Barely a day goes by without something new developing in the Indian wine industry. Fratelli Wines is the current hot topic around wine town. This Indo-Italian venture is the result of a partnership between three families from India and Italy. The Secci brothers – Alessio and Andrea – from Italy, are already well known in the Italian wine trade since long. Mr. Alessio Secci is also the co-promoter and Director of the company. Sekhri brothers and Mohite-Patil brothers are the guardians of the company from India. Piero Masi is the present nurturer of the vineyards and is also responsible for the winery operations as also, of course, including the wine-making. He has been the proud winemaker and viticulturist for many Tuscan wineries including the likes of several Chiantis and Super-Tuscans.
With their flourishing vineyards spread over 240 acres in the Sholapur district of Maharashtra and a fast-developing winery, Fratelli Wines is definitely the most exciting recent development on the Indian wine production scene. The wines are rich and have surprising clarity. What makes them further more interesting is their blend of Old World typicity and New World charm. Presently, the group is producing three varietal wines. Here are the tasting notes from Wi-Not’s tasting panel:
Pale straw colour with a touch of green. Clean fruity aromas with those including peardrop, fresh cut grass, capsicum, asparagus, and lime. Light bodied dry wine with notes of ginseng, fat green chillies, shrubs, sour lime, pepper, musk, green tea and white water stones. The wine is well structured with supporting minerality and is well balanced. The finish is shorter than expected but the acidity is refreshing and sharp and lingers for a while. Overall the wine is very clean and expressive and is a good example of its type with New World dominance of expression style. It can be a good aperitif as well as a nice accompaniment for a meal comprising light dishes.
Clean bright straw colour. Clean fruity nose with some floral notes, orange blossom and talc. The palate is fruity with notes of sweet canned peaches, pineapple, tropical fruits, pears, cream, sharp lime, tad grassy, and oily. The acidity is gripping and sharp and the wine carries some weight as well, unusual for the varietal. The aftertaste is clean and lingers for a moderate duration. A well-balanced easy wine good for sipping.
2010 Fratelli Cabernet Sauvignon:
Deep ruby with purple tinge and very lightly fading rims. Clean nose with jammy notes, think plums, blueberries, and then, some wet earth. Clean dry palate with moderate young tannins and well balanced alcohol and acidity. The notes, again, are more jammy and concentrated with plums, spices, blackberry, black olives, cloves, concentrated cola, and wet earth. It is an easy going wine with no complexity yet clean and expressive. Good to drink by itself but nice greasy Indian onion-based curries will be a nice pairing.
For now, the wines are doing a good job for themselves. The company has already planted 13 varietals and some of them are well-known international varieties yet to be seen on the Indian shelves including Gewurztraminer, Muller Thurgau, Petit Verdot, Marsanne, and, given their Italian history and connection, Sangiovese. What has been launched yet is the basic varietal range. They will soon also be rolling out their blends, sparkling wines, reserves and even special vintages. They’re leaving no stone un-hurled!
Producing wines in India utilising Italian ingredients and know-how is not the first effort of its kind. Other well-established companies have been exploiting foreign assistance for long. However, having said that, this is sure that the competition is heating up here in the Indian wine market. What this also signals is the beginning of the unending discussion of local consumers’ favourites and new market leaders. Add this topic to politics and cricket as yet one more thing to not bring up in sensitive company. But the good thing with a wine debate is that even when disagreeing, it still means a good glass of wine for everyone all around!