Time for 2020 edition of juicy, bright Nero d’Avola by Chalmers
Zero hour for this wine was 2015. That was a watershed moment, a shift in style from which there’d be no return. That was the harvest that prompted Kim and Tennille Chalmers to ferment their Nero d’Avola exclusively in stainless steel and get it into bottle six months after vintage. A Burgundy bottle, no less. Gone was the oak, the extended maturation and the serious demeanour of the Bordeaux bottle.
Here was a renaissance; Nero reborn as a vibrant, juicy, light-hearted slurper.
It retains its quality chops, of course; this is grown on the Chalmers family’s prized top block on their Heathcote vineyard, and the Nero d’Avola grape has inherent character, strength and sense of light and shade.
Along with Vermentino and Rosato, this wine completes a triumvirate of Chalmers calling cards that promise excitement and refreshment at an enormously enticing price.
Australia’s champions of alternative varieties are still leading from the front, and these wines represent a vision for the future we should all get behind!
2020 Chalmers Vermentino is 100% Vermentino from the Chalmers vineyard in Heathcote on rich, red Cambrian soil, sitting 150-170m above sea level. Handpicked, whole bunch-pressed and wild fermented in stainless steel before the wine sits on less for 6 months. No acid adds. Vegan friendly.
Clean and crisp, this Vermentino shows white peach and Meyer lemon with an overall chalkiness and sea spray tang leaving you wanting more. – Kim Chalmers
Made mostly from Aglianico, with decent splashes of Nero d’Avola and Sagrantino. And the Aglianico is fermented in barrel, which explains the wine’s lovely creamy texture. It’s also vibrant, laced with bright spicy fruit and lemony acidity. The essence of summer in a glass.93 points. Jane Faulkner, Halliday Wine Companion 2021
Nero d’Avola is a vine variety this visionary grape-growing family first imported into Australia in 2002 and made a first wine from back in 2009. The vines grow on the Chalmers vineyard’s soils of basalt, shale, sandstone, dolerite, quartz and limestone at an elevation of 210-220m.
The grapes were handpicked and fermented as whole berries with indigenous yeast in stainless steel. This vegan-friendly wine was made with no additions apart from a pinch of sulphur.
It’s a vibrant, juicy wine with fine tannins and notes of dusty raspberry, cherry and graphite. – Kim Chalmers