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The Latest Wine Kids On The Indian Block

Towards the end of 2015, there was a new wave of imported wines that splashed the Indian shores. Fratelli Wines- an Indian domestic producer, literally went the whole hog by augmenting their erstwhile portfolio of imported wines from 6 to 22 in an apparent bid to lay a greater claim on the Indian wine market. The only other domestic Indian producer in the imported wines space is India’s largest  producer Sula with 30 imported wines augmenting it’s bestseller domestic labels.

I had the privilege to be at the showcasing of these wines at Hyatt Regency New Delhi. Here’s a lowdown on these wines that you are likely to encounter in the Indian winescape.

(Retail prices indicated are ex New Delhi)

Zardetto (Italy)

Zardetto is located in the Conegliano hills in the heart of Prosecco vineyards. Fabio Zardetto (Owner) was present to show two of his wines:

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Prosecco Cuvée Brut (₹ 1730): A crisp dry and a straightforward sparkler well suited for casual drinking. Fabio told me that this label is quite popular for use in cocktails as well.

Prosecco Extra Dry (₹ 2660): A tad sweeter than the above, this one was rounder on the palate with a fruity/ floral character. A suitable aperitif as well as with food.

Boisset – La Famille des Grands Vins (France)

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Proudly calling itself a “family of families” with wines from Burgundy, Jura, Beaujolais, Rhone, Sud de France and California, this family owned business puts across their credo metaphorically – “oceans separate us, great wines unite us”. Olivier Medigue (Export Manager) was present to explain the wines with fluid ease:

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Maison Bonpas Côtes du Rhone Villages (₹ 2600): A full bodied wine with black fruits/ spice aromas and flavours. Appeared quite suitable for the average Indian preferences with its silky tannins.

Fortant de France Chardonnay (₹ 2340): Dry and light bodied on the palate with subtle tropical fruits flavours.

Fortant de France Grenache Rosé (₹ 1800): Refreshing, dry with red berries flavours and a long finish.

Fortant de France Grenache (₹ 1800): Intensely fruity wine with a luscious well rounded palate and pleasant tannins.

Fortant de France Cabernet Sauvignon (₹ 2340): Deep ruby wine with a full body, round tannins accompanied by ripe blackberries and cassis flavours.

Maison J Moreau & Fils (France)

Considered a specialist in Chablis wines.

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J Moreau & Fils Chablis AOC (₹ 6030): A refined expression of Chardonnay with well balanced fruit-acidity and a minerally complexity.

Jean-Pierre Moueix (France)

A négociant (trader) from Bordeaux.

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Château Bernadotte AOC Haut-Médoc 2008 (₹ 8175): A wine with half-half blend of Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot, which is quite uncommon for a left bank (of Gironde estuary) wine. The wine has delightful aromas of dark fruits, fruit cake and chocolate. A good choice for Christmas.

Château Chantalouette AOC Pomerol 2008 (₹ 10545): A full bodied wine with a firm stucture and flavours of ripe red fruits. Long on the finish.

Château Laujac AOC Médoc 2012 (₹ 6635): A surprisingly friendly wine with a savoury palate that makes it a very good gourmet wine.

Châteaux Vieux Lartigue Saint-Émilion Grand Cru 2008 (₹ 7490): A wine with rounded fruit flavours and silky tannins. Fruity and sweet spice aromas make it an indulgence! Likely to be an excellent companion with rich Indian preparations – I’m thinking Butter Chicken (tandoor roasted chicken in creamy gravy) and Dal Makhani (slow cooked lentils with a smoky flavour).

Viña Edmara (Chile)

A producer that has a presence in the Central Valley as well as coastal area of Chile. The wines in the Fratelli portfolio come from the Central Valley.

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Viña Edmara Chardonnay (₹ 2450): A typical warm weather Chardonnay replete with tropical fruit flavours and rounded mouthfeel.

Viña Edmara Pinot Noir (₹ 2550): A juicy delight on the palate this wine had ripe red berries and vegetal aromas.

Il Casone (Italy)

The winery is situated in a small town called Trebaseleghe, at the junction of three Venetian cities Treviso, Padua and Venice.

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Il Casone Pinot Grigio (₹ 2310): A refreshing wine with citrus and dried flower aromas. Delicate on the palate with subtle flavours of tree fruits. A good wine wine on its own or light food.

Caliterra (Chile)

Established in 1996 as a joint venture between the Robert Mondavi family and Viña Errazuriz from Colchagua, Chile. “Caliterra” is amalgamated from “Calidad” (quality) and “Tierra” (land). The name hence signifies the respective strengths of the partners.

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Caliterra Chardonnay (₹ 2340): Straw coloured wine with an expressive nose of citrus, dry fruits, and a hint of spice. Delicious on the palate with a good balance of acidity and ripe fruit.

Caliterra Merlot (₹ 2340): An intensely fruity wine with ripe aromatics and flavours of red berries and rounded tannins that make it an easy drinking wine.

Casa Sola (Italy)

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The vineyards of Casa Sola are located in the centre of Chianti Classico area in Tuscany. The region prides itself on its rich biodiversity that comprises of forests and olive groves interspersed with vineyards.

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Casa Sola Chianti Classico (₹ 3600): A medium ruby wine with blackberries and spice aromas. Medium bodied on the palate with rounded tannins and a hint of oak.

The augmented import portfolio launched by Fratelli signifies an increasing trend among major domestic winemakers in India to expand market reach amongst a wider crossection of wine consumers.

I also had the opportunity to converse with Kapil Sekhri, Managing Director Fratelli Wines who said that the whole idea behind adding imported wine labels to their portfolio was to offer a complete range of wines to the consumers. It is a welcome thought that more domestic wine producers could do well to emulate in the interest of  well rounded portfolios.

Something that the increasing number of Indian wine lovers would welcome with open arms.

Col Joe
wirtten by: Col Joe
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