Wine review — Capital Wines, Z4 and Katnook Estate

Capital Wines Canberra District

  • The Backbencher Merlot 2009 $25
  • The Senator Chardonnay 2009 $22

Capital wines is a partnership between the Moody and McEwin families with Mark Moody in the vineyard, Jennie Moody in the marketing department and Andrew McEwin in the winery. Both of these wines come from their Kyeema vineyard, Murrumbateman. The merlot, though slightly paler than the sublime $46 reserve version, offers a terrifically fragrant, pure expression of the variety with a lovely core of plummy fruit flavour. The vibrant Senator chardonnay features fresh melon rind/ melon and peach varietal flavours with a touch of oak and a lively, refreshing acidity. It’s a lovely and simply poohs all over sauvignon blanc.

Z4 Wines Canberra District

  • Zoe Riesling 2010 $16
  • Zane Shiraz 2009 $19

Z4 is a merchant brand owned by Canberra wine marketers Bill and Maria Mason. I’m not sure if their wines or kids came first, nor if their given names, all beginning with Z, reflect the character of the wines they’re named after. The vinous versions of Zoe and Zane, both from the Four Winds vineyard and made at Canberra Winemakers by Rob Howell and Greg Gallagher, offer fair value in the Canberra regional style – the riesling fresh, crisp and reasonably dry and the shiraz savoury and medium bodied. You’ll find them in Canberra retail outlets and on restaurant wine lists.

Katnook Founder’s Block Coonawarra Riesling 2009 $18

A peculiarity, and blessing, of a white wine boom several decades ago is the considerable area of riesling planted in Coonawarra – an area noted more for red wine than white. Wine companies trying to be all things to all people often threw a little of everything into the vineyards. Riesling not only survives there, but also produces healthy yields and makes delicious wines at comparatively modest prices. Katnook, from the heart of classic Coonawarra, benefits, as well, from a couple of years bottle age – adding richness and texture to its zesty and still ultra fresh, light and delicate citrusy varietal flavour.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2011

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