The wines of Grover Vineyards have stood the test of time. And in 2017, its 25th year, Sommelier India celebrated Grover Zampa Vineyards as, “Wine Producer of the Year 2017”. Recipient of numerous international awards, the wines are equally appreciated by consumers back home and are readily available to our readers all over India. The wines were tasted in flights of two and three. When we totted up the scores, Zampa Chêne Grand Réserve emerged as our favourite. Don’t miss the chance to open a bottle!
Tasting Notes by Gagan Sharma
2016 Grover Art Collection Sauvignon Blanc, Nandi Hills: Under-ripe varietal notes on the nose, oozing with gooseberries and eucalyptus and a touch of florals. Good mouthfeel, ripe and rich, a tad grainy from medium citrus acidity at the finish. MRP Delhi Rs 750. Karnataka Rs 765.
Good wine for the price. Drink it while it’s young.
2013 Vijay Amritraj Reserve Collection White, Nandi Hills: Sauvignon blanc, Viognier blend. Bright, pale
golden colour. Has a well-structured nose with boisterous oak surrounding tropical flavours of peaches, yellow plums, apricots, and pineapple. A gripping mouthfeel makes it almost chewy, thanks to the oak. MRP Delhi Rs 1,400. Karnataka Rs 1,450.
A good creditable wine, although lacking identity.
2016 Grover Art Collection Rosé: 100% Shiraz. Nice light salmon colour. Spice, fresh, sweet red fruits, plus cranberries, plum and pomegranate juice, with a hint of florals on the front, balanced with acidity and alcohol. A kiss of tannins. Elegant with a gripping structure.
MRP Delhi Rs 750. Karnataka Rs 640.
A very well made wine.
2016 Art Collection Cabernet Shiraz: Neat nose with an Aussie reflection. Meaty touches with ripe, dark fruits, plums, and dark currants. Earthiness and warm spices upfront. Oak balances the varietal characters well, though there’s a lack of elegance and originality. It has a balanced palate with dusty tannins, ripe acidity, and smooth alcohol, finishing with a smoky hue. MRP Delhi Rs 750. Karnataka Rs 765.
Seemed a touch under-ripe, going by certain green tones on the palate.
2014 Vijay Amritraj Reserve Collection Red: Bright ruby core with fading rims. New French oak perfume at the start, promptly opening to a dense, complex and layered nose. On the palate, plush red and dark fruits make way for earthy, leathery, and spice notes, with elegant oak and meatiness at the back. Good tannic grip makes it more definitive. MRP Delhi Rs 1,400. Karnataka Rs 1,450.
A long aftertaste, with a touch of sweetness from the fruit and the oak’s caramelisation. (Gurjit Singh Barry was moved to superlatives!)
2014 Grover La Réserve: Bright, medium-ruby colour with fading rims. A slightly dull nose, perhaps a little too young to open fully. Fresh and youthful, offering ripe and rich, plush, dark fruitiness with a spicy middle and an oaky finish. MRP Delhi Rs 1,050. Karnataka Rs 1,050.
This wine is still to integrate properly and develop into the calibre of an iconic La Réserve. Can beaged for a couple of years more before it matures into a sturdy contender.
2013 Grover La Réserve: Bright colour and appearance. Round palate, neat and well-defined flavours, with well-integrated qualitative oak. Juicy red and dark fruits with a spicy kick at the back, complemented with sweetness from the oak, developing secondary and tertiary characters of meat, leather, cedar, earthiness and savouriness.
MRP Delhi Rs 1,050. Karnataka Rs 1,050.
The back shows some signs of over-extraction which could also be an indication of a warmer vintage. Extremely well-balanced wine, showing elegance in its layered complexity. Holds tightly onto its youth while promising to age well.
2015 La Réserve Blanc, Nandi Hills: Clean and fruit forward nose. Dense, ripe, stone fruit aromas filled with peaches and apricots, with a sweet and warm spice mix from French oak, plus earthiness and smoky undertone. A hint of residual sugar noticed on the palate. MRP Delhi Rs 1,050. Karnataka Rs 1,050.
The wine maintains medium acidity even after partial barrel fermentation and prolonged ageing, which balances the high alcohol and retains freshness as well. A smartly crafted wine.
2014 La Réserve Blanc, Nandi Hills: Golden hue appearance shows maturity. More secondary than primary notes on the palate. A lack of flavour underscores the rather appealing minerality on the palate. Bone-dry, it shows more structure and grip and appears to be better composed than the 2015, although the fruit seems to be a tad overripe and thus has warmer alcohol too. Age seems to have got the better of it…
MRP Delhi Rs 1,050. Karnataka Rs 1,050.
Viognier is a heat-loving varietal and thus lacks the refreshing acidity that other varietals can offer. Also, to have this varietal ferment in barrels while retaining the balance of acidity and high alcohol can be quite testing. La Reserve Viognier offers a very good example of the calibre of Indian viogniers and the precision required to handle a fussy grape.
2013 Zampa Chêne Grand Reserve, Nashik Valley: Deep ruby, bright colour. The typical sweet, red fruit tones of plums and sweet cherries shine on the palate with an abundance of candied American oak and toasted vanilla. Fresh, round and meaty mouthfeel with a touch of smokiness. A long, lingering finish, with warm and sweet spice. MRP Delhi Rs 1,850. Karnataka Rs 1,850. Still too young to relish fully now, but developing well.
2012 Zampa Chêne Grand Reserve, Nashik Valley: Deep ruby core with fading rims, showing signs of ageing. Elegant, fragrant and complex nose. Tertiary notes are emerging with a good oaky front, spices, dried herbs, shrubs, dried plums and cherry skin, red currant flesh, smoke, earthiness, aged ham sweetness, dried fruits and savouriness. Clean, well-integrated layers. A grainy palate that seems a tad feeble in what is a rather long finish. A very well structured and personality-driven wine. MRP Delhi Rs 1,850. Karnataka Rs 1,850.
Chêne wines are a marriage of Tempranillo and Shiraz and the warmth of Indian Vineyards. Tempranillo retains good acidity in heat and showcases the brilliance of sweet, red fruits when aged in sweeter American oak. Shiraz brings depth, spice, structure and grip and makes it a good proposition for cellaring. Drink with BBQ meats
Tasting Notes by Gurjit Singh Barry
2014 Zampa Soirée Brut, Nashik Valley: This is an off-dry sparkler. Crisp and green notes. Hints of polythene aromas on the nose and the palate. Had high expectations from this but was disappointed. Maybe the bottle was faulty or poorly stored. MRP Delhi Rs 1,100. Karnataka Rs 1,225.
2014 Zampa Soirée Brut Rosé, Nashik Valley: Great nose of soft, red fruits, crisp and off-dry with medium strength.However, the bottle seemed to show signs of tiredness. Again, maybe due to bad storage. MRP Delhi Rs 1,200. Karnataka Rs 1,100.