Aspri, one of India’s leading importers and distributors of premium wines and spirits, recently introduced us the Wine Masters Reserve range from Nederburg, South Africa. Nederburg, one of the best known and oldest South African wineries has been producing fine wines for over 200 years. It is part of the Distell group and has won many wine awards, in fact, more than any other winery in South Africa, reports Suneeta Sodhi Kanga from Mumbai
Left:Masters Reserve Pinotage 2007
The parent company Distell has a global sale of around $1.3 billion, according to Donald Gallow, the International Director who was in India for the launch. “We are by far the biggest producers in South Africa and among the Top Ten in the world,” he disclosed, adding, “Our products are equally divided into wine and liquor including brandy and ciders, with 30% being exported.”
Nederburg’s multi tiered variants have been structured to appeal to a broad range of wine lovers, from connoisseurs and collectors to those seeking everyday drinking pleasure.
The wines showcased for a select audience at the bar in Stax, Hyatt, on the 6 October 2009, were from the Wine Master’s Reserve Range. Cellar Master Razvan Macici who is originally from Romania and now lives in Paarl, first introduced us to The Masters Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2007. The wine has green peppers, asparagus and herbaceous notes which are further carried into the palate. It gets its character from the cool climate and proximity to the ocean. According to Razvan, the harvesting takes place from February to March and usually in the late night or early morning so as not to expose the fruit to the warmth of the day. This delicious, crisp wine has a neat, clean bite to it. It is well balanced and would pair well with salads, poultry and seafood.
Right: Masters Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2007
The deep purple-ruby red and very elegant Masters Reserve Pinotage 2007 was served next. Clearly the most popular wine with the guests, this easy drinking Pinotage is fruit forward in style – mostly plum and cherry and has soft, seamless tannins without any harshness. Its hints of vanilla and coconut come from a year spent in oak. Interestingly, the grape, which is a variety by itself now, gets its name from the Pinot Noir and Hermitage grapes, which were grafted together in South Africa many years ago. Although this fine wine would match with most traditional red wine food pairings – I would personally like to enjoy it as an aperitif, just by itself – pure, unadulterated pleasure!
The Masters Reserve Shiraz 2006, a varietal most of us wine drinkers are familiar with and love already, was poured last. The Shiraz grape has adapted beautifully to the terrior and climate of Paarl. No surprise that it was voted the Best Red Wine last year by a wine magazine. This robust wine has pepper, leather; plums and chocolate on the nose. The wine has soft flowing tannins with no rough edges on the palate and a long finish. This big, chunky wine would pair well with meats, especially game. Or else just enjoy it by itself.
Left: Masters Reserve Shiraz 2006
According to Maurius Fouche, MD, Distell, Asia Pacific, the newer vintages will be brought into India soon. It is also possible that the 08 vintage may not touch Indian shores at all and our next sip may just be the 09s. The Pinotage and Shiraz are available in 750ml with end consumer price of Rs 1440/- in Mumbai. While the Sauvignon Blanc will retail at Rs. 1340/-.