Sixty Second Swirl by Brent Lello 

 I’ve been a fan of the Tempranillo variety for a long while now and it’s great to see that ‘Neo’ is being produced by several wineries across the region.  Originally from Spain and the leading grape variety responsible for the famed Rioja wines, Tempranillo is adapting well to our cool grape-growing climate, producing wines that are often elegant, always flavoursome, and definitely food-friendly. 

Capital Wines Tempranillo 2021 “The Ambassador”

This week’s “swirl” is a convex lens on the potential of the variety – the Capital Wines ‘The Ambassador’ Tempranillo 2021. This ‘Neo’ is a dark cherry red with bright ‘jacaranda purple’ hues.  

A swirl reveals aromas of dark cherries, boysenberries and blackberries with a shake of star anise and a sprinkle of dried sage.  On the palate, it’s smooth and fulfilling, with ripe dark berry fruit flavours and a surprisingly exotic and delightful lift of burnt Orange at the end. The finish is as long and leisurely as an ambassador’s lunch.  It’s a lovely drop to the very last drip. 

 We enjoyed our bottle with chargrilled beef, pork, chilli and chorizo sausages, and it would go really well with a Poachers mixed charcuterie board with Manchego cheese and crusty bread. 

I bought mine from a local liquor outlet, but you can buy at the cellar door or for $32 online. 

Owners Colin and Kay Andrews and Maria and Bill Mason.

The Capital Wines brand draws on the association with Canberra and life in the National Capital. The label designs
are wry, irreverent and humorous takes on life in the National Capital with wine names including The Frontbencher, The Backbencher, The Senator, The Ambassador, The Foreign Minister, The Lobbyist, The Swinger, The Abstainer and The Press Gallery.


While we at Capital Wines don’t take politics and life in the National Capital too seriously, we do take the making of our wines very seriously. Capital wines has won a number of medals at wine shows and are regularly reviewed
positively by Australia’s leading wine writers.

Capital Wines was established in 2008 and was purchased in early 2020 by Bill and Maria Mason and Colin and
Kay Andrews. Bill Mason also owns Kosciuszko Wines and a regional wine distribution business that was established in Canberra in 2004. The majority of the fruit for Capital Wines comes from Jeir Station Vineyard at Jeir owned by Colin and Kay Andrews. Depending on the vintage, Capital Wines also sources fruit from neighbouring vineyards and wine regions.

The Capital Wines Cellar Door and Kyeema Gallery is situated at 13 Gladstone Street, in the Village of Hall and is open from Thursdays through to Mondays. At the Cellar Door, visitors are welcome to taste the Capital range of wines, enjoy the Epicurean Food & Wine Experience, cheese and produce platters and view monthly art exhibitions.

“The Ambassador” Tempranillo Tasting Notes

CURRENT VINTAGE: 2021
RELEASE DATE: 1 July 2021
PRICE: $32.00
APV: 12.6%
GI REGION: Technically Riverina, however, the vineyard is less than 10kms North-East of Wagga Wagga, NSW and is closest to vineyards in the Gundagai GI Region.

TASTING NOTES: Our tempranillo is rich, yet silky smooth with mulberry and spiced dark berry flavours. A beautiful deep garnet with rich mulberry and earthy aromatic characteristics. An excellent dry food wine with its medium-body, fresh tannins accompanied by the dark fruit flavours of mulberry, cherry and blackberry.
FOOD PAIRING SUGGESTIONS: Enjoy with lighter meats, sausages, chorizo, smoked cheeses, or just on its own.
WINEMAKER: Alex McKay
WINEMAKING NOTES: Hand-picked, two months in French oak 8% new, destemmed and crushed, 23-year-old vines, six days on skins.
AGING POTENTIAL: Drink now to 2027
MEDALS/AWARDS: 2021: Winestate 91 points
OTHER VINTAGE MEDALS/AWARDS: 2016: Halliday Silver 93 points: The Real Review
Silver 91 points:
STORY: The Ambassador is a diplomat with authority to represent the Head of State. What better foreign wine ambassador than tempranillo.