Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Tulleeho Wine Experience with Noble Rot, a Delhi based group of wine lovers

A PLUNGE INTO THE WORLD OF FRENCH WINES - by Rakshit Khurana, Tulleeho
Setting the Stage...

If you have the palate for some of the best sweet wine in the world you might know that “Noble Rot” is the only naturally occurring grape disease that farmers are happy to have their vines affected with, as it helps them produce some of the most expensive wines in the world. As interesting as is this concept, so was the group of the Delhi based wine enthusiasts who call themselves “Noble Rot”.
I met Sandeep six months ago at a Tulleeho Wine Experience. He also expressed a desire to do a deep dive into the world of French Wines, along with his Noble Rot compatriots. Justifiably concerned about the quality of wine available in India, Sandeep visited France to get the wine for this French evening at his house. The evening was all set with French music and food from Rara Avis, one of the well known French restaurants in town. The idea was to give the members of Noble Rot a taste of France in the heart of Delhi.
As the guests started coming in, they were given a blind taste of a couple of white wines, one of which they had to guess if they wanted to win a bottle of wine. The wines served were a Riesling from Alsace and a Chablis. While most of them got one wine right the prize was given to a gentleman who nailed them both. The evening kicked off with a Louis Roederer, NV Brut which was relished with Camembert cheese. 
... and the Table
 Next up we were tasting an off dry 2011 Riesling from Alsace (a region caught in many cross fires between Germany and France in World War II) which was combined with Edam Cheese. Everyone of the 13 members were now warmed up and inquisitive about the next wine which was a 2011 Pouilly Fume. Much was expected of this crisp beauty with grassy aromas that complimented the Goat Cheese and Olive Tapenade crostini prepared by Laurent, the chef. As we moved on and appreciated the Chablis and Rose D’ Anjou, the noise level in the room had gone up a notch and now they needed something else to put their minds to.

 Just before we started off with the reds, we played an interesting game of guessing some wine aromas (needless to mention we had some very strange but funny answers). We started tasting the red wine with The Queen of Beaujolais, a “Fleurie”(stands for flowery) from the house of Georges Duboeuf. The crimson
coloured light and fruity wine was paired with chicken salami. After tasting the 2008 Pinot Noir from the house of Olivier Leflaive which was enjoyed with Gruyere cheese we got to the two wines I couldn’t wait to taste and see the development after decanting.
The first one was a 2006, Vieux Telegraphe Chateauneuf De Pape. This garnet beauty from Southern Rhone had berry and earthy aromas with a fennel finish on the palate. The participants enjoyed this wine with pepperoni salami and pate.  

While the Noble Rot members talked about and appreciated the sophistication of this wine we were served the next one which was a Chateau Laroque St. Emillion Grand Cru Classe, 2004. Even though it was 10 years old, Grand Cru Classe wines coming from this region in Bordeaux can go upto 30 years. This wine had spent just enough time in the decanter to get a full release of the red fruits, sweet spice and vanilla flavours. On the palate the wine had red fruit and compote flavours with well integrated tannins and a long finish which complimented the aged Gouda cheese it was paired with.
After an hour of wine appreciation the gentlemen of Noble Rot headed to the French buffet(but not without a glass of wine in their hand) to treat their bellies to some delicious and authentic French dishes created by Laurent. Even though everything about the evening was French it couldn’t have ended without a few toasts to the health and friendship of those present in a typical Delhi style.