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Roberto Rosato Bava from Barolo

Posted: Saturday, 18 December 2010 12:40

Roberto Rosato Bava from Barolo

Roberto Bava, owner of the Piemontese winery Bava, known as much for his Barolo as his passion for chocolates and music was in India recently for four days to launch a Rosato (Rosé) wine made primarily from Nebbiolo grapes, exclusively for the Indian market through his importer FineWinesnMore of Mumbai, writes Subhash Arora who caught up with him over breakfast at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Delhi.

Roberto is not a Parsi baba, baba! He is not even a Punjabi Bawa but an Italian Bava on whose family name the Bava winery in Piedmont was named in 1911. He is also the managing director since1980 and owner of another family winery in Asti: Giulio Cocchi makes Asti Spumante, Aperitivo Americano and a typical concoction for health known as Barolo Chinato docg, a herbal version made from Barolo, which he markets and also uses in some of the chocolates he produces-another of his varied passions.

He was passing by India for a short 4-day trip to inaugurate a new and unusual Rosato wine in his stable, produced especially for the Indian market, at the request of his Indian importer, FineWinesnMore of Mumbai.

Rosato Monferrato Ciaret Doc (an appellation in the provinces of Alexandria and Asti in Piemonte) is a Rosé made from a small parcel of his vineyard that makes only about 12,000 bottles. ‘Dharti (Desai-owner of FWM) had visited me and told me she was very keen on a Rosé for the Indian market as she felt it would pair well with Indian food. Since the production from the parcel was so small, she agreed to pick up the whole production exclusively. I am here to launch the wine despite my heavy schedule since the Indian market enters high season at this point.’

Although made from Nebbiolo, this Monferrato Ciaret doc wine has a small portion of Merlot and & the local Barbera grapes to make the wine rounded, he says. The salmon pink colour is very pleasant and though leaning more towards orange than the reddish tones of many Rosés, it is well within the usual spectrum of colours of Rosé. ‘Though we made the wine typically for the Indian market, it is international in style in that it could be enjoyed by anybody, anywhere in the world,’ adds Roberto.

The nice thing about the wine is its affordable price- Rs.1345 in Mumbai and Rs.1540 in Delhi. It may also be a testimonial to the quality that Hyatt has agreed to stock it and add it to the Wine List at La Piazza. With a slight touch of sweetness- the sugar level is around 6-8 gms, he tells me; and the cold temperature of 10-12 ° C, it should be a welcome addition with a pepperoni pizza, chicken fricassee or even dishes like a vegetable jalfrezi for vegetarians. Roberto feels it is a good match with freshly sautéed mussels or clams from Kerala and Goan fish curry in the Indian food category. ‘A glass of this nice chilled Rosato in your Delhi summer, or anytime in Mumbai or Bangalore would be very refreshing,’ he says. 

Based in Cocconato, a beautiful town in the province of Asti, about 25 kms east of Torino, Bava produces a range of products that include Barolo, Barbaresco, Barbera, Dolcetto, Gavi, Malvasia and Moscato etc. He has family vineyards spread in different part of Piemonte where he makes these diverse wines. Cocchi is a highly respected winery for Chinato and the ‘Aperitivo Americano is back in style in a big way,’ says Bava with a wide smile. Such smiles are rare in these days in Italy but he says optimistically, ‘things are finally looking up and though prices are still under pressure, the year seems to be the turning point after the recession.’

An interesting aspect of Roberto is his fascination for classical music and linking music with food and wine. For instance, he says that horn instruments go well with white wines while string instruments strike better chords with red wines. No wonder many of his labels are actually named after the instruments or the designs display the matching instruments. For instance, ‘our premium Barolo is Barolo di Castiglione Falletto Scarrone which is imported by FWM in India, has a Double Bass imprinted on the label-and is meant for a grand gastronomic Concerto,’ he says.

Known all over the world for his wine dinners where food and wine are paired with the concert and different compositions, it would be a treat for the eyes, ears and the palate if one has an opportunity to attend one. Although the dinner organised the previous night at the Hyatt had Indian music it was but a distant connect with what he is capable of organising at a western classical music concert. ‘Perhaps, one day when the volumes pick up in India, I would love to organise one,’ he says. ‘But this was a hurried visit during my very busy schedule just to introduce this exclusive label to our Indian friends,’ he repeats before parting to conduct a seminar with the staff at the Hyatt eagerly waiting.

Coincidentally, last time I met Roberto was also in Hyatt Regency a couple of years ago when he had come to India to judge at the second edition of now-shelved India Wine Challenge held in the hotel for the second time. I hope the next time it is in the beautiful town of Cocconato-it is on my wish list for 2011.

Subhash Arora



Subhash Arora Says:

Ciao Roberto! Thanks for the comments. I am sorry we usually do not change anything in the article once it is published except for grammatical errors or adding/ altering photographs later due to practical constraints. In any case, the title is not about the wine but you and is used as your 'middle' name to make it interesting. And anything in the vicinity of 30-60 kms from Barolo may be loosely labeled as Barolo which is much better known than Cocconato or Asti- at least in India. Cin-Cin

Posted @ December 20, 2010 13:40


Roberto Says:

Buongiorno Cavaliere !It was great to see you again in India inspite of the short time available. A splendid  article,  thank you ! On the title it should probably be  “Roberto Bava’s Rosato from Nebbiolo” as it is not grown in Barolo but 50 km north.I am working for creating more and more occasions to link Bava and India . Ciao.Take care, Roberto

Posted @ December 20, 2010 10:23


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