Wine review — Capital Wines, The Hut by Dalwhinnie and Yarra Loch

Capital Wines “The Foreign Minister”
Canberra District Sangiovese 2010 $25

Capital Wines recently released this sangiovese (Italian red variety) together with their tempranillo (Spanish red variety). Capital Wines partner, Jennie Mooney, says it’s a blend of three sangiovese clones, including two Brunello clones, grown at Pialligo Estate and made by Andrew McEwin at Capital Wines. The wine came out of oak barrel earlier than usual, allowing the vibrant, sweet, cherry-like varietal flavour to flourish. It’s a light to medium bodied style with the sweet, pleasing fruit flavours to the fore – but supported by soft, easy-on-the-gums tannins. It’s a style to enjoy in its youth and probably all the better for not trying to be too serious.

The Hut By Dalwhinnie Pyrenees

  • Chardonnay 2010 $25
  • Pinot Noir 2010 $25
  • Shiraz 2010 $28

David Jones of Dalwhinnie, located at Moonambel in Victoria’s Pyrenees region, visited Canberra recently promoting his new “The Hut by Dalwhinnie” range. The wines are all estate-grown and made show the hallmark bright fruit and elegant structure of the more expensive premium wines. David says they’re made for current drinking and targeted at the on-premise trade and independent retailers. The delicate barrel-fermented chardonnay offers clear-cut white-peach varietal flavour and delicious, fresh soft acidity. The pinot offers bright, pure dark-cherry varietal flavour and good pinot structure and texture. There’s a hint of mint in the bright, medium bodied shiraz and a good bit of juicy, savoury tannin.

YarraLoch Yarra Valley Pinot Noir 2010 $27–$30
YarraLoch is a small, well-capitalised Yarra Valley operation, with 13-hectares of vines planted at Coldstream, Whittlesea and Kangaroo Ground. Varieties planted include arneis, cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, merlot, pinot noir, shiraz and viognier – indicating the amazing range of terroirs in the valley. The pinot’s a very attractive, delicate style. The aroma combines floral notes with varietal ripe-cherry and savoury oak. These come through, too, on a silk-smooth, beautifully balanced palate, layered with sweet fruit and fine tannins. The flavours remained fresh several days after opening our sample bottle, indicating the staying power of this understated, irresistible drop.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2011
First published in The Canberra Times 3 July 2011