Interesting conversation and commendable Australian wines come together at The Tasting Room in Mumbai on 11 February 2010. De Bortoli Wines from the Yarra Valley, in the country since four years now, organized the tasting in collaboration with FineWinesnMore. Vivacious Nikki Palun, Marketing & Trade Manager for Asia Pacific from De Bortoli Wines tells Naina Hiranandani what makes her wines so special.
Pictured left: Senior VP FineWinesnMore, Craig Wedge, CEO FineWinesnMore, Dharti Desai and Nikki Palun
Next in line is the Willowglen Semillon Chardonnay 2008. With a pale straw colour and wonderful spring aromas, Nikki says, “The grapes are of better quality since they’re multi-regional. So this one is for easy drinking, but at the same time, we deliver a value-for-money. It has the layering, texturing and a little more complexity.” A result is the pleasant dominance of Chardonnay and oak saturation taste. Nikki also reveals that this wine was served to the Queen at Buckingham Palace. Its drier, citrus character gives a better finish and has a storage capacity up to two years, “but, it’s too good to age,” laughs Nikki. We agree.
The Willowglen Shiraz 2009 has soft tannins but is not the best Australian Shiraz you’ve tasted. The Willowglen Cabernet-Merlot 2008 (75% Cabernet and 25% Merlot) is ripe and strong, with gracious hints of berries and strong soil character – typical of the Riverina region. In fact, the Cabernet is sourced from Koonawarra and the Merlot – from the King Valley. It’s a tough proposition but the winery ensures utmost care with temperature control during transportation, and Nikki assures us that this extra cost is not passed onto the consumer. De Bortoli has made a step beyond biodynamic wine, adopting a more holistic approach to winemaking, known as biological farming.
Much to the delight of the Indian consumer, their wines are priced around the Rs. 1,000 mark – an affordable and sensible prospect that is sure to cause a stir amongst premium Indian wines in that range. As Craig puts it, “our job is to raise the bar.”
De Bortoli Wines are available in retail stores and hospitality outlets in New Delhi (from Rs. 950 to Rs. 2,000) and Mumbai (Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 2,000).