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Pale yellow with a hint of green in appearance, on the nose the wine has floral notes alongside white summer fruits. This is a medium bodied wine with expressive ripe fruit, invigorating acidity and a long finish.
First planted in 2008 with cuttings imported from Europe, the winery has around 95 hectares of vineyards over three sites in Akluj. The soils are generally poor with no clay which reduces vigour, a key factor in managing disease in what is a sub-tropical climate. Yields are half what is usually achieved in India, allowing full ripening before the monsoons arrive. Altitude also plays its part with vineyards up to 650 metres above sea level resulting in cool nights, ensuring the grapes retain freshness.
The harvest was delayed by 10 days as a result of unseasonably cold conditions. The Chardonnay grapes were harvested over six days from the 13th of January, with the Sauvignon Blanc picked from the 15th to the 20th January.
The varieties are destemmed and processed separately with both the Chardonnay and Sauvignon undergoing fermentation in stainless steel tanks at 14°C - 18°C for 10 to 14 days with no malolactic fermentation allowed. The cool temperature and stainless steel tanks helped preserve the pristine fruit character. Following fermentation, the wine was blended prior to bottling.
This is a joint venture between Piero Masi, a Tuscan winemaker we first came across in the mid-1980s when he worked for Paolo De Marchi at Isole e Olena, and wine writer, producer and innovator Steven Spurrier, who founded the Wine Society of India on one of his frequent visits. They met through Kapil and Gaurav Sekhri, whose winery, Fratelli Vineyards, is based in Akluj (Mahārāshta), on the right bank of the Nira River about 170 kilometres south of Pune.