The wines of Grover Vineyards have stood the testÂ of time. And in 2017, its 25th year, Sommelier IndiaÂ celebratedÂ Grover Zampa Vineyards as, â€œWine ProducerÂ of the Year 2017â€. Recipient of numerousÂ international awards, the wines are equally appreciated byÂ consumers back home and are readily available to our readersÂ all over India. The wines were tasted in flights of two and three.Â When we totted up the scores, Zampa ChÃªne Grand RÃ©serveÂ emerged as our favourite. Donâ€™t miss the chance to open a bottle!
Tasting Notes by Gagan Sharma
2016 Grover Art Collection SauvignonÂ Blanc, Nandi Hills: Under-ripe varietalÂ notes on the nose, oozing with gooseberriesÂ and eucalyptus and a touch of florals. GoodÂ mouthfeel, ripe and rich, a tad grainy fromÂ medium citrus acidity at the finish.Â MRP Delhi Rs 750. Karnataka Rs 765.
Good wine for the price. Drink it while itâ€™s young.
2013 Vijay Amritraj ReserveÂ Collection White, Nandi Hills:Â Sauvignon blanc, Viognier blend. Bright, pale
golden colour. Has a well-structured nose withÂ boisterous oak surrounding tropical flavours ofÂ peaches, yellow plums, apricots, and pineapple.Â A gripping mouthfeel makes it almost chewy,Â thanks to the oak.Â MRP Delhi Rs 1,400. Karnataka Rs 1,450.
A good creditable wine, although lacking identity.
2016 Grover Art Collection RosÃ©:Â 100% Shiraz. Nice light salmon colour.Â Spice, fresh, sweet red fruits, plus cranberries,Â plum and pomegranate juice, with a hint ofÂ florals on the front, balanced with acidityÂ and alcohol. A kiss of tannins. Elegant with aÂ gripping structure.
MRP Delhi Rs 750. Karnataka Rs 640.
A very well made wine.
2016 Art Collection Cabernet Shiraz:Â Neat nose with an Aussie reflection. MeatyÂ touches with ripe, dark fruits, plums, and dark currants. Earthiness and warm spices upfront.Â Oak balances the varietal characters well,Â though thereâ€™s a lack of elegance and originality.Â It has a balanced palate with dusty tannins, ripeÂ acidity, and smooth alcohol, finishing with aÂ smoky hue.Â MRP Delhi Rs 750. Karnataka Rs 765.
Seemed a touch under-ripe, going by certain greenÂ tones on the palate.
2014 Vijay Amritraj Reserve CollectionÂ Red: Bright ruby core with fading rims. NewÂ French oak perfume at the start, promptlyÂ opening to a dense, complex and layered nose.Â On the palate, plush red and dark fruits makeÂ way for earthy, leathery, and spice notes, withÂ elegant oak and meatiness at the back. GoodÂ tannic grip makes it more definitive.Â MRP Delhi Rs 1,400. Karnataka Rs 1,450.
A long aftertaste, with a touch of sweetness fromÂ the fruit and the oakâ€™s caramelisation. (GurjitÂ Singh Barry was moved to superlatives!)
2014 Grover La RÃ©serve:Â Bright,Â medium-ruby colour with fading rims.Â A slightly dull nose, perhaps a little too youngÂ to open fully. Fresh and youthful, offeringÂ ripe and rich, plush, dark fruitiness with aÂ spicy middle and an oaky finish.Â MRP Delhi Rs 1,050. Karnataka Rs 1,050.
This wine is still to integrate properly and developÂ into the calibre of an iconic La RÃ©serve. Can beaged for a couple of years more before it matures into a sturdy contender.Â
2013 Grover La RÃ©serve: Bright colourÂ and appearance. Round palate, neat andÂ well-defined flavours, with well-integratedÂ qualitative oak. Juicy red and dark fruits withÂ a spicy kick at the back, complemented withÂ sweetness from the oak, developing secondaryÂ and tertiary characters of meat, leather, cedar,Â earthiness and savouriness.
