Private Labels

By: Vaniitha Jaiin, On: December 20, 2015

I attended the launch of a very special wine program, “Taj Signature Private Labels” at the Chambers Terrace of the Taj Mahal Palace against the historical backdrop of the Gateway of India in Mumbai. This is the largest private label collection that any hotel in India has. The labels have been made exclusively for the Taj, and christened by the brand. Six labels from five countries imported by five different importers were chosen in a rigorous selection to cater to various market segments.



The Taj Signature Private Collection

The Taj Group of Hotels has been a front runner in innovation for the past 111 years. This is an initiative that allows them to create a signature selection that their guests trust for quality and that helps guide their guests through their wine lists.

I spoke to Parveen Chander Kumar, Deputy General Manager of the Taj Mahal Palace who has piloted this project. “We started the private label project with two wines in 2010 and launched it when the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel opened for the first time after the unfortunate attacks of 26/11. We wanted to increase our brand exclusivity and showcase fine products under the Taj umbrella to our guests.”

At the time, this was not seen as a wine initiative but a larger brand building exercise for the Taj. As their haut monde patrons explored these wines, the labels became very successful and the team decided “to push ourselves to present a whole range of classically styled wines that could be accepted similarly by our patrons.”


Parveen Chander Kumar, Deputy General Manager, Mehrnavaz Avari, F&B Manager,
Abhas Saxena, Sommelier, Gaurav Pokhriyal, General Manager

A very influential guest gathering, many from the world of wine, witnessed the dramatic launch at the Chambers Terrace and enjoyed the latest offering from the Taj – sip by sip. I asked Parveen if he had a hero wine, and the answer was not entirely unexpected. “Choosing one wine would be like asking a parent to choose a favourite child. These wines are definitely heroes in their own ways.” But he did share that the white wines were a little more popular (I thought they were infused with charming aroma) that evening than the red wines. My favorites were the dazzling ruby reds – they stole the show for me. I know exactly what I am ordering the next time I am at a Taj, and I will not even have to wait for the wine list.


Mesmerizing undertones of the stunning flavor palate unveiled a very fine range of wines that highlighted the personality of the pioneer in the hospitality industry.


Penfolds Koonunga Hills Seventy Six Cabernet Shiraz 2010
From Koonunga Hills in South Australia, this has been a very successful series for the Australian wine giant – Penfolds. A blend of Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine shows off elegance and a well rounded balance of fruit and spice.

Available at Taj Luxury properties across India. Mid segment pricing.

By the bottle Rs. 6500 | By the glass Rs. 1300 | Banquets Rs. 5000


Les Pagodes de Cos au The Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai 2008

The second wine of the very famous Cos d’Estournel from Saint-Estephe in Bordeaux. The elephant and pagoda logo of the Chateau and its relationship with India contributed to its no-brainer choice in the selection for five grand palaces in the Taj Group. One of the two original selections, the Sommelier at the Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai, Abhas Saxena confirmed the blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot. The wine is full bodied and rounded. A complex expression of a claret, the wine reveals earthy, dark berry and vegetal notes, evoking its historical past with India.

Individually labeled for Taj Rambagh Palace, Jaipur; Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur; Taj Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur; Taj Falaknuma Palace, Hyderabad; Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai.

By the bottle Rs. 12500


Palais Castellani Toscana IGT 2009

Castellani has been making wine in Tuscany for the last two centuries. The red is a blend of 85% Sangiovese and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon shows plum, dark cherries and mild earthiness. The approachable easy drinking style has a faint touch of old world nuances. The winery was briefed on the style of wine that expected and after many blend iterations, the final blend was chosen.

Available at Taj Luxury properties across India. Entry level pricing.

By the bottle Rs. 4250 | By the glass Rs. 850 | Mini Bar Rs. 1800 | Banquets Rs. 2500



Palais Corte Giara IGT Venezie 2013

Pinot Grigio showed up in the Taj consumer profiles as a very popular grape varietal and wine style. The Taj selection team found the perfect representation of the most famous white wine style of Italy in Corte Giara from Allegrini in the Veneto region. Lineage in wine making, unparalleled passion for viticulture and wine making history of 700 years made it a very obvious choice for the selection. The vibrant white has refreshing acidity that has a punch of fruits and citrus notes.

Available at Taj Luxury properties across India. Entry level pricing.

By the bottle Rs. 4250 | By the glass Rs. 850 | Mini Bar Rs. 1800 | Banquet Rs. 2500

Saint Clair Pioneer Block 2 Sauvignon Blanc 2013

The choice of the must-have Sauvignon Blanc came from the biggest family owned winery in Marlborough – Saint Clair, instead of the older French styles. The freshness of this tropical fruit-forward wine is complemented by crisp acidity and explosion of citrus notes.

Available at Taj Luxury properties across India. Mid segment pricing.

By the bottle Rs. 6500 | By the glass Rs. 1300 | Banquets Rs. 4000

Fratelli Svara (the “sounds of India”)

Specially created by Fratelli Wines in Akluj for the Taj, this is the wine where Parveen Chander and his team got involved in the wine making and have created a blend that they consider is a right representation of the finest Indian terroir. A blend of 70% Sangiovese, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Cabernet Franc offers a touch of floral notes and dark fruits with fair acidity, and structure. It stands out as an exciting Indian wine that will be served at par with the international brands in this selection. It aims to help guide the Taj guest who wishes to experiment with Indian wine, but is intimidated by the large wine offer.

Available at Taj Luxury, Vivanta and Gateway properties across India.

By the bottle Rs. 3000 | By the glass Rs. 600 | Banquets Rs. 1500


This article was published on 28th Feb 2015 in the Vino India e-newsletter Feb 2015 issue. Click here to read it on Vino India

About Us

The Perfect Pour is your destination to demystify the overwhelming world of wonderful wonders – wine, whisky, gin, tequila, beer, brandy, vodka, rum, etc. Find out What, Why, When, Where and How to drink your favourite beverage. ..

Read More

About Vaniitha

Wine & Spirits Specialist. Whisky Enthusiast. Marketing Wizard. Globetrotter. Runner. Passionate. Just a few words that concisely but aptly define me, Vaniitha Jaiin. ..

Read More