Stefano Lubiana- 2016
100% estate grown, single vineyard, comprising two distinct terroirs, one being gravelly loams over clay and the other being loam over gravel. 100% certified biodynamic. The fruit is hand-picked and sorted by hand on a vibrating table. Wild yeast ferment, followed by 8-10 months in new and used French oak barrels. Beautifully etched and linear showing great vigour and poise, this eye-catching Pinot Noir offers a fragrant bouquet infused with wild plum, dark cherry and a hint of floral violet. Intriguing and inviting at the same time. Excellent intensity of fruit on the palate ensures that the senses are fully engaged throughout on the markedly long finish. Great vigour and vibrancy lends this impressive Tasmanian Pinot Noir real presence. The flagship wine of the estate.
16.5+/20 - JancisRobinson.com, 'Full-on ripe fruit concentrate on the nose, and strong core intensity on the palate too. Lacking much development at this early stage, but certainly has the potential for ageing well. Drink 2019-2026' Richard Hemming MW, October 2017 (2016 vintage)
18/20 - JancisRobinson.com, 'Savoury, an earthy Moroccan-spice scent sitting deep in the glass. Real bite and more friction in the tannins than most of the Pinots in this blind line-up. Sumac. Tamarind. A charge of pure red fruit, taut as a bow. Masses of undertow, building in intensity on the finish, rippling out like tiny seismic tremors. Drink 2019-2026' Tamlyn Currin, February 2019 (2017 vintage)
Steve Lubiana established Stefano Lubiana wines in Tasmania back in 1990, after growing up on a vineyard and in a winery owned by his parents, in the Riverland wine region of South Australia. Steve then studied winemaking at Roseworthy College, near Adelaide, and began to seek out places he could grow cool climate grapes. “I wanted to grow cool climate grapes, so I looked around South Australia, up in the Adelaide Hills and Eden Valley and then over to Margaret River before arriving in Tasmania, on my honeymoon,” explains Steve. “I then spent a year looking around Tasmania, and found this property just outside of Hobart. We moved here in 1990 and started growing grapes.” When Steve and his then new wife Monique took over the property in Granton, they sold most of their fruit to the likes of Yalumba, Hardys and Penfolds, in order to eek out a living, before embarking on their own winegrowing adventure. Stefano Lubiana is Tasmania's first and only certified biodynamic wine estate. The 25 hectare vineyard, on their north facing property, is predominantly planted with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, plus a small amount of Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Gris, and Merlot. The vineyard soils comprise silt and gravel loams over a hard clay base.“I was sold on biodynamics before we even arrived in Tasmania…” explains Steve, “and after watching a television program, it just made so much sense to me, and I thought ‘this is exactly right’. So, I started using the principals of BD to grow my tomatoes in the back yard.”
“For me, biodynamics is about commonsense, and having respect for the land and the farmer, and the product, and the consumer, and that way, everybody wins,” says Steve. The entire 25 hectares was converted to biodynamics in 2010 with certification following in 2013 (Australian Certified Organic). “The vineyard is much greener and healthier, rather than being brown and dusty and dry,” says Steve. “The soils are so much more fertile, there’s more humus and it has better water holding capacity, better porosity, which is definitely a sign that the soil is healthier.” According to Steve, the Stefano Lubiana vineyard is relatively free from pest and disease pressures, except during summer time when the fungal disease, powdery mildew, can strike. The vineyard has good air drainage, and benefits from the temperate, yet cool, climate of Tasmania.The biodynamic regime that Steve and Mark apply to the vineyard is carried over into Steve’s approach to winemaking. “You’ve got to get the fruit right first,” explains Steve, “and look for the balance between sugar and acid in the grapes. The winemaking, like all good wines, should be done in the vineyard, so the winemaker becomes more like a caretaker. Steve is starting to experiment more and more with wild yeast ferments and reducing the amount of fining and filtration he does to his wines, especially where Pinot Noir is concerned.
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