We are given a quick tour of the fermentation tanks and laboratory and the barrel cellar before settling down for a vertical tasting of the Sauvignon Blanc (2013, 2015 and 2016 vintages). The first thing that one notices is the distinctive logo which speaks of refinement and sophistication, referencing the Vijayanagara Empire itself. As far as the wine itself went, we liked in particular the most recent vintage, which was a pale lemon hue, had an excellent balance and structure, with a neat acidity which made its presence felt without being overwhelming, and a medium-long finish.
After the tasting, we are taken down to the vineyards, which cover a total of 160 acres and of which 50 are being harvested while 50 are under plantation. The greenery is a refreshing contrast to the arid landscape all around, making it a veritable oasis in the Hampi Hills. The couple is proud of having raised the water table with their irrigation efforts and thereby sparking a resurgence of cash crop cultivation in the area.
Pre-monsoon showers have begun in the region and we look up at the lowering sky. The Cabernet Sauvignon tasting awaits us and, with the breeze picking up, we decide to move to the small lawn outside the stone winery building. But the wind is too strong, shattering a couple of wine glasses. Sprawling indolently on the grass with a glass in hand seems a much better idea! We taste the 2012, 2014 and 2015 vintages and it is immediately clear that the first is KRSMA’s pride and joy with the unique minerality of the soil coming straight through the wine. Made in the classic New World style, it is redolent of dark fruit, and the tannins have softened sufficiently to create an excellent balance.
It has been a wonderful end to the day and we linger over the wine, as storm clouds scud across the sky. We are reluctant to break the spell by leaving, but leave we must. Luckily, the wonderful wines from this estate are available freely at good liquor stores in Bengaluru.