Fratelli Wines launched their second vintage over a relaxed evening of food, wine and conversation at the Hyatt Regency Pune on 4th October 2011, writes Brinda Gill. Having entered the market with Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon last winter, Fratelli introduced their new Classic White, Classic Red and Chardonnay, developed as fresh, approachable and reasonably priced wines.
The evening started at The Single Malt & Co. bar and lounge with the serving of Classic White, a lovely blend of Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc and Müller-Thurgau infused with flavours of tropical fruits. Served with light eats, the wine was instantly appreciated by guests for its fresh clean acidity and gently rounded fruit flavours.
Kapil Sekhri, Arjunsinh Mohite-Patil and Alessio Secci, members of the three families who have co-founded Fratelli as an Indo-Italian venture, (Fratelli means `brothers’ in Italian) chatted with guests about their venture, their efforts in ensuring quality grapes and the wine production process.
The guests then moved to La Terrazza, the Italian restaurant for a sit-down dinner specially planned by Executive Chef Hemant Mehta, Chef Luca Casini and their team. Alessio Secci took the mike to welcome guests and wish them an enjoyable dinner paired with the 2011 vintage. A member of the Fratelli team was seated at each table so that the discussion about the wines could continue during the meal.
In the course of the evening, dozens of pre-plated offerings were efficiently prepared at the open kitchen counter. The first course of a mixed leaf salad with artichokes, cherry tomatoes and walnuts dressed in honey mustard went well with the Chenin Blanc, which was crisp and smooth with a slight minerality. This was followed by Cappuccino of asparagus and milk foam, a light soup paired with a refreshing Sauvignon Blanc, with a gentle flavour of cut grass and guava.
It was then time to introduce the reds. First to be served was the Classic Red, an easy drinking, fruity and balanced blend of Shiraz and Cabernet Franc, paired with Tagliatelle with basil pesto, sundried tomatoes and goat cheese or Tagliatelle with Duck Ragout for non-vegetarians. The next course was a choice of Mushroom Risotto or herb marinated Leg of Lamb with seasonal roasted vegetables paired with Cabernet Sauvignon, nicely fruity with soft tannins.
To wrap up the meal it was back to a white wine. Chardonnay, lightly buttery and peachy (described by Alessio as the Pinot Noir of white grapes) was perfect with the cheese platter presented with a green tomato marmalade. As a surprise, Fratelli then served their Sangiovese, still unfiltered but lovely all the same, with a most pleased Alessio remarking that Chianti had come to India!
Paired with Mille Feuille, encasing a mousse of soft cheese in its flaky layers and topped with sliced pears poached in the Classic Red made a delightful medley of textures. It was midnight by then, the evening passed fast. In true Fratelli ethos there was much conviviality and bonding over a lovely meal, good wines and a most relaxed ambience.
• Fratelli Classic White 2011 and Classic Red 2011: Rs 395
• Fratelli Chenin Blanc 2011: Rs 495
• Fratelli Sauvignon Blanc 2011: Rs 595
• Fratelli Chardonnay 2011: Rs 695
• Fratelli Cabernet Sauvignon 2011: Rs 650
These prices are applicable in Maharashtra