A new experience earlier this evening. I was at the home of winemaker John Worontschak, with Sam Harrop, when John pulled out a wine that he'd made earlier. From India.
It's a Indus Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc 2006 made in Nasik, India, from grapes grown at 620 m. John says that the climate is warm and dry, except for when it's wet, in which case it's monsoon wet. The winery was designed by John, and set into a hillside it works by gravity flow.
The wine has a distinctive methoxypyrazine chalky greenness on the nose, along with a bit of lemon pith character. In the mouth it is clean, quite crisp and fruity, with more of the typical Sauvignon greenness. I'd be lying if I said that this is the world's best Sauvignon, but it is quite drinkable, and it's the best Indian wine I've ever had. Actually, it's the only Indian wine I've had, but that aside, there's some promise here. Tasted blind, we agreed that we'd probably place this in South Africa.
I guess there's money to be made from selling good quality Indian wines to the Indian middle classes. An impressive 250 tons of grapes went through the Nindus winery last vintage.