|At work with the seven brothers|
Seven brothers from three families (Sekhri, Secci and Mohite-Patil) and two countries (Italy and India) came together with a common goal: to produce quality wine in India.
A country where wine, especially high quality wine, is not traditionally poured at the dining table but where the growing middle class has learned to appreciate it and can afford it.
The tradition in India at that time, and still now in many places, was mostly for producers to buy wines under contract from many farmers, while Fratelli began by planting its own vineyards with rootstock imported from France. The brothers looked for good soil that would allow them to control yields and keep quality high.
Fratelli now caters mostly to the growing domestic Indian market, though exports have begun to pick up toward Singapore and the US, where expat Indian communities are attracted to wines Made in India.
Steven Spurrier worked with Fratelli for seven years to help the brothers find the best blends for their products. The result is wines to drink soon after bottling, for now the production is not yet at the stage where a long aging in bottle is recommended. Tannins are ready when the bottles leave the cellar. One reason is that Fratelli tried to make wines to match Indian food, so smooth wines to pair with spicy masalas.Here are some of my best takeaways from the tasting.
Gran Cuvée Brut
chenin blanc 80%, muller thurgau 15%, gewurztraminer 5%
Uses chenin blanc in this traditional method because it is appreciated by the large Indian community in South Africa, with which Fratelly wants to consolidate a long standing relationship. Fresh and zesty, mod balance. A structured wine. Abv 12%. Score 85.