Chalmers 2017 Dott. Malvasia Istriana
Mal what now? Malvasia Istriana is an Italian varietal. There are various types of Malvasia and all of them are different grape varieties that make very different wines. The name “Malvasia” derives from the Greek city Monemvasia in the Peloponnese. Malvasia Istriana is considered an authentic Istrian variety and it is different from all the other numerous varieties of Malvasia growing prolifically across Europe.
So what is it and why should you drink it? We Scoffers are great lovers of the work of the Chalmers family. From Bruce and Jenny's early days in Buronga, just over the Murray River from Mildura in NSW, where they nurtured an entire generation of alternative avriatals, leading daughters Kim and Tennille to not only carry on the tradition but to become wine makers and advocates for alternative varieties also. They drive the Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show in Mildura each November, this year celebrating 20 years.
But we digress. Chalmers introduced a selection of Malvasia Istriana to Australia in the late 1990s. Planting the vines in Heathcote in 2013, they made this little gem in 2017 in Merbein, just out of Mildura. Like all Malvasia Istriana wines, the beautiful golden colour is matched by lovely notes of crisp apples, tart citrus and a delicate herbaceousness - is that a word?
Once it hit the palate, it comes alive even more, with the tartness and bright acidity gripping the indeed of the cheeks. It has moments of reminding us of well made rieslings where the floral notes are emboldened with the sharp lemon lime zing. This is quite a textural wine, finley layered acidity alongside a crisp, minerally palate and a lengthy finish.
It is well worth tracking down, and drinking it with some steamed farmed Murray cod with ginger and Asian greens. This is a stellar wine, and we look forward to what following vintages have to offer.
RRP: $28 at good independents or order online.
Victoria | 2017 | Heathcote | 12.5% ABV