An Interaction with John Lujan, export director, Robert Giraud wines
We have reached the fag end of the year and still have many reasons to celebrate and raise a toast, especially to (and hopefully) the winter warmth.
On that note, we’d like to announce the launch of an appealing range of wines from the ‘House of Robert Giraud’, a Bordeaux based Winery whose history dates back to 18th century. Recognized through Terra Vitis Certification for ecological wines, Robert Giraud SAS is family run and owns several Chateau’s in the prestigious wine region of Bordeaux!
It’s Export Director, John Lujan, who would be travelling later this month to launch the brand in India, talks at length about this authentic and magnificent wine.
Q. How did you first become interested in wine?
I have always had an interest in wine. My family is from Spain and have always had vineyards producing some of their own wine with the majority going to the local co-operative wine production. I was brought up in the UK Hotel industry with both parents working in hotels. My father worked all his career in Restaurant Management for the Trusthouse Forte Group. I have been lucky enough therefore to have been exposed to a wide range of wines and wine has naturally been an important part of my life.
Q. What differentiates Robert Giraud wines from the other Bordeaux players ?
Robert Giraud is one of the few remaining fully family owned and run wine producers and negociant companies in Bordeaux. There is a heritage and a prestige in our wines: Chateau Timberlay, where we are based, has been producing wine since 1366.
Q. Which is Robert Giraud’s largest market in volume terms currently ?
Canada is the largest current market. We are proud that our production Chateau Timberlay is currently the number one selling Bordeaux wine in the Ontario market.
Q. As per you, which would be the opportunity markets and hence can be considered the “markets for the future” for Robert Giraud wines ?
Every wine consuming market in the world provides an opportunity for Robert Giraud wines. We are present in about 75 different countries and aim to have a wide and balanced distribution. It is important to maintain and develop established markets but also to look for new opportunities such as certain developing wine markets in Asia and of course India.
Q. What makes India an attractive market for Robert Giraud wines?
Many factors lead us to believe that India will be a key wine market. There is the rapid growth in wine consumption, the potential size of the market and the interest from the local consumers who are keen to find out more about wine.
Q. Which are your most preferred wine varietals ?
Personally I am a fan of the Merlot varietal for the smoothness and richness and Cabernet Sauvignon varietal for the structure and backbone.
Q. What is your most favourite wine from the house of Robert Giraud, which perhaps you would choose to mark a special day or a celebration?
Robert Giraud Chateau Timberlay Prestige is a special wine which I like to bring out on a special occasion. As its name suggests it is a Prestige selection, all handpicked from the best plots and only made in exceptional years. It has many different layers of flavor and opens up gradually in the glass to reveal something new through the course of a meal.
Q. What are your favourite food and wine combinations?
For an aperitif with small nibbles or even on its own I enjoy a relaxed glass of Robert Giraud varietals or a Bordeaux or Bordeaux Supérieur wine such as Chateau Romefort or Chateau Timberlay for the soft easy drinking nature of these wines.
On a beautiful warm day a refreshing glass of Chateau Timberlay Bordeaux white is perfect on its own, or combined with chicken or fish.
The aromas of Chateau Timberlay red are spice and vanilla, a perfect match when I make food with spice because the wine does not overpower the delicate spices in the dish but actually enhances them.
In Bordeaux we love to match lamb or beef with wines from the Medoc, Margaux or Saint Emilion for the structure and finesse of these wines.
Q. Can you share a few tips with our readers on how to taste a wine perfectly
From a technical point of view the temperature of the wine is very important, reds should be ideally at 16 to 18 °c, whites at 8 to 11 °c. The glass itself is very important. Best to go for a larger sized tulip shaped glass, and only fill the glass to a 1/3 of its capacity. This gives the wine room to breathe and develop. Wine is to be enjoyed with all the senses: so start by looking at the wine, the colour, the brilliance. Appreciate the beauty. Then smell the wine. There will be different aromas when the glass is still and then when you swirl. Lastly take a sip in the mouth and think about the taste as it first touches your tongue and then how it develops around the mouth. When you swallow the wine think of the aftertaste and the time the taste lingers in your mouth.
The most important tip to remember is that you should taste wine for the enjoyment. We all have different perceptions of the same wine and we all have our personal preferences. Don’t be intimidated by wine but instead enjoy the journey of discovery.
WINE VARIETALS & PRICES
a) Robert Giraud Cabernet Sauvignon 75cl Rs. 1800
b) Robert Giraud Chardonnay 75cl Rs. 1800
c) Robert Giraud Merlot 75cl Rs. 1800
d) Robert Giraud Sauvignon Blanc 75cl Rs. 1800
e) Robert Giraud Baron De Vassal Bordeaux Blanc 75cl Rs. 2200
f) Robert Giraud Romefort Aoc Bordeaux Rouge 75cl Rs. 2200
g) Robert Giraud Chateau Tonneret St Emilion 75cl Rs. 4000
h) Robert Giraud La Collection Medoc 75cl Rs. 3300
i) Robert Giraud La Collection Margaux 75cl Rs. 8000