MRP Delhi Rs 1,050. Karnataka Rs 1,050.
The back shows some signs of over-extraction whichÂ could also be an indication of a warmer vintage.Â Extremely well-balanced wine, showing elegance inÂ its layered complexity. Holds tightly onto its youthÂ while promising to age well.
2015 La RÃ©serve Blanc, Nandi Hills:Â Clean and fruit forward nose. Dense, ripe, stone fruitÂ aromas filled with peaches and apricots,Â with a sweet and warm spice mix from FrenchÂ oak, plus earthiness and smoky undertone. AÂ hint of residual sugar noticed on the palate.Â MRP Delhi Rs 1,050. Karnataka Rs 1,050.
The wine maintains medium acidity even afterÂ partial barrel fermentation and prolonged ageing,Â which balances the high alcohol and retainsÂ freshness as well. A smartly crafted wine.
2014 La RÃ©serve Blanc, Nandi Hills:Â Golden hue appearance shows maturity.Â More secondary than primary notes on theÂ palate. A lack of flavour underscores the ratherÂ appealing minerality on the palate. Bone-dry,Â it shows more structure and grip and appearsÂ to be better composed than the 2015, althoughÂ the fruit seems to be a tad overripe and thusÂ has warmer alcohol too. Age seems to have gotÂ the better of it…
MRP Delhi Rs 1,050. Karnataka Rs 1,050.
Viognier is a heat-loving varietal and thus lacksÂ the refreshing acidity that other varietals canÂ offer. Also, to have this varietal ferment in barrelsÂ while retaining the balance of acidity and highÂ alcohol can be quite testing. La Reserve ViognierÂ offers a very good example of the calibre of IndianÂ viogniers and the precision required to handle a fussy grape.
2013 Zampa ChÃªne Grand Reserve,Â Nashik Valley: Deep ruby, bright colour.Â The typical sweet, red fruit tones of plumsÂ and sweet cherries shine on the palate withÂ an abundance of candied American oakÂ and toasted vanilla. Fresh, round and meatyÂ mouthfeel with a touch of smokiness. A long, lingering finish, with warm and sweet spice.Â MRP Delhi Rs 1,850. Karnataka Rs 1,850.Â Still too young to relish fully now, but developing well.
2012 Zampa ChÃªne Grand Reserve,Â Nashik Valley: Deep ruby core withÂ fading rims, showing signs of ageing. Elegant, fragrant and complex nose. TertiaryÂ notes are emerging with a good oaky front, spices,Â dried herbs, shrubs, dried plums and cherry skin,Â red currant flesh, smoke, earthiness, aged hamÂ sweetness, dried fruits and savouriness. Clean,Â well-integrated layers. A grainy palate that seemsÂ a tad feeble in what is a rather long finish. A very well structured and personality-driven wine.Â MRP Delhi Rs 1,850. Karnataka Rs 1,850.
ChÃªne wines are a marriage of Tempranillo andÂ Shiraz and the warmth of Indian Vineyards.Â Tempranillo retains good acidity in heat andÂ showcases the brilliance of sweet, red fruits whenÂ aged in sweeter American oak. Shiraz brings depth, spice, structure and grip and makes it a goodÂ proposition for cellaring. Drink with BBQ meats
Tasting Notes by Gurjit Singh Barry
2014 Zampa SoirÃ©e Brut, Nashik Valley: This is an off-dry sparkler. Crisp and green notes. Hints of polytheneÂ aromas on the nose and the palate. Had high expectations from thisÂ but was disappointed. Maybe the bottle was faulty or poorly stored.Â MRP DelhiÂ Rs 1,100. KarnatakaÂ Rs 1,225.
2014 Zampa SoirÃ©e Brut RosÃ©, 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, maybeÂ due to bad storage. MRP Delhi Rs 1,200. KarnatakaÂ Rs 1,100.