Chalmers Negroamaro Bush Vine 2021
Learn this name, it’s not hard to pronounce, this is one of the grapes of Australia’s wine-making future. Drought-resistant, it flourishes in the warm climate of its home in Puglia, Italy, and is showing the same affinity for Chalmers “bush vine” vineyard in Merbein, near Mildura. Very lifted and pretty, it smells like rose hip jelly, juicy strawberries and rhubarb. Like many Italian varieties it also shows an attractive savoury, herbal character that inspires food pairing. There’s a mouthwatering crispy fried sage note and those moreish Indian sweets, mukhwas (candied fennel seeds). In the mouth, it is lighter bodied, like a Pinot Noir or Gamay. Strawberry, red currant and dried herb flavours are paired with a vibrant cherry-tomato acidity. It finishes with fine, slightly dusty tannins that invite mediterranean flavours, maybe an Aussie-Italian fusion dish like a kangaroo ragu fettucine.