Most wines that pass the desk at Graham HQ are like commercial white bread. Occasionally tasty, but mostly generic and predictable. This Chalmers Appassimento 2017, instead, is the weird revivalist rye loaf you stumble on by mistake.
Modelled on the traditional appassimento Italian styles, this takes rack-dried Lambrusco Maestri grapes from the Chalmers Murray Darling vineyard, the juice fermented wild and barrel matured with ‘1.5kg of grapes in every (375ml) bottle’. It pours like ink, with that dried fruit fudgey viscosity to it. But it’s concentrated fruit, not the 140g/L of sweetness that drives this. Unlike some of the dusty, oxidised and heavy styles you find everywhere in Italy it doesn’t feel dried out either – it’s more juicy, with nods in a Topaque direction, complete with tannic savouriness. I personally couldn’t drink more than a glass, but there is something incredibly fun about this black, sweet Italian love letter.
Best drinking: now to whenever. It’s not going to fall over any time soon. 17.5/20, 91/100. 14.5%, $48 375ml. Would I buy it? A glass.