Sunday, May 30, 2010
Today I'm tasting wine from Bangalorean company Mandala Valley Vineyards, founded in 2006. As far as I know, at least in the beginning they used grape from Maharashtra, not from Karnataka where Bangalore (Bengaluru) is located.
Label is quite beautiful and that is, perhaps, the main reason I bought it. "Mandala" means "circle" in Sanskrit. "Mandala valley" doesn't mean anything, it's just a combination of words. The label also says "where the rainbows dance". Not sure what they mean but maybe the rainbows got very drunk with this wine and began to dance ;-)
What I like the most about the label is that it says "private collection". If it's a private collection - how the hell did I get it in a regular wine shop? :)
Price: heavy 690 Rs (15 USD).
Smell: actually, rather bad. Very intense, but not rich. Similar to that of cheap Indian wine (150-200 Rs category) or dirty cheap European wine (0,5-1 EUR category).
Taste: rather muddled, mixed, confused. Not too terrible, but lacks clarity, lacks transparent, distinguishable after-taste. In short, taste is slightly better than that of cheap Indian wine (150-200 Rs category).
Funny but the official website of the manufacturer says their boss is French and he got kick-ass experience in the field. But, at least according to this item we tried today, he got deported from France for screwing the reputation of their sacred profession - wine making.
Verdict: NEVER BUY IT! It's a scam, a money waste. If you are willing to spend 690 Rs per bottle, go for Tiger Hill or Sula Dindori.
PS. Dr. Pascal Chatonnet, shame on you!
Friday, May 28, 2010
Yesterday I spotted a new item at my local wine shop - "Pause Puro" from Rendez-vous Wines India Pvt Ltd (Maharashtra). This particular wine is said to be made in Baramati - a little town near Pune. So it's the first Maharashtrian wine I tried which is not made in Nasik!
I was familiar with "Pause" wines already, and to be honest - my opinion about this company wasn't that high. Still, I decided to try it - it was just 225 Rs, after all :)
"Puro" means "pure" in Spanish and Italian, so the title is a combination of English and Spanish/Italian languages. Bottle design is quite simple, similar to cheapest wines in Europe - lousy label and metallic cap instead of proper cork.
Anyway, as I said - 225 Rs is a very small money so I decided to give it a try.
So, I got SURPRISED with this wine! It's actually good! The only "weakness" I found is a lack of rich after-taste. It's slightly (I mean it - slightly) watery in the end. Smell is also a little bit "poor". Otherwise, this wine is WAY better than other products in this price category.
Verdict: The best Indian wine in this price category (less than 300 Rs). Viva la Pause Winery!
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Today we are tasting one of the most popular (or at least famous) brands in India - Sula.
Cheap Sula wines smell badly and taste the same so we went for an expensive bottle - Sula Dindori Reserve 2007.
Price - heavy 810 rupees (18 USD, in a wine shop)
Let's analyze the title first. It's a very beautiful bottle, after all! "Sula" itself has many meanings - from bird genus to islands in Scandinavia. It's not clear what did the company founders mean.
Dindori is a little town in Nasik - wine district in Maharashtra.
Bottle says the harvest was made in 2007, and then the drink spent 1 year in oak. Then it reached local shops.
Smell: rich, fruity, sweet, intensive.
Taste: very fruity, interesting aftertaste.
Verdict: very good Indian wine, but costly (comparing to Europe). It appears that Sula Wines company knows how to make good wine but refuses to do so in case of cheaper products. Perhaps, they assume that only rich can distinguish good wine from garbage.