delicious and approachable now but could cellar for a few years. The Reserve wine, a selection of the best barrels, has similar fruit flavour to the ‘Frontbencher’ but it’s tightly wrapped in tannins and needs a few years in bottle. It has great potential.

Z4 Zoe Canberra District Riesling 2008 $13.95
This appealing silver medallist from the regional wine show was produced for Bill and Maria Mason, owners of Canberra-based wine wholesaler, Z4.  Bill writes that ‘The wines produced in the Z4 range recognise the Christian names of each of the four family members of the next generation’. We’ve not met Zoe, but her mum and dad can be pretty happy with the zesty riesling named after her. It’s a good example of the regional style, with attractive, drink-now, lime-like varietal flavour. Great value.

Ten Minutes by Tractor Mornington Peninsula
X Pinot Noir 2007 $23, 10X Pinot Noir 2007 $36, Reserve Pinot Noir 2006 $60, McCutcheon Vineyard Pinot Noir 2006 $70

Ten Minutes by Tractor, one of Mornington’s leading chardonnay and pinot noir producers, offers a range of small-production, estate based wines as well the slightly cheaper ‘X’, sourced from a leased neighbouring vineyard. The wines give a spectrum of pinot aromas and flavours from the simpler, fragrant (but still proper pinot) style of ‘X’ through to the more robust and savoury McCutcheon Vineyard wine. You can buy any of these wines with confidence. See www.tenminutesbytractor.com.au for more detail.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2009

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