May 29: Covid-19 has not stopped the enthusiasm of three Celebrities- actor Sara Jane Parker (SRJ) of Sex and the City and Divorce fame, who launched a Sud de France Rose to add to her Invivo X label while Kylie Minogue launched her Rose labelled as Kylie, both under $20 even as the American Rapper Post Malone launched Maison No. 9, indicating that Rosé wines are becoming increasingly popular in the US, UK. Europe and the time is ripe for Indian importers and also wine aficionados star celebrities to introduce their own labels in India
Invivo X by Sara Jane Parker (SRJ) has 45% Cinsault, 45% Grenache and 10% Syrah whereas Kylie is fuller-bodied wine with a blend of 80% Carignan and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon from the southern French coast, kept on its lees for three months in stainless steel tanks for added complexity. SRJ has chosen a Burgundy type bottle whereas Kylie Minogue chose a long-necked, bell-shaped bottle. Both the wines are salmon pink Vin de France rosé.
Invivo X Rosé was launched a week ago and is sold through an already established network of distributors in the US, UK, Australia, Japan and a host of countries whereas Kylie Minogue 2019 Vin de France Rosé was launched yesterday to be sold exclusively in over 450 Tesco stores in UK with an indicated price of £9 ($11) a bottle. It will soon be available in the US too.
Invivo X Rose has been crafted in partnership with a family estate from Provence (Vins Chevron Villette) though the final blend was selected by SJP. She was instrumental in both naming the wine and designing the label. The X and the comma directly after it are an intentional and personal touch. She also hand-painted the X on the original label. She had already launched earlier a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, which has already won several medals.
The grapes for Invivo X Rose are harvested only at night when the heat of the vineyard is at its lowest. The grapes undergo the revolutionary ‘optical sorting’ process where the berries are put through the de‑stemmer and on the way to the press, pass on a conveyor where a computer visually assesses each berry. If it is not of optimum integrity, it is removed from the belt, thus guaranteeing the perfect fruit only for fermentation. (In India, Grover Zampa Vineyards is now using this machine for their top-ended wines). The fruit is gently squeezed in the press under 100% inert nitrogen gas and finally into tank for settling and fermentation. A range of yeasts designed to maximise aromatic intensity is used, which helps retain mineral freshness.
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Australia-born British pop singer Kylie Minogue who also celebrated her 52nd birthday yesterday, will also release a Côtes de Provence rosé from the 2019 vintage made from 50% Grenache, 40% Cinsault and 10% Rolle (Vermentino) at the 27-hectare Château des Anglades, west of St. Tropez later this summer. Also on cards are two more wines – a lees-aged Sauvignon Blanc from Gascony and a Pays d’Oc Merlot. A high-end Chardonnay from Margaret River in western Australia is also in the pipeline.
Maison No. 9 Rose from Rapper Post Malone
There seems to be a rush of Celebrities taking a dive into Rose-and that too in Provence style. A couple of weeks ago, the 24-year old American Rapper Post Malone announced the launch of a Provence rosé called Maison No. 9 wine from the southern French region, to be released next month. The 2019 Méditerranée IGP, is made from 45% Grenache, 25% Cinsault, 15% Syrah and 15% Merlot and is also in pale pink colour, offering aromas of freshly picked fruit and notes of ripe pineapple, pear and strawberry with a clean, dry, crisp finish. This wine is priced at $22. For details, visit:
Interestingly, all 3 wines have different closures: While Kylie has a screw cap, Invivo X comes in the traditional cork, whereas the Maison comes with a glass closure and will be distributed by E and J Gallo Winery.
Inspiration from Miraval
All these celebrities, apart from their passion for wines, especially Rose, appear to have been motivated by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolly (Brangelina) who launched their Miraval Estate Rosé in collaboration with Famille Perrin which owns Chateau Beaucastel in Chateauneuf-du Pape and who reportedly sell 3 million bottles at €15 and are constantly expanding the joint business despite their divorce.
Miraval Estate is a château and vineyard located in the village of Correns in the Var département beyond Aix-in Provence. The 500 hA 17th century estate was bought by the couple in 2009, reportedly for around $60 million. They have also introduced a 500 mL bottle which could be a boon for the Indian market where it is difficult to finish a 750 mL bottle by a couple. For details, please visit:
Miraval: A Tale of Brangelina and Famille Perrin of Beaucastel
Brangelina Rose-Case for 500 mL size Wine Bottles for India
Rose wines in India
India has been bucking the trend of popularity of Rosé wines globally. The summer time and many areas of uniform high temperature like Mumbai, Bangalore and Goa (and Delhi summers touching 46°) offer a great pleasure with chilled Rosé which offer fuller body and better structure than whites though soft tannins make them better choice with heavier textured food as well. Kylie offers a very good price for import.
Indian producers have all got one or more Rosé label in their repertoire with Sula Source topping the chart with their Grenache Rosé, but there is still considerable scope for improvement. Entry of celebrities will help propel the demand though clearly the quality would need to be high to sustain sales. So far, only the tennis legend Vijay Amritraj has ventured into his own label by collaborating with Grover Zampa and both his red and white labels are premier quality and well appreciated by discerning connoisseurs willing to pay the premium.
Perhaps, Amritraj could consider introducing a Rose with soft pink colour (Provence style). Many other stars and sporting celebrities love wine. Hopefully, the three celebrities above are able to kindle the passion to make these stars come out and introduce their own wine labels. They may not make them billionaires but would be a great source of fulfillment for them in the short and long Term-Francis Ford Coppola, Director of Godfather trinity is one such example, as are Brangelina. It would spell good for the Indian wine industry. With Make in India concept taking the next step of Atmanirbhar Bharat, this is a good opportunity for such labels to be showcased to their fans- wine novices and experts alike.
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