J’NOON – India’s Most Expensive Wine
India finally has a place to call its own among the global fraternity of luxury wine makers. J’NOON, India’s first limited edition fine wine collection has recently been launched in New Delhi as a collaboration between the co-owner of Fratelli wines, Kapil Sekhri and acclaimed vintner Jean-Charles Boisset. J’NOON is the first-of-its-kind wine meant for a global audience and market. The limited edition consists of 2,400 bottles of sparkling, red and white wine exclusively made with grapes from Fratelli’s vineyards in Maharashtra. In the coming months, the wine will be launched in the Napa Valley, followed by the UK and France.
Boisset and Sekhri – An Enigmatic Pair
While Kapil Sekhri was introduced to the charms of winemaking after a holiday in Tuscany, for Boisset the tradition has been in the family since decades. The pair first got together to retail existing wines in the country in 2015. The J’NOON collection was born when Boisset explored one of Fratelli’s cellars in Akluj, Maharashtra.
According to the winemaker, he seized the ‘once-in-a-lifetime opportunity’ to create a unique wine as an ode to India’s culture and beauty. Thus J’NOON, the urdu word for passion was created as what can be termed as an Indian-French-Californian blend with Indian grapes, Burgundian winemaking traditions and American marketing style. This is Boisset’s third such global collaboration and the first ever in India.
The JCB 47
The eponymous JCB 47, named after Jean-Charles Boisset himself is a pure Chardonnay Brut. The number 47 represents the year of India’s independence and the wine itself is very Indian in taste. Extracted from the fresh green grapes of the Motewadi vineyard in Maharashtra, JCB No 47 has prominent mineral notes of the sandy soil. It’s rich yet dry texture makes it apt for pairing with Indian food. The aroma of brioche, tropical fruits and green apple work well to cut through the heaviness of a rich meal. The JCB is fermented for two years, first in French oak barrels and then in the bottle to get that sparkling characteristic.
Price: Rs 3,500
The wine is a blend of four grape varieties — cabernet sauvignon co-fermented with petit verdot and marcelan that make up 38.5% of the blend, and sangiovese (4%). Since the majority of the blend consists of cabernet sauvignon, you can expect the deep purple wine to have a full-bodied taste. The petit verdot, marselan and sangiovese grapes provide lusciousness and a silky finish. According to the winemakers, Boisset and Sekhri, the blend is close to a ‘Bordeaux in terms of its freshness, as there are notes of graphite and spearmint mixed with fresh tobacco and cedar. This wine too spends two years in French oak barrels and stainless steel tanks for fermentation. It makes for an excellent pairing with rich Indian gravies.
Price: Rs 4,000
It’s a fruity blend of 60% chardonnay and 40% sauvignon blanc harvested from the sandy soils of Garwar, Uttar Pradesh. The round and buttery taste of Chardonnay is enhanced by stone fruit, green apple and white pear flavours while the zingy sauvignon blanc is enriched with lemongrass, fresh jasmine and herbaceous flavours. When combined together, J’NOON’s resultant white has a palate between the minty Pouilly-Fuissé wines of central France and the slightly spicy white wines of the Northern Rhône Valley. Naturally, it has a fruity taste and teams well with pasta and creamy sauces.
Price: Rs 2,500