Fulfillment is the word best used to describe the Spanish Wines evening hosted by Ravish Ahuja, Chairman, Kiara Wines, at the ITC Grand Central, Parel, Mumbai, notes Suneeta Kanga. Ravish is looking to further increase and enrich the Indian wine basket with a spectacular bouquet of the most elegant wines from the Toro region of Spain. Pictured are Nicola Thornton from Farina wines, Ravish Ahuja, Chairman, Kiara Wines, Consul General of Spain Cesar Alba with Suneeta Kanga.
Spain stands an underrated player on the wine platforms of the world primarily because of its insistence on the individuality of every glass without succumbing to the pressures of high yields and mass production. In fact, most of the fine wines from Spain are consumed locally.
Luckily Kiara Wines is about to change that by introducing us to the fine Farina wines. Farina’s bouquet in India comprises a range of whites and reds. The rosé drinker will have to wait awhile before they add it to the Indian portfolio.
The evening commenced with an eloquent introduction by the very charming Nicola Thornton from Farina Wines to their Colegiata brand. Tinta De Toro is the superstar varietal and the base of all red and rosé Farina wines. Nicola explained that the varietal, which is related to Tempranillo, has adapted beyond recognition, and now makes deep, rich, full bodied wines with good structure and firm tannins, something we can attest to after our very first sip accompanied by melt-in-the-mouth canapés.
Colegiata Malvasia White was served with the first course of Red Snapper. Despite being experts in reds, Fariña´s winemaking team, led by Bernardo, have achieved what no one else in the region has been able to – a clean, fresh, fruit forward, juicy, aromatic white with great lively acidity. Green apples, mineral notes and a touch of peach lead to a very pleasant finish.
The Brie and Walnut Tortellini was accompanied by the Gran Colegiata Barrica. Modern in style, this beautifully balanced Tinta de Toro from 30- to 40-year old vines, aged in new French and American oak for four months is another example of the ever evolving and innovative wines of Farina. Fruit forward with a lively palate, full of berry fruits and violets, the subtle oak flavours lie in the background and add extra complexity and structure.
The main course of Baby Lamb Piccatta was perfectly matched with the finest D.O. Toro Gran Colegiata “Campus”. This is a limited production, terroir-driven wine made from 100% Tinta de Toro from pre-phyloxera, hand-picked, bush vines, 70 to 140 years old. Aged in American and French oak for 15 months before being aged in bottle for 12 months, this spectacular muscle bound yet elegant, modern Tinta de Toro is full of complexity and everything that Toro has to offer. It would be a punishable offence if one were to choose between wines of this calibre!
Delicious macerated Strawberries with Vanilla Bean Zabaglione were served with the Farina Reserva. This is a traditional style, yet very elegant, complex and restrained Reserva, where old world charm meets Tinta de Toro power. Cherry, vanilla, black pepper and spice on the nose led to a subtle and seductively long finish. Made from 100% Tinta de Toro from 70-year-old vines, the wine is aged for 18 months in oak and a minimum of 12 months in bottle before release.
While we enjoyed a select range during dinner, several others from their current selection were available for sampling. My vote went to the Farina Crianza. Modern in style, this luscious and intense red displays great balance and elegance between fruit and oak while being lively on the palate with good acidity. Made from 100% Tinta de Toro with French and American oak for 11 months, Farina Crianza is rapidly turning into the star of the range for its style and value for money.
To round off on a recommendation will be grossly inadequate. Let’s just say, to borrow from Hemingway, that “wine is one of the most civilized things in the world and one of the most natural things of the world that has been brought to the greatest perfection, and it offers a greater range for enjoyment and appreciation than, possibly, any other purely sensory thing.”
Was the grand old man thinking of Farina when he wrote this?