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Delhi Wine Club

Tango on the Tongue: Go For These Full-Bodied Chileans!

Last year I had noticed a special offer from Tesco, the UK super supermarket chain, selling Caballo Loco No. 6 at about Rs 1,200 (GBP15), including taxes and VAT. At once, I suggested to members of the Delhi Wine Club to buy and stock as many cases through friends or relatives in London for later transfer to India according to rules.

Still slightly closed, this blended red wine is being imported by Sovereign Impex from the Valdivieso stable. I had advised restaurants and hotels to buy as much as they could. Being a wine on allocation, it is available only in small quantities to India.

Today, when it is ready to be drunk, only Olive has it in stock. Selling it at Rs 8,500, they are concerned that it will be over soon and their regular clients will miss this beauty. I am sure the clients will switch to the currently available No.7, which sells for Rs 4,500 only, though it's not drinking well yet. No. 8 will be released for India later this year. It was opened for tasting at the London Wine Show  in May.

In case the numbers - 6, 7 and 8 - are confusing, just relax. This is a premium wine from Valdivieso, using the typical Bordeaux blends - Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. It is blended and aged by the Solera method used for Spanish sherry. The method involves blending 50% of the current year's blend with 50% of the previous vintage and so on. It means No.7 has, in reducing quantities, blends from No. 6 to No. 1.

Caballo Loco is a full-bodied wine with a dark red, almost inky hue. Full of sweet spicy aromas, it has the flavour of berries and sweet vanilla because of long aging in barriques. Very well structured with the 14 % alcohol well integrated, it has ripe tannins on the frontal attack with a delicious mouthfeel, and dances on your tongue.

Great with a New Zealand lamb rack, it promises to be a wonderful partner of a steak. Chicken pepper steak also measures up to it. Try it with the Punjabi rarha mutton or seekh kababs and you won't be disappointed.

This US$30-a-bottle wine is a connoisseur's first choice, especially for a Bordeaux lover. It compares favourably with a decent chateau wine. Available at Olive, Maurya, Marriott and Diva in Delhi and Indigo and Olive in Mumbai. Order it when you are in a mood to celebrate life and robust red meats. Go for No. 6 wherever you can. No. 7 is fine, but it will get better as it grows older. When No. 8 arrives, I would recommend a hold till next year. Serve at 16 degrees. Drink at 16-18 degrees. At higher temperatures, the alcohol vapours will kick in.


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