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Posted: Thursday, 11 July 2019 17:48

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We Recommend: Ward Valley Marlborough Duo of Sauvignon and Pinot Noir

July 11: New Zealand has carved out a beautiful niche for its perfumed Sauvignon Blanc and fruity and nuanced Pinot Noirs but usually they are quite expensive for the customer due to higher taxes too but recently I tasted Ward Valley Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir from Marlborough and found the price very reasonable for the fine flavours, says Subhash Arora who recommends the duo for any wine lover but especially a novice or teetotaler

Ward Valley Triple Block Sauvignon Blanc 2018

At a recent Delhi Wine Club dinner at OKO, it was a big surprise for me to taste this white wine from Marlborough. It was simply awesome and a breath of fresh air. The wine is light to medium bodied, with intense pungent and perfumed bouquet of passion fruit, lychees and tropical fruits with ethereal texture that displays plenty of white fruit . The wine is very fresh and vibrant on the palate and though it feels sweet due to fruit, it is a dry wine with only around 2 gm/litre residual sugar (as a reference point, wines with less than 5 gms sugar are considered dry and if less than 1 gm it means it is bone dry).

The crispiness comes from the high altitude where the grapes come from and the vibrant acidity is the result of high day-nigh temperature difference. Even alcohol is low at 12.7%. Very well made wine that can be enjoyed by any wine lover, especially novices. In fact, this is a wine that should be served as the first glass to a novice/teetotaler at the first instance; I don’t know anyone who would not fall in love with this wine.

The price is another important factor. At Rs. 1840 a bottle inclusive of all taxes, it is a steal, if you know that no NZ wine is marked less than Rs. 2200. In flavour it competes very well with the equivalent wines costing twice as much. Great as an aperitif- also for vegetarians and with light fish dishes and even lightly cooked chicken dishes and pasta. Go to Taste in Defence Colony Market to pick up a bottle or a case before the introductory offer is withdrawn.

Ward Valley Epicentre Pinot Noir 2017

What if you only like a white wine but love a red instead and are a great fan of Pinot Noir from the New World? Don’t Despair, Ward Valley Pinot is here! The 2017 Pinot opened nicely as it was poured from the decanter after about 30 minutes of  decanting, and it changed flavours and aroma in the glass. And nicely too!!

20% of the wine has been matured in oak barrel It underwent cold soak for 7 days to save the fragrance. Plenty of red fruit in the flavour- black cherries and blueberries with a hint of dry herbs, making it complex and excellent for Indian palate. It’s a bone dry wine with less than 1 gm of sugar and an alcohol of 13%. Rounded tannins and beautiful structure!

Priced at Rs. 2170, it feels a bit more expensive  but the balance and complexity in the wine makes it worth the extra price. Again, value-for-money wine.

Incidentally, it has been labelled as Epicentre inspired by a massive earthquake in November 2016 in the vineyard at 7.8 on the Richter scale.  Fortunately, the damage was minimal even though they were barely 100 km from the epicentre. The earthquake was so powerful that  the sea level rose over 2 meters  and the state highway nearby was shut down  for over a year. 

Both the wines are imported by a relatively new and unknown importer-Phoenix Wines and is currently available at The Taste in Defence Colony. Ask for Jimmy-he is wine knowledgeable and helpful partner at the store. If you insist on red wine with your food or love Pinot Noir especially from the New World, you’d love this wine. Both the wines make a nice pair to gift or serve with dinner where the spectrum of food is too wide for a single wine.

And don’t forget to give me your personal feedback. Remember, the best wine is what you like. I can say safely, the novices would love this wine-and that’s my strong conviction.

Subhash Arora


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