My esteem for this producer grows over time. Never a maker of easy Pinot styles even at entry level, this Estate wine, made entirely from biodynamically grown fruit, has something to say about Pinot from the Derwent Valley.
On opening, the aroma is deeply ferrous, smelling of blood and rust and all things manly, telling a confronting story that gradually softens with the emergence of dark cherry fruit. This is rich, almost liquerous, in character, and sits below the aroma’s savouriness, like wool undies under a suit of armour. There are other notes too — undergrowth and crushed leaf — that fold easily into a nose that is a strip tease of forbidding lusciousness. Personally, I love how different this smells from so much Australian Pinot. It’s unabashedly savoury, with a muscularity that continues to flex even as the aroma evolves with air.
In the mouth, predictably structured and intense. Stylistically, this is a “take no prisoners” wine, presenting on entry with firm acid and good density of fruit. Despite some heft and generally dark flavours, the palate structure is quite sprightly, thanks in large part to that acid, but also to tannins that are chalky and firm towards the back of the palate. Flavours flow well with nary a peak or trough, though they are, understandably for such a young wine, not as integrated as they will be in time. Even an hour or swirling brings notes closer together, so give it plenty of air if drinking now. Length is there, needing a slight attenuation of structure to fill out.
This speaks so strongly of place, and I’m drawn in by its narrative. A terribly good wine, then, with its best days firmly ahead.
Stefano Lubiana Wines