Wine review — Cofield, Brindabella and Capital Wines

Cofield Provincial Parcel Rutherglen Durif 2010 $39
Winemaker Damien Cofield writes, “I love the traditional style of durif being made throughout Rutherglen, but I wanted to make a lower alcohol version that still had full palate appeal”. That Cofield’s “lower alcohol version” weighs in at 13.7 per cent tells us much about this potent regional specialty. Cofield’s version remains a full-bodied red. But the slightly lower alcohol allows the vibrant, fresh fruit flavours to flourish. And the tannins, while abundant, don’t suck the water from your eyes as they do in some of the traditional styles. Cofield attributes the brighter fruit and finer tannin to early picking and prolonged maceration.

Brindabella Hills Canberra District Riesling 2011 $25
If we believe in wine shows, what should we believe about this wine? Is it an also-ran (Canberra Regional Wine Show 2011) or the best in the district (International Riesling Challenge 2011)? Well, we tested a bottle over seafood lunch at Delicio, Braddon, and sided with the Riesling Challenge judges. It’s very pale in colour, with pure mineral and lime-like aroma and a lean, delicate, bone-dry, intensely flavoured palate. The slight austerity of the high-acid 2011 vintage should subside with time as the beautiful fruit asserts itself.

Capital Wines “The Ambassador” Canberra District Tempranillo 2010 $27
We’ve tasted this on a number of occasions now, both in the clinical setting of the tasting bench and in real life with food. In a recent tasting of 17 Australian tempranillos, The Ambassador appeared a little shy at first, shaded by the bigger, more complex wines, but always pleasing in the line up for its purity of fruit, elegance and lack of winemaker artifice. Graduating from the tasting bench to the table, its medium body, harmony and fine, soft, persistent tannins sat comfortably with the meal – demonstrating that subtle, restrained wines can be the best of all.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2011
First published 6 November 2011 in The Canberra Times