Nasik based Vintage Wines have been keeping the ‘desi’ wine lovers excited for all the right reasons. Their Italian winemaker, Andrea Valentinuzzi, with his idea of producing un-Indian wine styles is faring well. To this effect, they released their new gems on the 30th April in Mumbai. These Italian varietal wines, Nero d’Avola (red) and Grillo (white), are native to the region of Sicily. These new soldiers were unknown to the Indian farmers and soils when the idea to plant them first came to the team back in 2006, and finally, the release of their first vintage in 2009.Mr. Patil was a successful corporate employee before he turned entrepreneur to make more proficient use of his managerial skills. The decision was almost quick, and tad predictable given his ancestral award-winning viticulture business and his cultivated passion for wines. While Yatin now stays busy commuting between Mumbai and Nasik taking care of his crops, Kiran spearheads the plans to make the range grow nationally and plans to take it international too. Mr. Valentinuzzi is an expert at not only winemaking but also viticulture. He heads the Reveilo brand of Vintage wines. This Italian vino has headed many vintages before setting his own consultancy firm aiding others in getting their elixirs right. He strongly believes in India’s potential to grown big on the global wine scene.The company also produces India’s most expensive wine, a late harvest Chenin Blanc. Here are the tasting notes for these wines:2009 Reveilo Grillo (White)Pale straw looking young wine with light body. Aromatic wine with refreshing nose bringing along notes of asparagus, fresh leaves, hint sweet apricots, fresh figs, white flowers like African jelly, orange blossom, and banana, thus, looking tad sweet. Maybe it was psyche, but the wine seemed to taste almost ‘Italiano’ on the very first sip with an off-dry fresh fruity attack. Good mineral structure. Acidity lingers for long and leaves a note of pineapple as it fades away. Alcohol is well identifiable, and playing with temperature is advised (keep it low). The wine can b a commendable aperitif and can also prove its charm with light vegetarian food, salads, pizzas, grilled platters, and even fish dishes in a light ‘summery’ sauce. It won’t improve with ageing – it isn’t meant to – so, drink young.2009 Reveilo Nero d’Avola (Red)
Inky-robed wine with a contrastingly light body, fading rims, almost looking like Crème de Cassis (black-currant liqueur). Minerality dominates with notes of black salt and spices, mainly cloves. The nose is jammy and exhibits blackcurrants, cherry, quince paste, rhubarb and eucalyptus (pretty exacting now that we re-read it). Young fresh dry wine with medium body, fruity sweet but not residual sugar -loaded, appears tad evolved and finishes with low tannins that are smooth, even if they fade a tad early. Some notes of burnt matchsticks, berry jam, blueberry coulis, and aged dried mango strips (once again, the precision of our initial notes surprises even us!) The alcohol is subtle and makes the wine more enjoyable. An easy drinking wine with fruity and spicy notes, good with grilled red meats, perhaps with a rub of pepper and rosemary. Macho but without being chauvinistic: girls will like it too.2006 Reveilo Late Harvest Chenin BlancFinally an Indian Late Harvest Chenin Blanc that actually looks and tastes like one. Gold hues with heavy legs. Notes are resplendent with dried figs, apricots, dried apples, raisins and sultanas, and also some spicy notes. Moderately-aged sweet wine with medium body, refreshing acidity, and high alcohol. The palate reassures what the nose detected, only stronger. The finish is balancing with tanginess and somewhat mango-laded (think aam-papad). The wine definitely seems to call us back to it. Without wasting a thought, we immerse ourselves in it encore.