We have written elsewhere on this site about the impact two generations of the Chalmers family have had on the entire alternative wine varieties industry in Australia, siring thousands of wines available to us from all over the country.
Kim Chalmers introduced me to Aglianico over a decade ago and I have never forgotten the very first experience with it. This has a new label from back then, so it took me a second to recognise what I was scoffing, but it became clear very quickly.
Aglianico is a medium bodied red wine, considered one of the three noble Italian grapes, alongside Sangiovese and Nebbiolo . The grapes are almost black in colour and love a dry climate, which is why the Chalmers Heathcote vineyard is an ideal space to grow them.
Let's start with what it is not. Don't expect a delicate little lady of a wine. This is a rambunctious, boisterous teenager, basket pressed and with wild ferment and whole berries, it has some oomf.
The nose is all spiced plums and dark chocolate, with some delicate floral notes I cannot quite put my finger on. I want to say it's hyacinth but i'm probably wrong. Similar profile is evident on the palate with nicely balanced tannins and a big heft of ripe plum, beetroot relish and paprika. It's going to demand something bold to have it with and I don't think many of us could scoff a bottle without food. Spicy salsiccia in tomatoes with orecchiette and basil would lend itself well, as would some game. Dare I say, I was munching on some duck prosciutto and it would be a great match with the duck and some salty crusty bread.
Look for a long, bold and clean finish as you reach for the bottle to refill your glass. Its a cracker.
RRP: $43 at good independents or order online.
Victoria | 2016 | Heathcote | 13% ABV