Fruit for the 2020 Chalmers Bush Vine Negroamaro was harvested across two separate passes. The first took place on the more elevated and exposed side of the vineyard on 28th February, the second on the lower part of the vineyard on 16th March. Each parcel was vinified separately. The fruit was handpicked and destemmed. This first pick was 100% whole berries fermented with indigenous yeast and basket pressed after 17 days on skins. The second pick was also all whole berries fermented naturally, this time basket pressed after 35 days on skins. Malolactic conversion was spontaneous. The parcels were blended and the wine matured in a combination of seasoned French barriques and small stainless-steel vessel and bottled 12 months after the harvest. The wine is unfined and unfiltered, with minimal sulphur addition.
Looking at the wine, soft plum-purple hues herald a vibrant wine in the glass. Early impressions are of an earthy dustiness and pure fruit leading into cherries, dried blueberries and quandong jelly. Rosemary flowers and wild thyme complement that recurring vibrancy and freshness in the fruit. The extended maceration gives the wine good presence in the mouth with a pleasant, fine-sand texture. More savoury characters of wattleseed, worn leather and Murray Pine sneak through, lengthening the palate even more. The alcohol sits in the background. Aromatics allow the wine to finish with a delicate and fragrant palate of fresh liquorice, lifted lavender and rose petal. The wine is medium bodied, with lovely length that leaves you intrigued and wanting more. It’s a little wound-up, in a nice way, and hints that it will unfurl nicely, drawing on the delicate fragrance and spice characters in the coming years.
Food pairings aplenty here; think confident flavours in medium-weight dishes: smoked eggplant ratatouille, guinea fowl with braised radicchio, or a rosemary and salt bush slow-roasted lamb. – The Chalmers family