Wine review — Stefano Lubiana and Grant Burge

Stefano Lubiana Tasmania Estate Chardonnay 2010 $48–$50
The best chardonnays have a unique weight and beauty – full bodied but elegant and demanding ever another sip. They’re wines to savour slowly, like the contrasting Tyrrell’s Vat 47 1996 and Lubiana 2010 we compared at Chairman and Yip recently. The first a glorious old white, delivered freshness and maturity at the same time; and Lubiana, vibrant and youthful, showed the intense citrus-and-melon varietal flavour of cool grown chardonnay, supported by the structure and subtle flavour of barrel fermentation and maturation. Steve Lubiana writes, “the wine is produced entirely from vines grow on our biodynamically managed Granton vineyard [20 km north of Hobart]”.

Grant Burge Fifth Generation Barossa Pinot Gris 2012 $17–$19
Grant Burge Fifth Generation Barossa Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2012
When a cold season like 2012 comes along even the warm Barossa (including the Eden Valley) makes decent wines from pinot gris and sauvignon blanc – aromatic varieties better suited to much cooler regions. Which makes me wonder what happens to the wine when the hot seasons return. All the more reason to enjoy these two while we can, I suppose. The pinot gris delivers clean, fresh, citrus and pear-like fruit flavours, medium body and a rich, smooth texture. The sauvignon blanc seems all citrus-like fruit, leaning more to semillon than sauvignon blanc.

Grant Burge Fifth Generation Barossa Shiraz 2010
Grant Burge Fifth Generation Barossa Cabernet Merlot 2010
Compare these delicious reds to the Burge whites reviewed above, and a few sips will reveal why the Barossa’s reputation rests mainly on reds, principally shiraz. The whites are nice and give value. But the reds, especially the shiraz, look exciting at the price, which might dive even lower should Coles and Woolworths run with them. The shiraz presents full, ripe, juicy fruit flavours and fleshiness, complete with the Barossa’s signature, tender, plush tannins. The winemakers haven’t intervened too much – just enough to ensure the full Barossa experience. The lovely cabernet merlot, with its leafy varietal notes suggests sourcing from the cooler Eden Valley sub-region.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2012
First published 15 July 2012 in The Canberra Times