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Georgia on my Mind (1)

Last week we were invited to Georgia. We came back with an incredible bunch of impressions and experiences that we had to process first. The combination of tradition and modernity as well as the overwhelming hospitality of the Georgians particularly struck me. 

On the wine side, I was particularly impressed by the versatility in terms of styles, grape varieties and philosophies. Below are some of the wines I noted particularly from the first day of the trip, which included a speed tasting with more than 50 wines on the programme:

For example, the Rkatsiteli Tsarapi Amber dry from boutique wineryNapheri. Fresh with a lot of orange and apricot peel, ginger, spice and honey. Only 6000 bottles are produced. 

Those who prefer full-bodied red wines should try the Badagoni Sapervi Qvevri. Intense cherry notes, long and lingering, Smooth tannins, plush but with a good complexity. 

We spent the evening at Chateau Mukhrani, which, under the direction of Patrick Honnef, produces wines from mostly autochthonous varieties from around 100 ha of vineyards. 

Here I particularly noted two red wines: The Saperavi Superieur 2016. Dark fruits like cherry, blackberries and some mulberries. Firm tannins and lots of spice in the finish. The 2019 Shavkapito is also intriguing, with its lighter ruby red, delicate cherry fruit and present but elegant tannins in a sort of Pinot/Barbera style. 

Among the amber wines, I also enjoyed the Mukhrani Qvevri 2018. Floral notes, apricot, orange with overall a little less quince and honey than many Amber wines made not far away in  Kakheti.

To be continued…