There aren’t many people who call Steve Lubiana Stefano, and you merely need to spend a few minutes with him to understand why. He is one of the most affable and soft-spoken Australian vignerons you’ll find, very much a product of having grown up in the Riverland, the product of Italian migrants. In spite of his very generous and gregarious nature, he is a philosophical wine grower with a deep passion for not only biodynamic farming but the history of these practices. His imprint on the island state of Tasmania is immeasurable, and has been producing outstanding wines from the Derwent Valley for several decades.
When Jean-Jacques Morel made the decision to move his family from Paris to Burgundy, it in fact wasn’t for wine, his entry into the wine industry was merely to earn a living once he moved to the region. It was his previous influences and experience that not doubt led to him finding a true passion for viticulture, and the decision was made to follow a path of wine farming. His incredible journey in life has not only influenced his approach to his wines, but also his approach to life, as his enthusiasm and affability his hard to deny. The fact that he limits interference with his wines is but a small part in his mystique and acclaim, and spending a short amount of time it’s hard not to find his love of life infectious.
The last recorded edition of Let’s Taste for 2017 was on New Year’s Eve, and it was for two 2017 white wines from Moss Wood. Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc are varieties that have a rich and important history in Margaret River, but possibly don’t get as much love as other grapes. I was very interested to see what the 2017 vintage offered in the west, let me know what you think in the comments below!
The Pannell family is one of the most iconic in Australian wine, having not once but twice pioneered the vigneron model in Western Australia. After being one of the first commercial wine producers in the now legendary and substantial Margaret River region (Moss Wood), they had a complete shift East to the still somewhat unexplored Pemberton region, where they established Picardy Wines. Here they focused on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and invited their son Dan to be an important part of the future. With such an incredible wine pedigree and a passion for Burgundy, it’s easy to understand why Dan is regarded as one of the most incredible and honest winemakers in the state.
This past year, not unlike the previous one, was both momentous and often challenging. There were a number of life-changing events in 2017, most importantly the birth of my son which put a hold on podcast episodes and Let’s Taste videos. What his birth couldn’t change was the second vintage of the now named and released Vino Intrepido brand, and it was very difficult to leave home in the months after to visit the winery. Balancing work and personal became even more challenging starting a new position with importer Enoteca Sydney, and I was contemplating putting the podcast on indefinite hiatus. That was until I was invited to be part of the Melbourne podcast network Ear Buds, which saw me get The Vincast out to a bigger audience, and also hold the first ever live recording at Noisy Ritual in Brunswick East. I’ve got big plans for 2018; more wine, more podcast episodes, more live events, more everything!
Of course many more bottles were opened on the IntrepidWino YouTube channel, and as always I feel incredibly privileged to share my impressions of how awesome Australian wine is. Many thanks to those individuals and companies who submitted samples, and thanks to the growers and winemakers who put in so much hard work to get such incredible booze into the bottle. The following wines were some of the most impactful that I opened for Let’s Taste in 2017, please let me know what you think in the comments below.
Despite having grown up in Rome and working in hospitality for a number of years, it wasn’t until Mattia Cianca was working in Perth that he became interested in wine. The added irony was that he was working in an Italian restaurant, learning about Italian wines, in Australia! Since arriving Down Under he has been on a fast track for sommelier stardom, working at Australia’s number one restaurant (Attica), and now with access to one of the most enviable lists in the country (Dinner by Heston). His talent and hard work was recently recognised by Sommeliers Australia, who named him 2017 Sommelier of the Year, and he is on a path to become a Master Sommelier in the next few years.
On a recent edition of Let’s Taste I looked at a few wines from the Vanguardist range, made by Michael John Corbett in South Australia. Sanglier is a different brand they make, slightly wilder in style, and he gave me a bottle of the 2016 Shiraz to taste. Let me know what you think in the comments below!
I recently bumped into Michael John Corbett in Melbourne as we happen to share some warehouse space. I’d seen the Vanguardist wines out and about in my travels as a wine rep, and had noticed them not far from mine tucked away in inner Melbourne ready for delivery. Michale mentioned that he would love to be involved with The Vincast, and generously offered me some wines to taste. Please let me know what you think in the comments below!
The third and final in another series of Let’s Taste d’Arenberg wines, this time looking at two chardonnays from the 2016 vintage. McLaren Vale, although considered a warmer climate ideal for red varieties, still has a lot of chardonnay, as there are cooler parts of the region suited to white varieties. The Adelaide Hills is possibly considered the best region in South Australia for chardonnay, so it makes sense they should use fruit from here. Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below!
An intriguing tasting of d’Arenberg wines on this edition of Let’s Taste, comparing a classic blend for the McLaren Vale, and a variety that has recently gained a new following. Let me know what you think in the comments below!
All content on this website, including text, images, audio and video, remains the sole property of the author unless otherwise acknowledged and appropriately credited. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of content without express and written permission from the author is strictly prohibited. Content may be used for reproduction provided that full and clear credit is given to James Scarcebrook and/or The Intrepid Wino with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.