There are wines and there are wines. But the winemakers who have been making wines for generations do have a few aces up their sleeves. The wines we have selected for you today are a few of those aces that have earned a distinction in the world of wines.
Umani Ronchi Podere Montepulciano d’ Abruzzo DOC
Region: Abruzzo DOC, Italy
Climate: The Abruzzo region is located in east-central Italy with the Apennines Mountains to the west of the region. The mountains act as a barrier to storm systems from the west, but are practically useless to block storm systems originating in the east, often resulting in high precipitation. To the east, the Adriatic Sea provides a Mediterranean climate for the vines.
The soil is rich in calcium and very clayey in nature. The northern vineyards demonstrate altitude and microclimates similar to the central wine regions of Italy like Tuscany, and Umbria. The southern flatlands are humid with more fertile vineyards that show characteristics similar to southern Italian regions like Calabria and Apulia.
Price: INR 880
Style: Medium bodied, off-dry
Color: Bright, ruby red
Nose: Red berries and black fruits aromas such as over ripe plums, and blackberry.
Palate: This off-dry wine is round and comes with notes of wild, under ripe strawberry on first sip. The acidity along with the mild-mannered tannins is a refreshing surprise for a red wine. The tannins are complemented by ripe, dark fruits that mirror the nose and give the wine a dash of extra body on the mid palate.
The finish is short to medium with added citrus notes on the end palate along with very mild notes spices.
Serving Temperature: The winemaker advises to serve this wine at 18ºC, however, this wine surprises the palate very pleasantly at 11-13ºC
Food Pairing: Pairs well with salads, light curries, pastas, and red meats . Good for unpaired consumption in warm weather when served chilled at 11ºC.
Notes: Under the Italian wine laws, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo must have a minimum of 85% Montepulciano grapes, while the rest 15% can be filled up with Sangiovese (another native Italian grape). The grapes are harvested to yield no more than 14 tonnes per hectare and the wine must be aged for a minimum of 5 months before release. Wines aged longer (for a minimum of 2 years in wood barrels) must be labeled as Vecchio and the minimum alcohol levels must be maintained at 12%. Montepulciano d’Abruzzo can be produced as a rosé and must be labeled as Cerasuolo.
Torres – Gran Sangre de Toro
Region: Catalunya DO, Spain
Climate: Catalunya has a variety of climates and soils in a relatively small area. As a result, wines from different winemakers in the region can be very different in characteristics depending on the sub-region.
The region enjoys a Mediterranean climate with hot, sunny summers ( avg. temperature of 28º C) and mild winters (avg. temperature between 8°C and 17°C). As a result, the grapes get a a lot of character from ripening on the vines. Some of the best winemakers belong to this region of Spain. Although the best product from the region is Cava, a sparkling wine, the reds from Catalunya are considered just as good and next only to the Rioja wines from Spain.
Price: INR 1800
Grape: Syrah, Cariñena, Garnacha Tinta
Color: Garnet-Burgundy red
Nose: Brilliant ripe aromas of wild blackberries with toasted oak notes. Warm, deep, and velvety with deepening aromas on each consecutive whiff.
Palate: The Sangre de Toro is a serious wine that appeals mostly to the very serious wine aficionados. It is dry and demonstrates layer upon layer of aromas and tastes on the palate. The tannins are well-rounded but can be mildly offensive when served without decantation. However, that is the charm of this wine, and a signature Spanish winemaking style – robust and rough around the edges.
The wild fruit aromas are mirrored on the palate along with some prominent spice like cinnamon and nutmeg, with hints of black pepper on end palate. The finish is long and smooth with added notes of dark chocolate and tobacco and hint of fruits and spice, making it a very masculine, yet well-behaved wine.
Serving Temperature: 13-15ºC
Food Pairing: Pairs well with steaks and red meat dishes, light aromatic curries, assortment of cheeses and fresh summery salads.
Notes: Torres is a force to reckon with in the wine world with more than four generations involved in the winery and with the brand. Torres has presence in Chile and California as well and exports wines to more than 140 countries around the world, making it the largest winery in play.
D’Arenberg ‘The Dead Arm’ Shiraz
Region: McLaren Vale, Australia
Climate: Australian climate is quite similar to the Mediterranean region, and McLaren Vale is one of the best examples of that. Warm dry summers and cool wet winters, with low relative humidity and relatively high evaporation are the norm in the region with little risk of rainfall or frost during the harvest period making it a brilliantly predictable place to raise grapes for premium wines.
The proximity to sea results in hot summer days that are moderated by cool westerly, southerly or easterly breezes off the surrounding ocean, and also the ‘Gully Winds’ from the Hills giving a prolonged ripening period for the grapes on the vine allowing them to accumulate flavour and intensity.
Price: INR 7320
Color: Bright red with purple hues
Nose: Black and purple fruits, blackberry, plum, blackcurrant, licorice and sweet beetroot aromas are subdued initially by peaty, oaky, smoky and earthy aromas that are very easily taken care of by decanting this wine.
Palate: The Dead-Arm Shiraz is another wine meant for the very serious wine lovers. The wine starts off on the palate with petrichor and oak featuring very prominently followed by over ripe black fruits (plums, balccurrant, blackberry, beetroot) and spices (cinnamon, black pepper, mace, and sage – which is very unusual). Tannins are usually strong on the Dead-Arm Shiraz, making it ideal for storage in the cellar under right conditions for at least 10-12 years easily.
Serving Temperature: 13-15ºC
Food Pairing: Pairs well with game meats, red meats, red meat curries, and soft cheese like Brie.
Notes: The name Dead-Arm is derived from a fungal vine disease that renders one half of the vine dead, while the grapes in the other half notice a significant increase in the intensity of flavours and a much lower yield.