“In the old days royalty travelled long distances with great fanfare and style. We would like to carry on the tradition and invite you to a luxurious afternoon in Mandwa (Alibaug). Ocean Blue will whisk you across the harbor to Ccaza Ccomodore for a lavish Miazma BBQ brunch.” Sommelier India’s Suneeta Sodhi Kanga found this invitation irresistible
When I received this invitation in my mail, understandably my excitement was palpable. The lavish Sunday afternoon not only matched my expectations but by far exceeded them. Indian wine lovers, past, present and future, please raise a toast to Miazma and its world class wine which owner and wine producer, Karan Jain, founder of Globus Wines (the company that launched Miazma Fine Wine in 2009) has created for the discerning wine connoisseur. This brunch kickstarts the first of a series of events that he has planned for 2010.
A speed boat to take you away from the hustle and bustle of Mumbai to a serene, sprawling villa in Mandwa on a sunny yet pleasant Sunday was a brilliant start to the relaxed afternoon. Sheiilu Lehr, the charming sales Director of Ocean Blue was personally taking care of all the guests. The guests relaxed in the salon and flybridge of the boat while the captain maneuvered the yacht into the high seas.
The ambience at Ccaza Ccomodore, Alibaug, was lazy, laid-back, Mediterranean. The subtle smell of BBQ and grassy lawns beneath your feet lent a quaint country feel to the pleasant setting. Ccaza Ccomodore is a beautiful and luxurious Villa. Dipti Mongia, the owner along with husband, Nitin, receive guests at the villa in true style. She proudly showed me around the house, garden, swimming pool and spacious verandas and sit-outs. Dipti had also arranged for Thai foot massages for guests as a surprise treat. Good music, warm weather and a glass of Miazma wine swirling in your hand was heady, to say the least.
A perfectly chilled Miazma Chenin Blanc 2006 was the first wine we sipped. A well synchronized wine with a pleasant bouquet and a bracing palate, the wine was refreshing and friendly in the mouth with a light body, subtle fruits and balanced alcohol. The fruit balanced the acidity and the sweet notes in the aroma made it an easy pairing with the delectable hors d’oeuvres that Nitin had prepared for us. The lamb hummus pita pockets and cilantro chicken were especially good.
To add further to our bliss came the Miazma Chenin Reserve 2006. The fruity and heady flavours of this remarkable wine orchestrated with the taste buds to transport us to a far away fairyland.
The Miazma Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 was paired with the delightful fare on the barbeque grill. The buffet included risotto stuffed peppers, lemon pepper soy fish, smoked chicken franks, mushroom quiche and ham and cheese frittatas. The Cabernet Sauvignon showed spicy aromas and layers of complexity with blackberry, plum and bell pepper. Vanilla, coffee and butterscotch on the palate come from the 12 months of oak ageing. Backed by firm tannins, dark chocolate and coffee lingered in the finish. The wine was approachable, round, and concentrated.
Cookies and ice-cream were made all the more memorable with the accompaniment of the Miazma Red Reserve 2006. A Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon blend, this wine offered seductive aromas of ripe raspberry, plum and dark chocolate. It was particularly smooth on the palate with the smoky richness of spices, pepper and berries. Very drinkable with a long elegant finish. Unless controlled, one could run the risk of a glass too many with this one.
All of the 40-odd guests seemed to have enjoyed this perfectly laid out, delightfully lavish brunch. Miazma wine is influenced by the international style of winemaking using estate grown grapes, but as the ‘terroir’ is Indian, the expression of the wine is local. The labels on the bottles are as stunning as the contents and a great flag-bearer for Indian wines – the logo has a maharaja travelling on elephant back.
The name of the wine, meaning mist or haze, comes from their vineyards in the hills of Sangli. “Early morning it’s quite misty and cool at our vineyards. I wanted to capture the essence of the place in the name itself,” says Karan Jain.
Whispers that Miazma has a few more aces up its sleeve caught my ears. Karan is determined to seduce India with his forthcoming launches this year when he uncorks his new creations.
The wines are now selectively available for the discerning wine enthusiast. Priced at Rs 1,200 to Rs 1,500 per bottle, Miazma is one of the most expensive premium wines produced in India.While priced higher than most Indian wines, their offering comes with the promise of appealing to a wine aficionado or turning you into one!