2021 Aurva, Shiraz, Chandon, Nashik, India 14% alc.
Aurva means ‘of the earth’ in Sanskrit. This exciting new wine hails from the Chandon India winery of Moët Hennessy, and it is made by Kaushal Khairnar. I have tasted a good few Indian wines over the years, and I often find myself writing/thinking, ‘pretty good for an Indian wine’, which is rather dismissive and narrow-minded. I have decided that these thoughts are now banished from my brain after tasting Aurva. This fascinating red packs a punch of black fruit and spice without loading too much brawn or heat onto the palate. Initially, it resembles more of a Paarl-style Shiraz than a Northern Rhône or South Australian model. I know that Chandon luminary Dan Buckle has taken a liking to this wine, and this is not surprising because as it opens up, it looks more and more like a Victorian wine – or for Dan, a wine from his Aussie locale. Whether it seems more Yarra-like or Grampains-leaning depends on the day you look at it because I kept it open without any form of wine perseveration for a week, and it kept evolving. While this is still a baby, this shape-shifting attitude bodes exceptionally well for this particular vintage and the long-term prospects for this brand. I was fortunate to receive two bottles of Aurva in the post, and the second will form the backbone of my staff training class at Tamarind Restaurant this week. I am confident that the brigade will fall for Aurva’s charms, so the next question is for Moët Hennessy: When will Aurva reach our shores?