California For the ease of understanding we divide the wine world into old-worlds and the new worlds. Old world wine countries are the more experienced countries producing wines for centuries now, namely France, Italy, Germany, Spain, and the likes. On the flipside, new-worlds are the younger breed of producers. The leader in the latter family is California. No doubts there!!
Known for its sophisticated techniques and mechanical expertise, winemaking was an immediate hit in the country. French winemakers argued for long that their wine-styles were copied but the Americans were far from nodding in acceptance. They introduced their native red grape, Zinfandel, which now rules the vineyards the world over. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, due to their international dominance, are also planted here producing exceptional results. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot carries an aura attracting wine lovers purely for their supple and round textures. The vineyards today flourish with almost all internationally successful variety and the climatically apt location of the country provide a great turf to add further value to them. The significant characteristic of the Californian wines are their smooth butteriness. Balance between tannins, acidity, body, flavor, and alcoholic strength of their reds is commendable.
From this impressing diverse wine-country comes the house of Lamplighter Wines. A small winery set-up in Monetery sub-region produces not a varied variety of wines but do emphasis on the quality of the wines. They focus on producing quality Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon. We tasted the wines and this is what we thought:
Lamplighter Chardonnay (White)
Clean straw color, youthful wine. Fruity nose with hint of husk, guava, papaya, honey dew melon, orange, with floral hints as well. Simple and straight, youthful palate, very fresh and refreshing. Sweet fruits, green apple, touch of bell peppers spinach leaves, pears, peaches, figs, marmalade, touch of spices, vanilla, body is pale given the balance between acid + alcohol, confusing spiciness, and creamy texture. Tad cloying, acidity is good but not upfront, moderate alcohol. A bit oaky. Good summer wine, very palatable and amicable. Easy drinking drop.
Wi-Not Verdict– Easy going, nice wine. Worth more than mere Rs.1200, and a steal at this price point. A must-try!
Lamplighter Merlot (Red) Young pale ruby colour. Black fruits with some spices and earthiness, fresh New-World style nose. Dry, juicy fruity palate. Brings you back from the nose’s toss. Good balance. Tannins are good, acidity is refreshing, and alcohol is not burning, rather soothing. Good safe playful wine with a fruity personality and simple approach.
Wi-Not Verdict-Something for the beginners. Definitely value for money.
Lamplighter Cabernet Sauvignon (Red)
Young ruby color with a touch of violet + aubergine, fading rims. Jammy, sweet touch, plums, cherries, blueberries, rhubarb. Dry, still young, high acid, very well balanced. Touch of spices, tannins are young and apt, not overly powerful. Fruity juicy style, easily approachable wine. Great mouth feel. Very refreshing. Simplicity is appealing yet elegant.
Wi-Not Verdict-Classy and worth it.