Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Meet the producer: Fratelli, from Italy to India

At work with the seven brothers
Exciting master class at the London Wine Fair 2022 on Indian wines. Fratelli (it means "brothers") is now the largest and fastest growing wine producer in India. It started in 2007 in Maharashstra and its first vintage is from 2010. 

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.
Green highlights around the characteristic straw yellow. Almonds and some bitter notes at the end. Abv 12.5%. Score 83.

Another fresh wine, but more balanced than the chenin blanc. Abv 12.5%. Score 87.

Sangiovese 60%, cab sauvignon 40%
This blend is clearly inspired by the supertuscans, and it is not produced every year. A plump wine with considerable elegance and structure. Good balance, tendence of smoothness to prevail, and enjoyable length. It is ready now with limited potential for aging in the bottle. By far the best product of the house, it retails for about 25 dollars in the US: Money well spent.
Score 89

Sette Fratelli

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave your comments here! Thank you!