Marco Lubiana Q&A
Questions from Roscoe answers from Marco Lubiana
• Your wine is shockingly good, especially for a first release. Explain….
Well umm thank you. I am very lucky to have a such a good vineyard to source the fruit for this wine, the vineyard is planted on high quality terroir which is a thin top soil of sandy grey loam and a tough subsoil of river bed rocky white/orange clays, this is very poor in nutrients. The vines struggle and don’t produce much fruit and that is one reason the wine is so concentrated. The vineyard is also 24-47 years old which makes the vines mature and able to access the terroir deep down where young vines can’t. The vineyard is also fully biodynamic, i believe this makes the vine tough as it defends against disease and insects itself, in doing so produces grapes with thicker skins that contain better flavour and tannins. 2018 was a good year perfect growing season, nice fruit set, no hen and chicken, no disease and no rain during harvest, makes beautiful grapes.
• Why the Lucille Vineyard? Is it a site your folks have worked with in the past?
They purchased it in 2016(formally panorama) and it needed a lot of work in terms of soil and grafting to get better and more diverse clones of pinot/chardonnay. Steve always knew the vineyard had potential for many years back when he was contract winemaking and seeing fruit from down the Huon way.
• Tell me a little about what you see from the site in the glass?
• I always get a intense dark cherry spice note that is very aromatic and charming on the nose and palate. Concentration, length and power are always clear giveaways but without ripe cooked pinot characters that some Tasmanian pinots exhibit. i like how the wine soaks into your tongue The texture of the wine is very important too, it is very smooth and that is 100% the vineyard because I combine pressings and don’t use fining agents. Balance is the key.
• Can you tell me a little about the winemaking? Just the general overview. Talk me through some of the decision making and the reasoning.
• well you have to pick it right and I think a lot of people stuff this up and yet it’s such a simple step that defines the wine. Not picking too early or too late just right in the middle is the key. So to achieve this I taste the grapes a lot leading up to the day and I don’t rely too heavily on sugar measurements like traditional winemaking as I trust my palate not numbers. I sort very rigorously and take my time doing it, only perfect grapes enter the vat. I use a good destemmer and some whole bunch. soft fermentation that is long and always smelling good. Natural fermentation of course. Basket pressing only, bladder press is oxidative and rough on the wine, much better tannins with the basket. Good barrels and everything is super clean. full lees for one year, low sulfur levels all keep the wine fresh. Don’t filter just rack it once out of the barrel to the tank and bottle it myself. simple winemaking done right.
• Apart from forced service at the family farm (please say hi to your parents for me) have you worked anywhere else?
• I have worked in burgundy but to tell you the truth I didn’t learn much more than i already knew from reading books and talking with my father, i don’t believe you need to work at dujac or DRC to make good pinot(there is no secret), I believe in good viticulture/terroir, good equipment (desteemer press etc) and a palate that you can trust. It’s all intuitive to me really.
• Lastly, most importantly, which episode of Star Wars would you watch while drinking the Pinot?
• Star Wars is good but I think James Bond casino royale is more my style.