Capital Wines is a small Canberra District producer, whose enthusiasm for the micro-blogging social medium, Twitter, has raised their profile dramatically, now putting them in the enviable position of being a small winery whose demand often outstrips supply. Admittedly, if it wasn't for Capital Wines use of social media, I probably wouldn't be holding this bottle now.
Australian merlot fans will be happy to sense dry accents of cedar, herbs and light spice residing in the airspace above Capital Wines' 2009 Backbencher, underpinned by comforting aromas of plums and cherries tightly bonded by a classy touch of chocolate/cedar oak. Its invitingly medium-medium/full bodied palate appears darker, silky to touch yet conclusively dry and fine-boned, with an attractive mix of olive, earth, red plum and melting chocolate notes graced over by velvety tannins. However, the Backbencher's best feature must be its sheer drinkability, attained through a lush nature. With smooth, soft and seductive curves, it literally oozes its way from front to back palate, leaving the mouth with a lasting impression of faintly sour-edged, bright varietal fruits dipped in milk chocolate. Yum.
ü+ A very modern impression of a ready to drink, genuinely ripened, cooler climate Australian merlot. As a second label merlot, the 2009 Backbencher makes many of Australia's first labels look, well, like a politician caught sniffing a seat. Drink to 2017.