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Delhi Wine Club
Delhi Wine Club: Wines to Celebrate Double Ton

Posted: Thursday, 04 October 2012 17:57

Delhi Wine Club: Wines to Celebrate Double Ton

October 04: Delhi Wine Club celebrated its 10th Anniversary last month as it organised the 200th event at the Hotel Hyatt Regency for a record 260 people. An association with Ethos and Rolex of Switzerland made it possible for the Club to raise the variety and standard of wines for the sit-down dinner, write Stephanie Jan and Joachim Lefaure, the French sommeliers couple who are also members of the Club.

Click For Large ViewThe long-time planned event was awaited by the wine lovers all excited to taste the carefully chosen eleven wine selections by our President, Subhash Arora

The Aperitif wines: Champagnes and Pink Cadillac

The tone of the evening was a given: Senior government officials, ambassadors, professionals of the wine Industry and anonymous wine amateurs concentrated on the service zone, striving to taste the first high quality glass.

The first bottle uncorked for the evening was the celebratory Champagne popped open at 8 pm with over 40 people reporting on time. There were two Champagne organized by the club in conjunction with the importer Ace Beveragez.  Made by the institutional family owned Champagne Drappier, one of the finest Maison this bubbly has always been a reference for connoisseurs. In 2002 the brand took another dimension when it released the biggest Champagne bottle- called Melchizedek which contains 30 liters!!!

The Drappier Brut carte d’Or made of 90% Pinot noir, 7% chardonnay and 3% Pinot Meunier was a perfect palate introduction. Concentrated pear, vanilla aromas, fine bubbles, firm acidity well balanced by 9g/liter dosage, finishing with a nutty after taste. It was no surprise to see the Drappier Brut and Rose Brut evaporating fast-it seems to have caught the fancy of the Indian palate. Drappier Rosé was the subject of desire and we understand why! The 100% pinot noir is one of the rare Champagnes made by saignée method which results in more viscosity and enhanced subtle aromas of strawberry, raspberry, and blackberry.

Click For Large ViewThe Pink Cadillac, specifically crafted for the event, is a cocktail made of the newly released Port in Indian market, Croft Port Rosé (importer- Dhall Foods). Croft is one of the oldest Port houses, founded in 1588, which along with Taylor and Fonseca is a part of the Fladgate Partnership group. Three magic names for Port wine lovers who are used to the specific Port alphabetic: Tawny, Ruby, LBV, Colheita, Garrafeira, etc. But Croft recently shook down tradition and launched the first rosé Port ever created, a real buzz around the world. Breaking the traditional of Port, Croft encourages consumers to use it in a cocktail! Made from the classic Port grapes, the Croft Pink shows notes of cherry and raspberry, appealing sweetness, soft and fresh finish. To truly appreciate it, serve it chilled but keep in mind that despite the easy drinking aspect of a rosé, it remains a fortified wine with 19.5% alcohol.

First Course: Guests exposed to Chablis’ minerality

After a few glasses of both aperitifs, it was a perfect invitation to start directing ourselves to the Ballroom where 27 tables of 10 seats each were awaiting us. The number of wineglasses placed on the table confirmed the promising wine journey. The first white wine served as we were taking our pre-assigned seats and tables, was Joseph Drouhin Chablis Reserve 2010 being imported by Prestige Wines.

Settled in Beaune- the wine capital of Burgundy, Drouhin produces more than 100 wines from Burgundy and is one of the rare producers and négociants who follow a strict charter of quality for the entire range from regional wines (Bourgogne) to the Grands Crus. Chablis Reserve 2010 is exclusively made from biodynamic vineyards. The 100% chardonnay (of course) has fresh aromas of lemon, citrus and touches of fresh herbs. It offers a dry, clean and mineral aftertaste.

