India's First Wine, Food and Hospitality Website, INDIAN WINE ACADEMY, Specialists in Food & Wine Programmes. Food Importers in Ten Cities Across India. Publishers of delWine, India’s First Wine.
Skip Navigation Links
About Us
Indian Market
Wine & Health
Wine Events
Retail News
Contact Us
Skip Navigation Links
Wine Tourism
Book Review
Photo Gallery
Readers' Comments
Video Wall
Media Partners
Ask Wineguyindia
Wine & Food
Wine Guru
Gerry Dawes
Harvest Reports
Mumbai Reports
Advertise With Us
US Report on Indian Market Released
Top Ten Importers List 2015-16
On Facebook
On Twitter
Delhi Wine Club
Grover Zampa launches Exquisite Insignia

Posted: Monday, 03 October 2016 14:20


If you Like this article, please click

Email This Article

Grover Zampa launches Exquisite Insignia

Oct 03: The much awaited exquisite and expensive label from Grover Zampa Vineyards was finally unveiled in the presence of over 200 invitees at their Bangalore winery with the earlier secretly guarded label INSIGNIA 2014 tasted from the magnums only 300 of which were produced and over 200 have been already sold, many of them bought by collectors at the invitee price of Rs. 5000, making it the most expensive wine in India, and only the second red wine in a magnum

Click For Large ViewThe ‘invitation-only’ event was slated to last from 11 am to 4:30 pm on October 1, but the  groups trouping in at noon and with some people still sipping wines on pour even past 5 pm, it was a memorable event for the guests. Delicious snacks, excellent lunch catered by the Taj Hotel in the city and a live band playing and singing beautiful jazz numbers with multi-stands pouring generous portions of Karnataka-winery produced Soiree Brut, Soiree Brut Rose and a range of Grover wines kept guests soaking in the wine in beautiful ambience. The semi-serious wine drinkers were treated to a complimentary tour of the winery with guides including Karishma Grover presenting the wines and of course tasting of INSIGNIA 2014 served from the decanter, as the time seemed to fly faster, in a very relaxed atmosphere.

The wine is being sold by invitation only and from the cellar door at Rs. 5,000 a magnum bottle. Only 300 magnums (1500 mL-twice the regular size) had been produced and with 100 bottles purchased and shipped to Ravi Viswanathan, the Singapore-based PE investor and a Director of the company, a total stock of 200 bottles was available for sale. Including the bottles uncorked for the guests who visited the winery at the Launch and the bottles already reserved, hardly any are left and they will be snapped up by collectors, this being the limited maiden issue of an iconic wine in the making.

It intrigued me how the company chose the label when I first tasted the wine in February this year. At the first instance, it seems an excellent choice when Kapil Grover says they wanted to make an iconic wine that would make a statement of quality and also would be a tribute to his later father Kanwal Grover who was a pioneer and believed in the pursuit of excellence in their wines.

Click For Large ViewInsignia is a symbol or token of personal power and indicates exquisiteness. It also boasts of being the most expensive wine in India today. At the suggested price , it would translate to approximately Rs. 2250 a bottle of 750 mL with a discounting of 10% from the magnum price and it still beats the most expensive wines today at Rs. 1800-1850, i.e. Chene from Grover Zampa and Sette from Fratelli. Sumedh Singh Mandla says, ‘the price may seem a bit high but compare with the imported wines in this category and you will appreciate that the price is not high.’

The only other red wine produced in India is by KRSMA which started bottling their Cabernet Sauvignon in Magnums as well from 2011 and have made magnums in every vintage except 2013 when they did not produce the Estate wine and declassified to a new label K2. Grover and Fratelli are now both contemplating to bottle Chen and Sette in magnums as well, starting from the next bottling.

Making up of Insignia

The Shiraz-based single vineyard wine is from a few rows of a small parcel, close to the winery. Karnataka is blessed with excellent terroir for Cabernet Sauvignon but Shiraz has to be ‘managed’, unlike in the Nashik belt where it is the reverse, But the winemaker Karishma Grover, says they had been getting excellent quality Shiraz from one particular vineyard which they had been using in the Cabernet-Shiraz blend for the La Reserve. She and their French winemaker Mathias Pellisard decided together to make the new wine. The maiden 2014 had been fermented and aged in French new oak barriques and had just been bottled in magnums when I visited the winery and tasted it early February. There has been no filtration and punch down was done only once a week. Total process from harvest to the bottle has been manual.

The grapes were picked when fully ripe with brown seeds and full in aromatics. The berries were small with very low yields of 1.5 tons per acre and cultivated on 15+ year old vines. Hand harvesting and double-sorting is the key, according to Mathias who feels for the amount of labour and precision that has gone into making this wine, this price is quite low.

However, the label says the wine has been in the oak for 24 months. This is strange because earliest the ripe grapes would have been harvested must have been in March/April. Since it was already in the bottle during the first week of February, the maximum it would have come in contact with the oak including fermentation, malo-lactic and ageing would have been around 21-22 months. A trivial point but a wine expert not willing to be named wondered how it was possible to release a wine that has undergone 24 months of cellaring in the wood and 6 months in the bottle when the earliest the grape would have been harvested in March/April.

The Other Insignia

Click For Large ViewInsignia is already a 40-year old label in Napa. In fact, Joseph Phelps winey in Stags Leap District used the harvest of 1974 to make it for the first time and release in 1977. It is a Cabernet Sauvignon -dominated iconic wine (85-90% of the blend includes Cabernet grapes  grown in their own estate) and is recognised as one the world’s great wines, regularly scoring 100 points by Robert Parker.

I had raised the point when I visited the vineyard earlier in February this year. However, Sumedh brushed me aside and said the trade mark has been officially accepted by the Indian authorities. The label was disclosed to me on the request of confidentiality and had already been approved by the government authorities at that time. He says, ‘in any case we are making very small quantities to be sold within India and are not meant to be exported.’

The wine is dark cherry red in colour, brilliant and very clean. The floral bouquet with layers of cherries makes the wine very perfumed and reminds you about Pinot Noir as does its light-to-medium body unlike a powerful Shiraz. It’s still young with oak tannins overpowering the fruit which is still in plenty. Very elegant wine with a long end-this would be perfect in 1-2 years and would age for 3-5 years. However, for the pundits who claim to be experts in estimating the life will do well to study the case of Napa Insignia 1974 which when it was released in 1977 was expected to age for 3-5 years. Recently Robert Parker tasted the wine and found it still drinking beautifully.

The time will only tell how many years it will age but it can be savoured even now with food-generally pork chops , roast mutton , mushroom mutter and  aubergine dishes especially when baked with cheese.  

For the earlier article, please visit,

GroverZ to Launch the Most Expensive Wine in India

Subhash Arora

If you Like this article please click on the Like button   



Subhash Arora Says:


I am forwarding your request to the right quarters. Arora

Posted @ May 17, 2019 08:22


Yoji Taguchi Says:


I would like to buy this one carton today either higher expectation since we are from Japan

Posted @ May 16, 2019 15:20


Want to Comment ?
Please enter your comments in the space provided below. If there is a problem, please write directly to Thank you.

Generate a new image

Type letters from the image:

Please note that it may take some time to get your comment published...Editor

Wine In India, Indian Wine, International Wine, Asian Wine Academy, Beer, Champagne, World Wine Academy, World Wine, World Wines, Retail, Hotel


Copyright©indianwineacademy, 2003-2020 |All Rights Reserved
Developed & Designed by Sadilak SoftNet