Tasting Medley from around the world

SITP tatsers and guests, from left to right: Gagan Sharma, Rahoul B Singh, Reva K Singh, Isabelle Beau de Lomenie, Arun Rewal and Atul Tiwari

This was a Sommelier India panel tasting with a difference. It was held on January 26 which also happened to be India’s Republic Day since that was the day that suited most panel members. It was a country-wide “dry day” when all liquor outlets are closed. There was no theme for the tasting this time. Members were free to bring their own wines to present to the panel, explaining why they chose that particular label to recommend to SI readers. The wines could be Indian, international, old world, new world, varietals or blends. After the tasting and discussions the tasters would write about their wine in the magazine. Everyone was game, and I expected a full house. But then it began to rain, and the rain didn’t stop. Some members bowed out, so we had fewer tasters than expected. Undeterred, the participating panellists went on with the tasting which ranged from an Indian late harvest wine to wines from Bordeaux, Austria, Italy and South Africa. All in all, it made for a very good session of tasting wine and exchange of views.  — RKS

SantoFratelli Santo Late Harvest wine
The name of Fratelli’s late harvest wine, Santo recalls Vin Santo, the well known dessert wine from Tuscany made with local white grapes, Trebbiano and Malvasia. Fratelli’s Santo, an exquisite, limited release wine produced with four kilos of grapes per bottle is made with Chenin Blanc grapes, selected from plots with little sun but high humidity. The grapes are left to ripen on the vines for an extended period of time well beyond peak ripeness. When they shrivel and dry out, the natural sugar in the grapes increases with an intense concentration of flavour as well as acidity. The juice is fermented, aged in French oak barrels for 24 months and bottled in 500ml bottles. I was presented a bottle which I planned to savour at a special occasion. I couldn’t have chosen a better time. We drank it as an aperitif with foie gras on toast. It was delicious. An increasingly popular aperitif, sweet wines are equally good as a digestif paired with nutty cheese such as Comté.
Tasting notes
Intense aromas of vanilla and orange marmalade. Rich and concentrated, with good acidity. Crisp orange peel and nutty flavours on the finish. Best served chilled between 7°C to 13°C in small dessert wine glasses.
— Reva K Singh


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