Second Course: Napa Valley styled Chardonnay and Georgian surprises

Click For Large ViewWe then tasted the Cakebread Napa Valley Chardonnay 2010 (importer-Brindco). Jack Cakebread, a former photographer, who acquired 22 acres of land in Rutherford in 70‘s has since continuously expanded his estate in Napa Valley and further to the north in coastal regions. His son Bruce Cakebread who has been working with him since 1978 is the current President and CEO of this company practicing sustainable viticulture and winemaking. The wine showed notes of apple, pear and oak on the nose followed by a viscous, nutty and buttery palate. This rich wine was complex and well- balanced despite the 14,2% alcohol and an extra dash of oak . Many members were seen trying their luck to get a second taste which was not the order of the day at this dinner, in order to keep the serving staff in sync.
Georgia and Saperavi wines

Thanks to our President Subhash for inviting samples of lesser known and under-estimated Georgian wine culture. Georgia is one of the oldest wine producing countries; its roots have been tracked back to 6000 BC (5400 years before France!). The two Georgian wines selected were both from the Kakheti region (east of the country) and made of the indigenous Saperavi grape. Tbilvino (importer Tabuni Wines) is the result of a privatization of a former state winery. The company does not own vineyards but sources grapes from more than 300 growers in the nearby areas. It is the largest wine exporter and has an impressive collection of international wine competition trophies. Tbilvino 2010 presented intense aromas of fresh cherries, tar, coffee and chocolate. The small astringent tannins contrasted with a refreshing acidity. Askaneli Brothers shows how a company is excelling in wine making and offering a wide range of intriguing indigenous grapes. The incredible Mukuzani 2005 has evolved aromas of cedar, pepper, cherries, brown tobacco with rounded and velvety tannins.

Main course: Caballo Loco and Amarone

Click For Large ViewValdivieso, imported now by Agnetta International is a long established name in the Chilean wine Industry. Caballo Loco «crazy horse» is a premium red wine made out of the 3 best Valdivieso vineyards of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Malbec and Carménère. There is no specific vintage displayed on the label as Solera system is used. Each sequence is numbered and contains 50 % of the current vintage (2008 for the N°13 that was served today) and 50% of the Solera started in 1990. The Caballo Loco N° 13 nose results in jammy black fruits, dried prunes and incense of sandal wood; small gravely tannins, slightly astringent but incredibly juicy and fruity. Well trained palate would notice the paradox of having simultaneously young and aged wine aromas.

Click For Large ViewThe entire world is envious of Amarone. Produced near Verona, in North Eastern Italy, its uniqueness results from the slow withering process of grapes -Corvina, Molinara and Rondinella. The family-owned Cesari enjoys over 50 years of experience and was the first Amarone producer to export to the five continents. Cesari Amarone della Valpolicella 2007 (Importer-Hema Connoisseur) has explosive aromas of over ripe berries, jam, kirsch, hints of orange, rich with volume and outstanding long finish.  There was an interesting competition between the two wines and guests were arguing to defend their favorite- while both glasses were getting empty.

Cheese and dessert: Spanish wine art Masterpieces

Torres is one of the iconic families of the modern wine industry. From the small family vineyard settled in 1870 in Pacs de Pénédès (40km from Barcelona), they have built a worldwide empire. Their patrimonies count more than twenty Spanish vineyards, plus Miramar Estate in California and Miguel Torres Chile. Initially planned to match the main course, the Mas La Plana 2008 with its firm tannins had been moved by Subhash from the chicken dish made in red jus and finally made it the perfect partner for the cheese board. Easily recognized with its now legendary black label, Mas la Plana is a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon single vineyard wine with a limited production. It became world famous when the 1970 vintage beat famous Bordeaux wines at the Paris Wine Olympiad in 1979. The 2008 has aromas of berries, cherry jam and delicate toasted notes given by the ageing in French oak. Lots of structure and volume on the palate; tannic with earthy aromas and prunes. We certainly advise the lucky holder of this wine to let it breathe in a decanter for 2 hours before sipping.

To finish, with the dessert, the Moscatel Oro Floralis (a liquor wine) offered unmistakable intense floral perfume characteristic of muscat grapes, very intense. A luscious wine with lot of alcohol volume and extremely long. We would recommend to all the attending guests to taste it again in a sherry style glass to fully appreciate its impressive nose.

A great array of wines for the 200th event! We now await the next DWC event for more wines and surprises.

Stephanie Jan & Joachim Lefaure

Click For Large ViewStephanie JAN is a food and wine professional with MBA in hospitality management at Essec Paris Business School. She works at Pullman Gurgaon Central Park as outlets manager where she manages La Riviera French & Italian specialty restaurant and the hotel beverages list. Joachim LEFAURE is a French oenologist and educator with wanderlust for wines that has taken him to many countries including India. He has worked in several prestigious wineries in the world. He owns a wine consultancy company- Bouquet de Vin in Gurgaon. They are both members of the Delhi wine Club- editor


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