Forty guests sat poolside at a long banquet table at Napa Valley Vintner, Jean-Charles Boisset’s private residence to introduce and welcome his new partnership with India’s Vintner, Kapil Sekhri, Co- Founder of Fratelli Wines.
Jean-Charles had been exporting his Bossiet Collection and JCB sparkling to India for a few years, but it wasn’t until 2017 when the two wine-enthusiasts met and became instant friends. Together the duo decided to work together to elevate the wine experience in India and world-wide.
This June, they debuted their collaborated effort and launch of J’Noon white, J’Noon red blend and a JCB #47 Brut to honor India’s independence from Britain in 1947. J’NOON is the first collaboration of its kind to create wines from Indian soil that cater to the global market. Jean-Charles and Kapil’s intention was to create the finest wines from Indian terroir. They walked the 200-acres together on the Fratelli Wine Estate and came up with the word J’NOON, which means “Obsession.”
The wines, available in India are being introduced to the United States and the United Kingdom this summer.
2,400 limited edition bottles of each wine — sparkling, white and red — created with grapes handpicked from the Fratelli estate-owned vineyards in Akluj, a town in the Solapur district of Maharashtra located on the right bank of the Nira River. Expertly crafted by Boisset and the Fratelli team at its state-of-the-art winery.
“We are all driven to wine as a unique offering and treasure of the land and treat it like an art for our senses. I can’t think of a better way to describe Jean-Charles than as artist who creates wines. In him, I have been lucky to have discovered the friendship of a very fine man. For Fratelli, it’s a glorious moment to be sharing and harboring such a splendid collaboration in J’NOON and JCB No. 47. This is our roar to the world and we hope it will take us to newer heights,” said Kapil.
Kapil also said that the wine consumption in India is growing by 15-percent a year and 65-percent of that is under the age of 25. That equates to 14-million new legal drinking age every year.
“India is going through what the US went through in the 1950’s,” said Kapil. “It’s been a game of patience. We planted grapes in 2007 and our first vintage was in 2010. India started planting grapes to make raisins, but 20-years ago a small selection of growers sold grapes to make wine for consumers outside of India. That’s changing now. Baby steps.”
“Our mission is to make a cultural statement that elevates and enhances the luxury fine wine culture of a nation whose richness, diversity, profound sensory expressions, incredible terroir and renowned cuisine awakens the senses and inspires all who have experienced it. J’NOON wines and the terroir of Akluj adds another dimension of texture, vitality, flavor and aroma to the wine world. J’NOON is a calling and a celebration of all our senses. Enjoy this incredible journey,” said Jean-Charles.
From the sandy soils in Motewadi, the JCB #47 Brut has prominent mineral notes with aromas of green apple, tropical fruit and brioche; it is rich in the mouth with great texture, yet dry and beautiful to pair with Indian cuisine. The wine was barrel fermented in French oak barrels and then the secondary fermentation took place in the bottle.
J’NOON White 2016 Akluj 60% Chardonnay, 40% Sauvignon Blanc This blend of barrel-fermented Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc from the sandy and rocky soils of Garwar combines the green apple, white pear and stone fruit flavors of Chardonnay with the fresh, vibrant lime, lemongrass, white pepper, jasmine and herbaceous fruit flavors of Sauvignon Blanc.
J’NOON Red 2016 Akluj Cabernet Sauvignon 57.5%, Petit Verdot / Marselan 38.5%, Sangiovese 4% This blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, co-fermented Petit Verdot and Marselan, and Sangiovese in Garwar spent 24 months in French oak barrels and stainless-steel tanks.
“The Cabernet Sauvignon contributes backbone as well as freshness to this exquisite blend. The Petit Verdot, Marselan and Sangiovese grapes paint the wine deep purple and provide luscious flavors of black fruits with structured tannins, a full body and a long, silky finish. It places us to the right bank of Bordeaux, with freshness, notes of spearmint and graphite against a backdrop of cedar and fresh tobacco. Bone dry, it would pair beautifully with rich foods,” said Jean-Charles.
The private dinner held at the late Robert and Margrit Mondavi home atop Wappo Hill is now owned by Jean-Charles and his wife, Gina Gallo. Executive Chef Victor Scargle traveled to India this past winter to learn more about the Indian terroir and Indian Cuisine and teach cooking classes on his farm to fork culinary repertoire. He brought back several Indian spices, which he incorporated into the meal. It was his take on Indian cuisine meets wine country and the dishes were celebrated joyously by the guests in attendance. The following day an expanded celebration to paying guests was held at Jean-Charles’ Raymond Vineyard in St. Helena.
Jean-Charles Boisset (often known as JCB) is an acclaimed French and American vintner and the proprietor of the Boisset Collection which comprises more than 24 wineries in California, France and Canada, boasting more than 20 centuries of combined heritage. Kapil Sekhri is a young, dynamic industrialist from Delhi. While holidaying in Tuscany, Kapil was introduced to the world-famous Chianti wines. From that moment on, wines were his passion and it was inevitable that one day, along with the Secci brothers and super Tuscan winemaker Piero Masi, Fratelli Wines would be born with the vision to become a leading wine producer in India a decade later. Today with its latest vintage, they are present in 16 Indian states with over 80 wines (including imported wines) on offer and have an international presence in the UK, USA, Italy, Netherlands, Hong Kong and Japan.
Photos Courtesy of: Kari Ruel and Raymond Vineyards