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.
Pavana is the rarest grape in the Chalmers collection, having caught Dr. Rod’s attention during a mid-1990s tenure at Udine University. Only a handful of Pavana vineyards now remain in Italy, mostly in Valsugana which bridges Trentino and Veneto. However, it was once widely planted in these areas when the region was part of Austria, where much of the Pavana wine was consumed. Being a pale, perfumed and herbal light red, it wasn’t favoured by the Italians once the region passed to Italian rule so Pavana became unviable and was removed from most vineyards.
Pavana joined the Chalmers collection in 2000 but the first pretty, rosé-like super light red wines weren’t made from the nursery block until 2013-2015. The combination of the variety with the distinctive Heathcote soil influence has produced a more structured and darker wine, still retaining the charm and freshness so endearing in the Chalmers Project wines. The fact that this variety was singled out by Dr. Rod during the 1990s at a time when heavy, concentrated and oaked reds were in fashion is a testament to his foresight.
Dott Pavana was hand-picked on the 29th March, chilled overnight then destemmed into open fermenter for a whole berry wild ferment. It was basket pressed on the 9th April and finished primary fermentation in stainless steel. After a short maturation in stainless steel it was hand bottled on site at Merbein in August 2017.
The pretty, garnet-coloured 2017 Pavana has an intense fragrance of fresh wild raspberry and Darjeeling tea leaves. The palate is light and vibrant with rhubarb, rosehip and geranium characters backed by a subtle tannin structure around a long acid line.