Export director of Domaines Barons de Rothschild, Michel Negrier (pictured, here) was recently in the country on his third visit to India to promote the popular wines of Domaines Barons de Rothschild. In Bangalore the wines were served at an intimate dinner at Toscana with classic French cuisine, reports our correspondent, Ruma Singh. The wines including the Réserve Spéciale Bordeaux range, red and white blends, from Château d’Aussières in Corbières, acquired by DBR in 1999, Bodega Caro Amancaya, a Malbec blend from DBR Argentina, were paired with specialties such as hot soufflé of Emmentaller and aged Parmesan, Salt-cured French goose liver tronchon and duck confit.
As the man in charge of international sales for DBR wines in Asia, Middle East and the Americas, there is little about the new markets that Negrier is unaware of. China, he tells us, is Asia’s biggest buyer of DBR wines (from Bordeaux, Languedoc, Chile and Argentina).
“India, too, is an important part of our plans for the future,” he says, “We are waiting patiently for the Indian market to mature. It is, but is slowed down by very high duties. There is much for a new market to learn about wine – different grapes, acidity, tannins etc. I see interest here, and like anywhere in the world, India needs to taste, learn and understand.”
Few would have not heard of Château Lafite Rothschild, DBR’s premium label: rare, very expensive and one of the five great Premier Crus of Bordeaux. The Lafite name, a guarantee of style and quality the world over, helps generate interest in the portfolio. “Our Lafite logo certainly attracts attention,” remarked Negrier. “It is a good starting point for us to talk about our quality. Each wine is made with elegance, restraint and finesse.”
A mention of China is unavoidable. It was Château Lafite Rothschild which started the huge upswing in popularity of Bordeaux wines in China in recent years. “We were in China 25 years ago: the right product at the right time,” says Negrier, “Lafite is easy to pronounce with a formidable history, and the Chinese revere history. The Chinese are used to high tannins, and longevity is respected – in wines too.”
As for the stories about colas being drunk with Château Lafite: “I have not seen this myself, although I have heard of it. But it is all changing now. Knowledge about wine is growing everywhere in the world.”