Stefano Lubiana Derwent Valley Pinot Noir 2013 $48
Winemaker Steve Lubiana writes, “vintage 2013 was a vintage that ticked all the boxes: the timing was great, good natural acid with the right volume of fruit/ha, producing softer more approachable wines”. He and wife Monique also celebrated their 20th vintage at Granton, near Hobart, and their first as certified biodynamic operators. As Steve suggests, the 2013 pinot presents opulent, ripe, soft fruit flavours. It’s a wine of great buoyancy and upfront charm. But there’s much more to it. The juicy varietal fruit forms a matrix of flavours and textures with the soft, abundant tannins and first stirrings of deeper, savoury elements.
Shanahans Silence is Golden Barossa Valley Shiraz 2012 $23.75–$30
Shanahans The Old Dog Barossa Valley Shiraz 2012 $16.20–$20
Independently of one another, an older brother and old mate brought these cellar mates on a coast weekend. The name alone guaranteed a review, though there’s no family or other connection I’m aware of. But I’ve tasted Shanahan wines before and they’ve always delivered true Barossa warmth and richness at a fair price. They’re both from single vineyards in the western Barossa – the first from Greenock the other from an undisclosed location. The opulent, silk-smooth Silence is Golden contrasts subtly with the firmer, more savoury Old Dog. Both wines were purchased at Dan Murphy’s and they’re available at shanahanswines.com.au.
Redbank King Valley Fiano 2014 $21.95
With more romance than reality the back label depicts fiano as a variety “dating back to the days of Roman viticulture”. More prosaically, Jancis Robinson and Jose Vouillamoz in Wine grapes – a complete guide to 1368 varieties, including their origins and flavours, dismiss as futile attempts to link ancient names with modern varieties. They do, however, point to its origins in Campania and mentions of it as early as 1240. At Myrrhee, 700-metres up in Victoria’s King Valley, it produces a full-flavoured, melon-scented dry white with a rich texture and tangy, lemony dryness.
Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2015
First published 3 May 2015 in the Canberra Times