Wines of Georgia concluded the 2 days of the 2013 International Wine Tourism Conference. It was to be expected that Georgia’s two most important grape varieties, the white Rkatsiteli and the red Saperavi, would be presented, together with a wine vinified in the traditional amphore from the Kakheti wine region east of Tbilisi.
The 2009 Rkatsiteli was top class, with expressive minerality and refreshing acidity, giving the wine good length. The 2012 Alaverdi Monastery Cellar Kisi was for many of us a surprise. The oxidative vinification in an amphora creates a “vin jaune” which requires an acquired taste to appreciate it. The wine on offer was an excellent example for this rare style of wine. Very complex on nose and palate, with a dense and full body, its pronounced grape tannins gave the wine a rather masculine character and a superb length.
The two red wines were equally representative for Georgia’s wine styles. However, the 2007 Chateau Mukhrani Saperavi Reserve du Pince, a dry version of the great Saperavi grape, had green tannins quite unusual for a Saperavi which normally has ripe and round, almost velvety grape tannins. Perhaps 2007 was not one of the best years!
Quite pleasant was the off-dry version (it was labeled semi-sweet) of the Saperavi grape, the 2011 Shumi Winery Kindzmarauli, a wine much superior to the fortified sweet red wines otherwise offered in the Mediterranean area. In this wine the tannins were pleasantly round and velvety.
An excellent tasting which generated interest and appetite for IWINETC 2014 in Georgia.
Jochen Erler, Circle of Wine Writers
Photos: Ruth Troyano