Wednesday, June 01, 2011

When Tuscany came calling!

The World now would get a chance to savour an Indian Sangiovese, a red grape variety which comes most from Central Italy. Vintage wines known for its brand “Reveilo” have clearly shown their affinity for everything Italian, their winemaker and three Italian varietals on a trot, Grillo, Nero d’Avola and now the Sangiovese. The formal unveiling of the 2010 vintage happened on 29th May Sunday 2011 amidst wine fraternity, press and a few glitterati at Escobar in Bandra. Kiran and Yatin Patil the owners and promoters of Vintage wine ensured that the crowd was Sangiovesed!

Sangiovese in this part of the world is lesser known as a varietal, but geographically labeled
wines such as the Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino & Vino Nobile di Montepulciano which use the grape as a major part of their blend are quite popular. It is also used in the blend of many “super Tuscans”, the likes of Tignanello and Brancaia. Sangiovese is versatile, rather a workhorse which can make anything from cooking to premium, ageworthy wines. Vin Santo a sweet wine adds to the portfolio.

“Reveilo, Sangiovese, 2010” really took me by surprise as it was extremely light and fruity, very unusual if compared to a classic. It had refreshing acidity, with red fruit, a hint of smoke (I say a mixed berry tart) and supple tannins which give it a velvety mouth feel! One mystery that hounded me was the element of toast when the wine had not seen oak. The winemaker Andrea Valentinuzzi put my child like curiosity to rest by attributing the smokiness to the hot climate; as our chat drifted on to barrel fermented Chardonnays and wine trends.

Good food finds its way to good wine and this was evident with the dinner spread for the night. The menu was specially compiled by Andrea I overheard. Would not call it Italian, was modern European with items likes Greek salad, herbed chicken, lamb stew/ mash and red wine soaked porcini risotto. For records the Sangiovese and risotto combo was perfect, although not as sublime as the chocolate truffle slice!

Last words, priced at Rs 695, perfect as an aperitif, best served lightly chilled, can go well with light Indian dishes, in layman terms it is a good pick for someone looking for a lively, fruity, easy-drinking, no fuss wine!

by Ajit Balgi