The ever-expanding Indian wine market with double-digit growth has given hope to many Indian and International wine companies to explore further opportunities. Despite heavy duties, taxes and other roadblocks, the potential consumer base is what keeps luring companies to introduce new wine brands in the market every year. Here’s a list of wines available in India that Drinks & Destinations recommends you to try in 2017.
The list comprises some wines, which were introduced in the market last year.
Insignia by Grover Zampa Vineyards
The second Indian wine to be available in a magnum bottle, Insignia is the new offering from Grover Zampa’s portfolio. It is only available at the company’s winery in Bangalore at the moment and priced at Rs 5000 Insignia 2014 is the most premium Indian wine in the market. It is a 100% Shiraz single vineyard wine from Nandi Hills made by the winemaker Karishma Grover. Only 300 bottles are available so you better hurry.
M/S Masters’ Selection by Fratelli Vineyards
Fratelli Vineyards’ portfolio is as big as the number of parties involved in the company itself. While they have one of the biggest wine ranges, some of their wines are a class apart. My personal favourite is the white wine made from Sangiovese grapes- Bianco. Last year the company surprised wine lovers with another exciting series. Collaboration between Piero Masi, the winemaker of Fratelli and the wine writer and consultant Steven Spurrier carrying their initials it’s called M/S series. I recently tasted the Chardonnay Sauvignon Blanc 2015 and Sangiovese, Cabernet Franc and Syrah 2015. The wines are straightforward and sincere with clean aromas and flavours on the palate, which is very elegant and balanced. Priced at Rs950 for a bottle in Maharashtra, this is another addition to the premium Indian wines segment.
Viognier Reserve Collection by Vallonne Vineyards
There’s one Indian wine company that has been consistently and very quietly making some good wines. Vallonne Vineyards’ rose is a popular one but recently I had a chance to taste its Viognier Reserve Collection. I have been a great fan of the Charossa Viognier but Vallonne’s 2014 vintage of this wine is a class apart. Beautiful aromas of passion fruit, peach and creamy buttery texture on the palate. It is a great value for money wine at Rs 850 per bottle.
H.C Andersen series From Robert Giraud- Bordeaux France
Inspired by the fairy tales series of writer H C Andersen, the Bordeaux-based wine company Robert Giraud had introduced a range of wines from the south of France. These wines are now available in India through the wine and spirits importing company Flipsydee. The range includes 6 varietals out of which 3 inspired labels such as “The Little Mermaid”, “The Wild Swans”, and “The Chimney Sweeper” are available in India. Danish artist Pia Kryger Lakha has designed the labels. The wines available in India include a blend of Colombard Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Priced at Rs 2390 we suggest you must add it to your personal collection, well at least the labels as its limited edition.
Apiliotis From Domaine Sigalas – Santorini, Greece
This was an accidental discovery at one of Sanjay Menon’s (the wine importer) wine tastings last year. He saved the best for the last. Sanjay asked me to wait before tasting it and called for a plate of pannacotta with vanilla sauce. He poured a bit of this delicious looking wine in the center and then asked me to try it. That was one memorable tasting. A dessert wine from one of Santorini, Greece’s well-known wine companies Domaine Sigalas. It’s made from 100% sundried Mandilaria grapes. It has also a great aging potential but I would suggest, just drink it. I was so impressed with the wine that I also visited the winery in Santorini later in 2016. If you haven’t tried it yet, you are certainly missing out on something. The wine is available in India through the wine importing company Sonarys and sold at around Rs 7000 for a 500ml bottle. I am told it is out of stock right now. But do keep an eye out for this one.
Heinrich Pinot Noir Dorflagen – Austria
Vishal Kadakia’s company The Wine Park is known for brands that carry a unique characteristic and story of its own. He is also known to be very selective about his wines. So when he decides to add a biodynamic pinot noir wine from a region like Austria in his portfolio it certainly has to be a good one. The wine with beautiful aromas and a fruity fresh mouth feel is quite elegant and a must try for a pinot noir lover. Heinrich is sold at Rs 3984 in Maharashtra.
Chateau Timberlay Bordeaux Superieur by Robert Giraud
A wine list is incomplete without a wine from Bordeaux. New in the market, Chateau Timberlay’s Bordeaux Superieur is a beautiful Bordeaux blend red (merlot and cabernet sauvignon) savoury and every bit classic Bordeaux wine. Owned by Robert Giraud the Chateau Timberlay wines are available in India through Flipsydee and Bordeaux Superieur is sold at Rs 2990 in Maharashtra. A must try we would say. Don’t forget to pair the wine with a nice lamb curry. Also the
Gerard Bertrand Cotes de Roses – France
Cotes de Roses wine from the house of Gerard Bertrand, Languedoc region France comes in a stunning rose-shaped bottle. A young student of the Ecole Boulle has designed this wine. Made from Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah grapes the wine is very fresh and fruity. Cote des Roses is the name of the coastal area near the typical village of Gruissan in Languedoc appellation. Imported by Brindco, this wine is available on retail at Rs 2496 in Maharashtra.
Casillero del Diablo -Chile
The Chilean wine company Concha y Toro, Casillero del Diablo lost its top spot as the world’s most admired wine label to Torres wines only recently. However, the wine earlier being imported by Global Duty Free company is now available through Aspri Spirits. The Casillero del Diablo Devil’s Collection- Rapel Valley –Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenere is smooth and delicate with great ripeness and elegance. The wine is sold at Rs 2395 in Maharashtra.
Joseph Drouhin Gevrey Chambertin-Burgundy France
It’s a classic savoury pinot noir from Gevrey-Chambertin appellation from Cote de Nuits, Burgundy, France. Bright ruby colour with liquorice and woody notes the wine has a nice elegant silky structure on the palate. Goes very well with heavy north Indian food. This super-premium wine is being imported by Prestige Group and sold at Rs 11,500 in Mumbai.
It is difficult to make a list of just a few wines out of the large number of wines that I managed to taste in 2016-2017. However, there are some more which you should look for when you are thinking of buying a bottle of wine this year. Trocken Riesling from Weingut Heinz Pffaman (dry white wine, organic and vegan wine from Germany), my all time favourite Torres Vina Esmeralda (a blend of Moscatel & Gewurztraminer) from Spain, Hugel & Fils Gentil wines from Alsace, France. It is a blend of Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Muscat, and Sylvaner. And back at home, if you are traveling to Karnataka look for a bottle of KRSMA Estates Sangiovese wine.