No Malo versus Malo?

By Bart van Olphen

No Malo versus Malo?

I know this seems to be easy to answer, and for most people including me its all reds and some bigger style whites that a Malo-lactic fermentation takes place.

But when you sit around with the Chalmers Girls you are very likely drinking a white or a rose. Ok there are some light reds that might come out a bit later in the night.

So I had been drinking mostly reds up to meeting them, having lived in McLaren Vale the last 6 years, and found myself in the minority.

During #bucketwine project we would be tasting unfinished reds and the Girls would say ‘see this is how I want to drink my red.’

‘But its not finished’ I would say.

After Malo-lactic fermentation was complete with these wines, and they were bottled, I would get reminded that some of the reds were so much more alive, vibrant and fresh before the Malo.

When Chalmers did a side project in 2011 called St Marty’s Vino Nuovo, an unfiltered and un-malo’d Heathcote Nero d’Avola) it was clear to them that there is a place for these wines. Also the stability of them seems not to much to worry about since St Marty is still drinking ok 5 years later.

So during the #bucketwine project there were a few reds that looked better than others before malo and that has a lot to do with the natural acidity and balance of those wines and could change season to season.

Now we are in the 2016 vintage and we are leaning over a freshly pressed Schioppettino. As always we are all discussing the wine and its future in the Australian wine industry, Chalmers girls making the big calls ‘this variety could be the next big thing,’ ‘its got every thing,’ and ‘planted in the right site it’s a winner.’

And I’m standing there thinking I can’t agree more its bloody delicious and has so much to offer.

As we stand in our shed (the winery) and we are getting excited about taking over the world one bottle of schioppettino at a time, there it is the by now famous question ‘should we just sulphur it now? Its bloody delicious who wouldn’t want to drink this?’

Ok, hang on, I can hear myself say before the sulphur gets tipped in, its really nice and I see what you are saying freshness/vibrancy, but I think it will be great after going through malo and we will still keep those characters and have a bit more red-winey completeness (is that even a thing, red winey?) .

It wouldn’t be project wine if we were just making stock standard stuff so right there and than hanging over a little tank we made the No Malo versus The Malo project and hope to answer some questions and get some confirmation about this subject.

Can’t wait to hear what the people think about the wines tasted side by side.



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