Following the Indian white wines that the Sommelier India Tasting Panel brought to you in the last edition, this time it was the turn of the reds. The vintages we tasted ranged from 2011 to 2013, which means they were young wines although a few had been aged in oak and were from the producers’ reserve selection. The SI Panel, comprising Rukn Luthra, Craig Wedge, Sonal Holland (who had to drop out of the tasting at the last minute) Gagan Sharma and Reva K Singh, tasted the wines blind, in flights according to the grape variety, followed by a discussion when the wine brands were revealed.
The flights comprised five Cabernet Sauvignons from KRMSA, Nine Hills, Reveilo, Vallonné and York; four Shiraz wines including a reserve from Reveilo, a Dindori and RASA Shiraz from Sula, and a 2009 Reserve from York. We tasted a Reveilo and Vallonné Merlot, Sangiovese from two different terroir, ie, Reveilo and KRSMA from Nashik and Hampi Hills, respectively.
The final flight was a mixed one consisting of three very distinct wines, Sette from Fratelli, Nero d’Avola, a Sicilian varietal and Malbec Reserve from Vallonné. Sixteen wines in all, exhibiting some of India’s finest reds, which we recommend to you. Once again a few producers such as Charosa, for eg, were unable send their wines from Mumbai while we had to hold over Myra, because the wines did not reach us on time.
Tasting Notes by Craig Wedge and Gagan Sharma
2013 CABERNET SAUVIGNON – REVEILO 15/20
Youthful appearance with bright ruby colour, fading rims. Spiced red fruit aromas with a subtle sarsapiralla root herbaceousness. Underlying syrupy stewed fruit / wet humus aromas. The unique Nashik “stink” rounds out the nose. Clean palate, fresh, vibrant, red fruit with a squirt of juicy pomegranate.
2012 CABERNET SAUVIGNON – YORK 14.5/20
Youthful and developing. Medium high intensity, ruby colour. Clean palate, with syrupy red fruits and a slightly burnt sugar jamminess. Sweet spice with rustic tannins. Somewhat short on the finish.
2012 CABERNET SAUVIGNON – KRSMA 16/20
Youthful, deep ruby, fading rims. Vibrant red berry and cherry aromas, sweet vanillin oak overtones. Stewed forest fruits with an almost confection appeal. Sweet warm spice. Big and rich with concentrated black fruit flavours, firm dusty tannins. Well balanced structure with firm acidity adding to the very long and unctuous finish. Not for the faint hearted.
2012 CABERNET SAUVIGNON – NINE HILLS 15/20
Developing deep ruby colour with tad fading rims. Syrupy, red stewed fruits over green, leafy notes interplaying with muddy, wet humus aromas. Sharp, zesty red currant fruit flavours with slightly astringent undertones. Overall medium bodied, high acid, medium tannins, moderate alcohol, jammy fruits, candied notes, syrupy and sweet, tangy finish.
2011 CABERNET SAUVIGNON – VALLONNÉ 16/20
Youthful, deep ruby colour with fading rims. Ripe red fruit with subtle sweet spice highlights and sappy, herbaceous undertones. Velvety smooth palate showcasing juicy, ripe fruit with good overall depth and texture. Appealing length and finish.
2009 SHIRAZ RESERVE – YORK 16/20
Developing, medium ruby shade. Sweet black fruit aromas with spicy oak overtones. Rich fruity sweetness with subtle charred notes. Dusty tannins wrapped around a core of firm acidity add to the great length and finish. Very attractive. Côte du Rhône style.
2012 SYRAH RESERVE – REVEILO 14/20
Deep ruby, somewhat fading rims. Vibrant chocolate and berry fruit aromas overlaid with coffee bean and sweet spice. Jammy sweet fruit flavours hint towards a bit of over-ripeness. Grippy tannins and a green sappy, almost astringent herbaceousness underscores the potential of this wine.
2012 SHIRAZ – SULA DINDORI 16/20
Deep garnet. Youthful and developing. Vibrant aromatic nose showing red and dark fruits, floral perfume and sweet vanillin oak. A generous mouthful of ripe concentrated flavour with a harmonious structure and length. Firm dusty tannins round out the palate.
2012 SHIRAZ – SULA RASA 16.5
Dark fruit nose underpinned with chocolate/mocha highlights. A subtle whiff of sweet spice rounds off the appeal. A juicy mouthful of fruit interlaced with grainy tannins and an approachable mid- palate weight and enjoyable finish.
2012 MERLOT – REVEILO 17/20
Youthful, medium ruby colour. Bright floral notes, with rich red berry and sweet vanillin spice. Clean. Fruity sweetness with spicy, red berry notes. An attractive mouthfeel with a juicy mid palate and lots of flavour. Velvety smooth tannins add extra dimension to this well balanced and very moreish wine.
2012 MERLOT – VALLONNÉ 15/20
Medium ruby colour, youthful. Earthy humus nose over black forest fruit aromas. Slight vegetal greenness. Jammy black fruit flavours intermixed with savoury tapenade, good mid palate weight with a balanced texture and finish.
2013 SANGIOVESE – REVEILO 15/20
Youthful appearance with bright ruby colour, fading rims. Bright red fruit and lifted ripe red berry notes, backed by a subtle spiciness and underlying green tones. Vibrant and fresh with an appealing mouthful of juicy red fruit. Shows good, overall structure and length. The dusty tannins add a further dimension to the finish. A slightly rustic Sangiovese that perhaps could have finished a little brighter.
2012 SANGIOVESE RESERVE – KRSMA 17.5
Youthful, medium ruby, bright. Appealing nose with lifted, ripe, red fruit aromas and spicy vanillin oak overtones. Subtle peppery herbaceousness underpins the nose. A somewhat overtly ripe style of Sangiovese with a lusciously flavoured mid palate and a well textured mouthfeel. A lick of black olive and savoury spice keep you all the more enticed whilst leading to the backbone of bright acidity that gives added support to the long and enduring finish.
2011 FRATELLI SETTE 17.5
Developing, medium high ruby colour. Fading rims. Lifted red berry compote with chocolate and coffee overtones. Sweet vanillin spice aromas. Elegant and refined, with lots of class. A textured mouthful of delicious flavour complemented with fine-grained, dusty tannins and a generously long and balanced finish – beautifully structured.
2012 NERO D’AVOLA – REVEILO 16.5
Clean with light ruby hue. Sweet red fruit highlighted by savoury spice and sweet oak aromas. This wine offers up a juicy mouthful of soft moreish plum and Christmas pudding flavours layered with chunky tannins and a textured finish. A playful wine with a refreshing appeal.
2011 MALBEC RESERVE – VALLONNÉ 17
Deep, ruby colour with fading rims. Smoky charred oak, toasted sweet dark fruits and overt spice with a surprisingly appealing feral undertone. Rich and warm with bitter chocolate entwined forest fruits, an enduring textured structure, grippy tannins and a long-winded finish.
TURNING POINT Received but not rated because it was unfortunately oxidised.