French wines were the first love of India when it came to imported wines, due to various reasons and major being the taxes and of course the influx of a lot of two buck chucks that French wines slowly became elusive to an average Indian consumer. The Burgundies and the likes continued their march whilst importers also started looking for more economical and value for money wines from the South of France. Camas from the Languedoc is one such value wine brand which found entry into the country and Jean-Yves Laporte from the house was in Mumbai to showcase his wines,he did so over Indian food at Baluchi the north—west frontier place at the Lalit hotel.
If you were to look down south of France in the Languedoc region , the grapes that would first come to your mind are the likes of Grenache, Mourvedre, Cinsault etc which thrive well in the Mediterranean climate. But within the regions there are microclimates with warm days and cool nights which allow moderate climate grape varieties to flourish. One such region is the upper Aude valley in Limoux where wine co Cave Anne De Joyeuse is located and Camas comes from this winery. This location allows Camas to also do grapes which do well in a moderate climate or even cooler climates and their Pinot Noir is an example of the same. Radelan the importers are carrying the entire Camas portfolio in India which includes Malbec, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, Cab-Sauv and Viognier. The retail price of these is approximately Rs 1450 in Mumbai and this makes them a good option for the Francophiles. We loved the Sauvignon which was reminiscent of delicate guava and passion fruit notes; it was quite easy on the palate devoid of the racy acidity (we love it too) like the Loire pours. The wine complemented the rich paneer and the flavoursome broccoli tandoori well.
The mains very paired with Cab-sauv and the Syrah, both wines showed good structure and fruit but for a hint of pear drop aromas in the latter. For the dessert was a rich date and almond halwa and Jean caught us by surprise when he paired it with a medium sweet Gros Manseng emanating floral and stone fruit notes with bracing acidity and a light body. He was trying to gather insights about another winery they own in Gascony and where Gros Manseng an indigenous variety is very popular. 'Great wine for the Indian market if the price is good; however who will move them, the Indian consumers to get to try the Manseng, they are yet to accept the Gewurztraminer.' I commented.
It is always a pleasure to see more wines coming to the market and an honour to be at the previews. And as we always say India needs more, maybe we will see an Armagnac in the market sometime soon if I picked the hints right last evening.
P.S: Camas is available in Mumbai and sold and marketed by Shailender Sandha’s Flipsydee.