For a family that hangs its hat on innovation, Dott. is the extreme avant-garde.
The Chalmers family’s forward-looking celebration of the frontier of vine diversity is also a retrospective ovation for the late, great Dr. (“Dottore”, or Dott. for short) Rod Bonfiglioli.
He was the viticulturist whose extraordinary passion and vision helped paint Australia’s vinous landscape in all the bright colours of tomorrow, while all eyes were on the same old, Old-World prize.
He sought out these rare grapevines for the Chalmers’ ground-breaking nursery collection, seeing their promise long before anyone else did.
To the assorted northern Italian exotica of Pavana, Schioppettino, Malvasia Istriana and Ribolla Gialla we now add a more familiar friend from the Veneto: Prosecco.
Unbeknownst to most, the Prosecco vine was officially imported into Australia by the Chalmers family back in 1999 – long before its meteoric rise to global fame – thanks to Dr. Rod’s connection with the Vivai Cooperativi Rauscedo (VCR) vine nursery in Italy.
The rest, as they say, is… well, it’s the future.
These wines are a hugely exciting statement from the Chalmers family.
You can read exhaustive notes on the grapes, the wines and their background here – and then go shopping below!
From Australia’s champions of Italian varieties, who officially imported Prosecco vines into Australia back in 1999, comes this 2022 Chalmers Dott. Prosecco.
It’s a refreshingly crisp and aromatic sparkling; fragrant and fruit forward with aromas of feijoa flower, green apple and lemon verbena. Pale in the glass with delicate fizz, this wine is drier than most Prosecco and has some gentle texture and a moreish finish.
The Dott. series of alternative grapes brought into Australia by Chalmers is dedicated to the late Dr. Rod. Bonfiglioli, who encouraged the family in their pursuit of the new and unusual to this country. The grape grows in Friuli, Italy and Slovenia. Light straw hue. Delicate aromas of snow pea, apple, citrus and jasmine. It stretches out on the palate, extending its flavour reach to include muscat, nougat and dried pear, brought into line nicely by firm acidity. Makes a striking impression. 500ml.92 points. Jeni Port, Halliday Wine Companion 2022
Considered the finest quality member of the vast Malvasia family, Malvasia Istriana hails from Friuli where it makes fine, elegant, aromatic and mineral wines. This wine is golden straw in colour and has delicate spiced apple, lemon and hay aromas with a crisp, mineral palate of freshly cut red apple, fine structure and pleasant acidity. – Kim Chalmers
Chalmers Dott Pavana is made from the rarest grape in the Chalmers collection. Only a handful of Pavana vineyards now remain in Italy – mostly in Valsugana which bridges Trentino and Veneto.
The pretty, rich garnet-coloured 2018 Pavana has an intense fragrance of fresh wild raspberry, dried figs and Darjeeling tea leaves. The palate is vibrant with rhubarb, rosehip and geranium characters, plus a hint of that Heathcote charry note, backed by a subtle tannin structure around a long acid line.
Interesting wine. Interesting drink. Definitely worth buying. It’s dry, savoury, includes a mid-weight serve of juicy/berried fruit, and has a reasonable tether of slightly-rugged tannin. It’s 3-years-old but it feels fresh, almost zippy. There’s more than a little umami to this. Almost a seaweed aspect, positively so. A dry, woody herb aspect. It’s good.91 points. Campbell Mattinson, The Wine Front