December 16, 2007

Wine from the Nandi Hills in India

Ever had wine from the Nandhi Hills? After trying the 2005 Grover Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc Nandi Hills, I can say I have.

I had been meaning to try this wine for months, after seeing a number of Grover bottlings in the Portland area. I've even seen some tasting notes online but they largely scared me away. The only really positive thing I recall reading was about the white wine. So when I saw this bottling for about $6 in a local bargain bin, I couldn't resist entering the world of Indian wine. Never mind the label's boast of enology services from the internationally employed Michel Rolland. That doesn't suggest artisanal wine, but I can't be picky with wine from the tropics.

So how is the Grover Sauvignon Blanc? Pretty good, in fact better after a couple days open in the refridgerator. It's clearly a modern, clean wine, but with a piercing acidity that seemed disjointed at first, then turned more pleasing over a few nights. The wine smells more like chardonnay or pinot gris than sauvignon, but it has some varietal character with grass notes mixed into the tart citrus flavors.

I understand that the grapes are grown at 5000 ft outside of Bangalore, well south of the Tropic of Cancer. I imagine the altitude allows for cool nights. Wikipedia says there is eucaplytus in the area, but also coffee and what sounds like high humidity. Hmm. Who knows how they grow vinifera grapes in such conditions, but the results are pretty good.

This isn't earthmoving wine, but if you see it in the low teens or less, it's worth a try. If only to say you've had wine from the subcontinent.

1 comment:

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