Wine Notes – February 2010

By Franz Scheurer


Mountadam Eden Valley Riesling 2009

Con Mosho’s Eden Valley Riesling is like a welcome breeze on a hot summer’s day. It’s fresh, terrifically aromatic and crisp, obviously made from ripe fruit, waiting to pick them at their best, not trying to be the first Riesling on the market.  Fermented in batches and only using the best ones in the final blend, this wine stands out, both as an individual and as a varietal. This Riesling shows off the cool-climate terroir and, although eminently quaffable on its own, it excels with food. I loved it with fresh white asparagus and a hollandaise but also adored it with a hot, Madras-style chicken curry. This wine is not easily daunted by strong flavours, but manages to also bring out very subtle flavours at the same time.

Look for it in your favourite bottle shop!

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Capital Wines ‘The Whip’ Ministry Series Riesling 2009

The whip is a party official who moves around the chamber, speaking to members, and organising the business of the party. As ‘The Whip’ is a wine from the Canberra district, this is a rather fitting wine, although the wine seems to be a lot more ‘together’ than any whip in politics. The wine is made from German ‘Geisenheim’ clones and displays subtle, but definite aromas on Lily of the Valley, honey and citrus. On the palate it is dry, but quite fruit forward with lime the predominant flavour. This is a subtle wine with delicate aromas and flavours and should not be paired with strong fruit flavours. It excels with something as simple as cold chicken and a well-dressed salad.

Vineyard: Lambert’s Tallagandra Vineyard, Gundaroo and Four Winds Vineyard, Murrumbateman Both lots of fruit are Geisenheim clones.

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Capital Wines ‘The Senator’ Ministry Series Chardonnay 2009

The senator sits in the Upper House of Parliament and is distinguished and influential. The back label states: “Like the senator our 2009 Chardonnay is elegant and stylish”.  This is a cool climate wine from fruit grown at the Kyeemagh Vineyard and, initially, its nose is rather closed and doesn’t give much away. Although it says ‘serve chilled’ this is one wine I would prefer a little warmer then the average ‘Aussie fridge temperature’. It needs a bit of warmth for the aromas to come out and the flavours to work. It shows fairly Chardonnay-specific melon, peach and citrus aromas and the stone fruit flavours are confirmed on the palate. It’s an interesting wine from the Canberra district and although a little ‘shy’ it works well with a dish containing a fair whack of butter.

Vineyard: Kyeema – Capital Wine’s Estate fruit. Was largely under contract to Hardys to 06 – past vintages of our chardonnay have gone into the Eileen Hardy.

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Capital Wines ‘The Ambassador’ Ministry Series Tempranillo 2008

Finally we progress to a red wine in this series and ‘the ambassador is a diplomat with plenipotentiary authority to represent the head of state’.

This wine comes close to the political description in as much as it is ‘rich, yet silky smooth’, a description I happily agree with. It is quite savoury with red plums and cinnamon on the nose and a meaty, slightly barnyardy backbone on the palate. This is most definitely a food wine and does not work well on its own. It excels with a manchego, especially an aged cheese, or enjoy it with a plate of Spanish jamon; it works a treat.

Vineyard – Kyeema – vines are only 4 years for the 08 vintage. Tempranillo a very exciting grape for the district – loves the extremes of heat and cold.

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Happy Birthday Ardbeg Committee

The Ardbeg Committee is 10 years old. The founding of the committee was probably the single biggest stroke of genius and one of the main reasons behind Ardbeg’s worldwide success. As a bonus for the committee members, Ardbeg is releasing a special Committee Birthday Release called, appropriately ‘Rollercoaster’, today, at 9.00am Islay time, available only to Committee members via the Ardbeg website. If you’re a committee member then you must try and grab a bottle, selling for around £50.

To quote Mickey Heads, Distillery Manager and Chairman of the Ardbeg Committee: “We thought ‘rollercoaster’ aptly reflected the tumultuous ride we have had over the lasts ten years at Ardbeg as we have brought the distillery back to life’.


The whisky is 57.3% a/v and has been created by taking whisky from casks from each year since the distillery’s re-opening in 1997, right up to 2006 – the youngest Ardbeg able to be bottled by law. It’s non-chill filtered and it’s ‘enormous’! To my palate this is one of the best whiskies Ardbeg has ever released, similar in flavour profile to the famous Ardbeg Provenance 1974. It’s priceless!

More information, including a terrific video at