How many of you have heard of an Arneis; ok Malbec then, still not..How about Zinfandel or a Riesling!!! These are; as many of you would have known wine grape varieties. It was an evening hosted by Winekart’s Vishal Kadakia; where we witnessed some lovely examples of wine from these varieties!
Let me get to the wines I tasted that evening amidst lot of debates , healthy banter and conversations on wine taxation laws and subsidies, you know; this is how it is when the wine press meets!
It was a characteristic Riesling made by Helmut Donnhoff in the Nahe region of Germany. He is one of the most referred to people in wine for the region. They have a limited capacity and have acreage of 20 acres in plantation of which he makes limited cases of wine.
The wine was light gold, with petrol like aromatic compounds and lot of citrus elements on the nose. On the palate the minerality and the citrus stood out with bracing acidity and a good finish. And yes the word ‘trocken’ indicates a very low sugar content unlike many other Rieslings in the country.
Price: INR 3882
Arneis which literally translates to ‘little rascals’ is a white grape variety indigenous to Roero in the Piedmont region; North-West of Italy. The translation of the grape seems apt considering the effort to grow these grapes evenly. And this Arneis comes from the house of the Vietti family who has been making wines for four generations. In fact Alfred Currado, Lucian Vietti’s husband is called the ‘ Father of Arneis’ considering his efforts of reviving the long lost variety and put Roero and Arneis on the world map .
Medium gold with Jasmine, green apple, citrus and hazelnut on the nose it has a bitter lemon on the palate with medium acidity and medium finish. This wine is very different from any other wine you have tasted here in the market.
Price: INR 4653
Malbec has its origins in Cahors, France and has found a new home in Mendoza, Argentina. Malbec (also Cot in France) a black grape variety produces dark, robust and tannic wines with a blackfruit character. Often touted as a cheaper alternative to the big Cabernets and Syrahs, this grape can hold ground well.
Dominio Del Plata is the baby of Susane Balbo who established it in 1999 after a stint of two decades with different wineries in Argentina and has also been named one of the most powerful women in the wine business by ‘Drinks Business’. With handpicked grapes, state-of –the art technology and wine know in Lujan De Cuyo, Mendoza, the Malbec cannot ask for more love. The Crios (meaning offspring) range is the fruity variant meant for youthful consumption. They also do other international grape varieties under the brand.
Deep ruby in colour with a fruity nose but did not get confirmed on the palate, was very flat rather. Very light unlike a malbec with chewy tannins; did not like it much.
Ben Marco was the flag-ship label when Susane started and it has been going strong since then.
Deep ruby in colour with fruit, vanilla, tobacco and earthy notes on the nose, heavy but balanced with super- structured tannins on the palate, this wine was a gem.
The Prisoner, 2011:
This was a marvel from David Phinney; a resident f Napa, California with Italian roots. The Prisoner was first created in 2000, a blend of 5 big red varieties, Zinfandel, Petit Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Charbono (Bonarda in Argentina) and the label is an etching from the famous 18th century Spanish artist, Goya. The ‘wine for the wall street’ said Forbes in 2011, this big bold spicy complex red can certainly blow your mind away.
Price: INR 8885
A last word, considering the taxation in the country one pays three times the price for a bottle compared to a wine-forward country and the prices above reflect the same. I wouldn’t still mind laying my hands on the Donnhoff and the Ben Marco.
Until my next on Gin….Santé!!
P.S: Decant all the reds for some time before you indulge….