Indian wine continues to head up the quality stratosphere and impress wine enthusiasts, in India and around the globe. We pick the best of this year for you to uncork.
Fratelli Vitae Chardonnay 2015
I love the two Vitae whites that Fratelli produces, but the Vitae Chardonnay is the one that really gets me excited. Vitae Chardonnay is a 100% barrel fermented Chardonnay. Because the barrel is the vessel for fermentation, it gives the wine additional texture and nuances. The wine has good acidity, backed by aromas of toast, brioche and vanilla, a touch of tropical fruit, citrus notes and a lasting finish.
Grover La Reserve Blanc 2015
I do love Viognier as a grape varietal, and Grover does a fine job with its La Reserve format and the Vijay Amritraj collection format. The wine is aged in French oak with aromas of honeysuckle, apricot and pineapple. The barrel gives this wine weight, making it rich and powerful, with a long finish of tropical fruit, vanilla and citrus notes to balance.
Sula Rasa Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
Sula’s flagship wine is the Rasa Cabernet Sauvignon. Open a bottle, put the wine into a decanter and allow it to bloom, to give you sip after sip of pure Cabernet pleasure. With lots of fruit notes laced with oak that come from their year spent in French oak barrels, these grapes have been handharvested from very low yielding vineyards from Sula’s Dindori estate.
Chandon Rose NV
The folks at Chandon have done a spectacular job in creating a high quality sparkling right from the very first batch, and they continue to impress, especially with their constantly changing bottle designs. Chandon should be given complete credit for getting India hooked onto sparkling wine like never before. Their vibrant Rose Gold has hints of pink peach skin and a fine persistent effervescence. Intense aromas of ripe cherries with mouth filling flavours of red fruits and soft grapefruit undertones lead to a rich, creamy and persistent finish.
York Sauvignon Blanc 2017
The brothers at York continue to march forward, and I love what they are doing. They are definitely the most independent winery in India, giving them a sort of indie vibe. Everything they produce is fantastic, and their Sauvignon Blanc is a great example of the quality levels they maintain. Their vineyards of Sauvignon Blanc are pruned and managed to give fruit that is highly concentrated, with tropical flavours. This Sauvignon Blanc is the perfect blend of complex tropical flavours, achieved during the viticulture and winemaking process, and the herbaceous and grassy characters are typical to this grape variety.
Vallonne Vin De Passerillage 2016
It is sad that we don’t see much of Vallonne these days, because some of their wines are damn good. Their Vin de Passerillage is an outstanding dessert wine and if you ever get to their winery, I urge you to buy a bottle or two. This limited release wine is produced in small quantities from the best handpicked grapes, sun-dried to ensure the highest concentration of aromas and sugars. The rich, deep golden wine has a wonderful multi-dimensional nose redolent with hints of honey, vanilla, melons, citrus and apricot.
Reveilo Grillo 2017
Their Italian wine maker certainly hit the nail on the head when he experimented with planting Sicilian grape varieties in India. I think it is a genius move. This wine is different from everything else produced here, and I love the slight lemon rind character to the wine. It greets you with a bouquet of citrus, lemon, orange and grapefruit. It is a medium-bodied wine, with crisp acidity and a long mineral aftertaste.
Charosa Reserve Tempranillo 2015
This winery started off with such a bang, producing wines of brilliant quality and packaged almost to perfection. I love their Reserve Tempranillo, and I don’t know too many who have tried this wine and don’t feel the same. Dark ruby red in colour, it displays rich coconut, vanilla, chocolate and raspberry aromas. A medium-bodied wine which has an excellent concentration of warm red fruit flavours like raspberry, strawberry and plum, it is distinctly ripe, fleshy and well-balanced, with a perfectly round and soft finish.