By Sourish Bhattacharyya
TAITA, Chile’s most expensive wine from the South American country’s iconic producer, Montes, will be unveiled in New Delhi at a dinner at the Orient Express on October 3, sending out the message loud and clear to the wine world that the Indian market is still not a lost cause. The dinner is being co-presented by the wine’s importer, Brindco International, and the Taj Palace, and will be attended by the Delhi Gourmet Club.
The Chilean wine company’s co-owner and chief winemaker Aurelio Montes had described Taita as a “super icon” during its release in June this year at Vinexpo Bordeaux. Priced around $300 in the U.S. market, it is one of North America’s most expensive wines. Taita, incidentally, is a word commonly used in South America to denote ‘wisdom’ or ‘father’. Its tagline, expectedly, is ‘Wisdom in Wine’ and its elegantly crafted bottle has a pewter figurine of Montes’s signature winged angel holding a goblet in one hand and a bunch of grapes in the other.
At Vinexpo, the wine world’s most prestigious trade show held alternately in Bordeaux and Hong Kong (and also in Tokyo and Beijing), Montes launched Taita’s inaugural vintage, 2007, of which all of 3,000 bottles have been produced. In the coming years, only the ones that Montes and the wine’s co-creator, Pedro Parra, consider to be exceptional, will see subsequent editions of this collector’s wine. Those attending the October 3 dinner therefore will be in a privileged minority to taste a wine that’s got rave reviews everywhere.
Montes is held in high esteem for its benchmark red wine, Montes Alpha M (Cabernet Sauvignon, 80%; Merlot, 10%; Cabernet Franc, 5%; Petit Verdot, 5%). Its wine portfolio, which was being imported into India by Mumbai-based Sonarys Co Brands, has now moved into the hands of Brindco International, India’s most successful wine import company created by its founder-CEO Aman Dhall. Taita, according to Montes, has been made primarily for the Asian market.
Reporting the wine's launch at Vinexpo, The Drinks Business (http://www.thedrinksbusiness.com/2013/06/montes-releases-super-icon-wine/) had noted that the grapes for the 15.7% abv (alcohol by volume) wine are grown at a six-hectare plot within a 700-hectare farm at the Marchigue vineyards of the Colchagua Valley (Central Chile) and spends two years in 100% new French oak and a further three in barrel. (In the exceptionally high alcohol content you can see the fallout of global warming!) The grapes were dry farmed because Montes, as he explained to The Drinks Business, wanted to “touch hell” and see how far he could push things without resorting to irrigation to produce a luscious full-bodied wine. Well, it seems a full-bodied treat awaits a fortunate few on October 3.