‘Game, set and match’ were the words of Agent Vijay; James Bond’s ally; played by Indian tennis legend Vijay Amritraj, in the 1983 Bond film Octopussy. These were the words he could easily relate to; more in his real world than otherwise. Best Asian tennis player for 14 years and having achieved a personal best world ranking of 16, Vijay Amritraj had arrived and accepted very well in Hollywood too. A man who had beaten the likes of Jimmy Connors (5 times) and McEnroe, kept the Indian flag flying high in the tennis arena. California-based now, he was in India for a different cause, it being the endeavor to take Indian wines to the world.
In a soiree on the 18th September at the uber- luxurious, The Leela, Mumbai, Vijay announced the launch of the ‘ Vijay Amritraj ( VA) reserve collection’ wines in collaboration with Grover Zampa Vineyards, one of India’s leading wine producers. This collection includes the red reserve; a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Viognier and the white reserve; a barrel Fermented and barrique aged Viognier both priced at Rs 1200. The fruity mouthful red with very structured tannins and a great finish and the white; a round and light wine with peach and floral notes toned down by aging in new oak were impressive, would have loved a little more acidity in the latter. Sumedh Singh Mandla, CEO Grover Zampa Vineyards expressed’ “Our brand is dedicated to express passion, elegance and success associated with the legend of Mr. Vijay Amritraj. We are very excited to launch these premium wines in India and in international markets. This brand will provide Indian wines an enviable international platform that can only lift its reputation across the world.”
It will be a proud day for the Indian wine scene if the wines were to follow the legend’s footsteps, Asia’s best wine, beat the ‘McEnroes’ or first growths of the wine world in the wine grand slams and lastly how about Agent 007 ordering a ‘VA wine’ in the 2015 Bond flick. Only time will tell… I am Gung-Ho for Indian wines!