Sogrape Wine Tasting With Jakub Wierzba

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It isn’t every day that one gets to taste wines from the best wine producer in the world. Sogrape Vinhos was voted as ‘the best wine producer’ this year, by  World Association of Writers and Journalists of Wines and Spirits (WAWWJ that created a ranking with the top 100 producers worldwide.

The company has been present in India for a long time which many may not be aware of. But it’s the brand Mateus Rose that is often seen on the tables of Rose drinkers. Ask the importer Jackie Matai from Aspri Spirits and he confirms without giving the numbers, that it is probably the highest selling Rose in the country. Jakub Wierzba, Director Asia Pacific for Sogrape was recently in India to talk about the company and the wines from Sogrape’s global portfolio.

My first tasting of Mateus Rose was at an NRI friend’s place few years back. Like many other fans of Mateus, he always brought a bottle when he traveled to Mumbai. He was just beginning to appreciate wine at that time and preferred Mateus because it was easy on the palate and pocket also because the bottle looked stylish. I am sure that’s exactly what makes the brand so popular. After all, it has been listed as one of the 50 most admired wine brands in the world for the third consecutive year.

While conducting the masterclass in Mumbai, Wierzba shared many interesting stories and facts about Sogrape. The biggest family-owned company from Portugal, Sogrape is also one of the highest revenue generating wine companies (200 million euros) in the world. Besides having a number of wineries in Portugal, Sogrape is now operational in Spain, Argentina, New Zealand and Chile. Selling around 20 million bottles, Mateus consists of 15% of the company’s total production.

L to R: Jackie Matai, Jakub Wierzba & Rajesh Israni
LtoR: Jackie Matai, Jakub Wierzba, Rajesh Israni

Wines tasted at the master class were Mateus Rose and Mateus Sparkling Rose, Framingham Riesling from New Zealand and Los Boldos Cabernet Sauvignon from the winery in Chile.

Mateus Rose

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This wine is a blend of indigenous grape varieties such as Baga, Rufete, Tinta Barroca and Touriga Franca. It is a light, fresh, off-dry (15 gm/ltr) and slightly sparkly style wine that appeals to many. The wine is priced at Rs 1595 in Mumbai.

Mateus Sparkling Rose

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This is a blend of Baga and Shiraz and is produced using charmat method. The brut sparkling wine has 12 gm/ltr sugar and also has a demi-sec version. The wine is priced at Rs 2000.

Framingham Classic Riesling (2013)

Framingham Wine Company Limited

New Zealand may not be known for its Rieslings as much as it is for the Sauvignon Blancs and Pinot Noirs, but this wine definitely sets the benchmark. Coming from one of the oldest Riesling producing vineyards in Marlborough region in New Zealand, only 2000 cases of the classic riesling are produced by the winery. A very expressive bouquet with the aromas of flower, lemon, and apple, this wine has the potential to be the center of attention at any tasting or dinner/lunch table. The wine is priced at Rs 4000.

Los Boldos Cabernet Sauvignon (2013)

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This wine comes from one of the oldest wineries in Chile called Chateau Los Boldos established in 1850. The vines planted in over 620 hectares of land follow a more french style of wine making. The winery was acquired by Sogrape in 2008. This lightly perfumed, elegant wine with a great finish may remind you of a burgundy style pinot noir. The wine is aged for six months in french oak and has 13.5% abv. It is priced at Rs 1999.

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