As I sit here jet-lagged and generally puzzled to be back in my study in Brisbane, I resort to sparkling wine to inject levity and the spectre of some kind of celebration into my evening. This wine is from always-interesting Stefano Lubiana in the Derwent Valley in Tasmania. I was fortunate enough to visit Steve earlier this year and saw a most impressive new winery and cellar door facility in the last stages of development. I believe it’s all up and running now, and I suggest it would be well worth a visit to anyone in the area.
To the wine, then: quite a rich nose that mixes lees-derived aromas with weighty fruit and edges of caramel. This seems a much riper wine than the 2004, though its tendency towards savouriness and off-the-wall flavours remains consistent. There’s a lot to enjoy here if one isn’t terminally prejudiced against fuller, more powerful sparkling styles. Personally, I miss a certain lightness of touch that, for all its muscularity, this doesn’t quite manage to retain.
In the mouth, predictably full and rich. Acid, the curse of Australian sparkling wines, is fine and controlled, and benefits from the fruit’s weight. Mouthfeel isn’t quite as creamy as a top Champagne, but it’s far from coarse and, to the extent that it’s a little rambunctious, is well matched to the wine’s weight and intensity. An impactful mid-palate leads to a clean, fresh after palate that extends well back into the mouth. Indeed, this is a long wine.
Not the last word in refinement, then, but a truly interesting wine for its range of flavours, power and outright generosity.
Stefano Lubiana Wines