Monday, November 14, 2016

Wines from the Country of Georgia

Wine production is believed to have begun in this region over 7,000 years ago. There are over 500 indigenous grape varieties in the country grown across ten major viticultural areas. The industry is dominated by small, artisanal winemakers.

The wines:

  • NIKI ANTADZE, Rkatsiteli 2014 - This dry, white wine is made from organic Rkatsiteli grapes fermented in qvevri with no skin contact. It is yeasty with a Belgian beer nuance; it has a creamy texture from lees contact and good acidity.
  • NIKI ANTADZE, Rkatsiteli 2014 - This dry, white wine is made from organic Rkatsiteli grapes with some left in whole bunch clusters which were then fermented in qvevri with six months skin contact. This wine has a richer texture, it is more mouth-filling with aromas and flavors of dried fruits and walnuts with a light black tea note.
  • OUR WINE, Tsarapi Rkatsiteli 2013 - This dry, white wine was made from biodynamically- farmed Rkatsiteli grapes fermented in qvevri for six month. This wine has a very unique smoky nuance with apricots and citrus with a lingering fresh, flinty mineralty in the finish. My favorite of the white wines.
  • SHUMI, Tsinandali 2014 - This dry, white wine is from the Kakheti region which is located in the east. It was fermented in oak barrels and it is dry, citrusy and slightly oaky.
  • GIORGI REVAZASHVILI Chinuri 2014 - This dry, creamier feeling white wine is derived from organic Chinuri grapes from the Kartli region also located in the east from a high elevation vineyard. It has tropical notes with chamomile and lemon pith and a fresh finish.
  • PHEASANT'S TEARS, Tsolikouri 2015 - One of the most well-known Georgian winesinternationally, this dry, white wine is made from organically grown Tsolikouri grapes which were fermented in qvevri with minimal skin contact. Dry and crisp, this wine had notes of honey and yeast with a slightly earthy minerality in the finish. Fresh and interesting.
  • ORGO, Kisi 2013 - This small organic winery sources the Kisi grapes from 50 year old vines in the Kakheti region and ferments them in qvevri for six months with skin contact throughout. This dry, unfiltered wine is aromatic with apricot, pine and black tea, complex and fuller bodied.
  • AMIRAN, Otskhanuri Sapere 2014 - This rustic red wine is made from the Otskhanuri Sapere grape variety from the Imereti region located in the west. The wine was fermented with the skins in qvevri for nine months producing a high acid with dusty tannins and a mineral finish.
  • KINDZMARAULI MARANI, Kindzmarauli 2014 - This off-dry red is made from Saperavi grapes from the Kakheti region which were fermented in stainless steel. This wine is smooth with pronounced mixed berry aromas and flavors through the long finish. 
  • ORGO, Saparavi 2014 - This dry red is also made from old-vine Saperavi grapes from the Kakheti region which were fermented in qvevri, then aged in a combination of qvevri and stainless steel. This wine was fresh with pomegranate and berry aromas and flavors, velvety smooth tannins, fresh acidity and a lingering finish. More elegant, my favorite of the red wines.
  • PHEASANT'S TEARS, Saparavi, 2015 - This organic red wine was also made from Saperavi grapes from the Kakheti region which were fermented in qvevri. This wine was very dry with a bigger structure with pronounced aromas of peanut butter and blackberry jam on toast with a light savory note in the long finish.


Notes from the Georgian Wine Expedition, a lecture and tasting held in Houston on October 18, 2016.