Dott. is handmade by Chalmers from estate-grown fruit. It's inspired by the late Dr. Rod Bonfiglioli a passionate, eccentric scientist whose dogged determination and visionary foresight brought so much colour, interest and integrity to Australian wine. He sought out these rare grapes for our collection, seeing their promise long before the Chalmers family did, and for that we are all grateful.
Considered the finest quality member of the vast Malvasia family, Malvasia Istriana hails from Friuli where it makes fine, elegant, aromatic and mineral wines. It is mainly grown on clay/lime soils at low elevation in Friuli but it is said to produce the best results in the free draining gravelly plains of Friuli Grave or on harder hillside sites where the variety’s natural vigour is tamed.
Chalmers introduced a selection of Malvasia Istriana to Australia in the late 1990s, at about the same time that Bruce and Jenni Chalmers were enjoying wines from the grape with Dr. Rod and Stefano de Pieri at his restaurant and dreaming up a revolution in Australian wine. The first table wine was made from this clone by the Chalmers family in 2005, then a passito dessert wine in 2009. After more encouraging results from the grape in the 2013 #bucketwine project, Chalmers decided to plant it at Heathcote in a new planting designated as the Rod Bonfiglioli block because it focuses on six North Eastern Italian varieties which are a deviation from the mostly Mediterranean flavour of the Chalmers vineyard to date.
Dott. Malvasia Istriana was hand-picked on the 2nd March, chilled overnight and whole bunch pressed into stainless steel for a cool, natural fermentation on fine solids. After a short maturation in stainless steel it was hand bottled on site at Merbein in August 2017.
2017 Malvasia Istriana is golden straw coloured and has delicate spiced apple, lemon and hay aromas with a crisp, mineral palate of fresh cut red apple, fine structure and pleasant acidity.