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Waitrose have released a batch of small wine parcels as part of a World of Wine Showcase. The parcels, spread out across the estate so not every branch will receive every wine, include a rather pleasant South African Gewurztraminer (Neethlingshof Gewurztraminer, 2011, Stellenbosch £7.49) (restrained honeysuckle nose, off-dry palate with a touch of exotic spice and rose petals) and an Old Vine Cinsault (Tiger Horse Old Vine Cinsault, 2011, Swartland, South Africa £5.59), which I’ve yet to open…

And then there are two wines from India. Rather bold to list wines from India; I recall a sparkling wine back in the nineties that sold reasonably well in the wine shop I worked in. But a red and a white? Interesting.

The white – a Viognier – not on the shelf at my local Waitrose sadly, is described as “a crisp and aromatic white wine bursting with floral aromas and peach fruit. ” Ritu Viognier, 2010 (£6.99).

“Ritu means ‘season’ in Sanskrit, and the word has a life-affirming significance in the cultural landscape of India. Crafted under the expert guidance of Abhay Kewadkar, the Ritu range are India’s most awarded wines and are made and bottled at the UB Group’s state-of-the-art Four Seasons winery at Baramati, India. Modelled on a French château, the Four Seasons winery has a planned capacity of 1 million cases. All of the winemaking equipment is the latest technology available in the international market.”

The red, Sampa Syrah, 2008, Nasik Valley, India , (£8.49) is a

“100% Syrah from winemaker Nic Van Arde, hailing from the tropical climate of the Sahyadri Valley, 600m above sea level. The soils here are light-textured and brown and the vines are just seven years old. The grapes were harvested on the 1st March 2008 and fermentation lasted 8 – 10 days at 25°C in stainless steel tanks. 50% of the wine was matured in oak barrels for 6 months, and the remaining 50% aged in stainless steel tank. Alc 14.0%.”

My bottle lists the alcohol as 12.5%… Rather smooth and full, the lick of spice plays well with the deep fruit flavours. Its alright, worth a punt if only for interest. What to do eat with such a beast? Pretty much any red meat, game, pie type gubbins would work fine. My bottle slipped down rather nicely with a griddled steak with a strong garlic sauce and chips cooked in goose fat.

Prices listed are the offer price running from 29th August to 11th October


  1. The neethlingshof riesling is a treat, isn’t it? I want those goose fat chips…

  2. Terry Lealan says:

    Have just tried the Zampa syrah and found it to be rather nice to the pallet will certainly purchase more, will also try the white Ritu Voignier, when next in waitrose,nice to try a new wine 10/10 wonderlul.

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