Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 99

FOCUS: GEORGIAN WINE
TSOLIKOURI
279165

93 | Baia's Wine

$30

2019 Imereti Qvevri Wine Tsolikouri ^ Baia
Abuladze started her winery in 2015, when
she was just 22. Today, she farms nearly four
acres, the majority of it planted to tsolikouri, considered Imereti's top variety. Abuladze vinified this wine in three 1,500-liter
qvevri including only 30 percent of the skins,
then racked it into stainless-steel tanks after
a month. The result is clean and bright, with
the savor and crunch of a russet apple fresh
off the tree, and hints of dried apricot and
herbs around the edges. The wine retains its
freshness for days after the bottle is opened,
seemingly impervious to oxygen; it also
stands up well to rich dishes, like a potato
gratin loaded with bacon and cheese. § Georgian Wine House, Beltsville, MD

90 | Do Re Mi

279173

279208

92 | Chateau Nekresi

$25

92 | Dila-o

$16

2019 Kakheti Amber Qvevri Kisi-Khikhvi ^
There's something particularly Georgian
about the flavor palette of this wine, the way
its sweetness comes through in notes of black
walnuts, and its fruitiness is akin to roasted
pumpkin. It's salty and spicy, too, reminiscent of Svanetian salt-a mix of powdered
coriander, cumin, red pepper, blue fenugreek, garlic and marigold leaf widely used
in Georgian kitchens. It all comes together
in a firm, flavorful package, ready to pour
with lobiani, a flatbread stuffed with creamy
beans. § Interbalt Products, Rockville, MD
279195
2019 Kakheti Dry Amber Rkatsiteli-Mtsvane (Best Buy) ^ This new brand from Orgo
Winery is dedicated to well-priced introductions to traditional wines. This, however, is
more than a bridge wine: A blend of equal
parts rkatsiteli and mtsvane that rested for
a month on its skins before being racked
into and a mix of qvevri and stainless-steel
tanks, it's clean, fresh and succulent, balancing rich spiced-apple fruit with firm tannins
and crunchy acidity. With air, notes of clementine and walnuts emerge, the complex
flavors ready to make a roast chicken into an
event. § Georgian Wine House, Beltsville, MD
279174
$30

2018 Kakheti Dry Amber Mtsvane-Kisi ^
Five medical doctors joined forces to start
this winery in 2014; two of them, Mikheil
Dolidze and Vazha Kasrelishvili, are in charge
of growing the grapes and making the wines.
Everything is fermented in qvevri, with ambi-

92 | Danieli

$22

2018 Kakheti Premium Saperavi ^ Former
horse-racing champion Eka Tchvritidze
founded this winery with her Danish husband, Olaf Malver, in 2011. They specialize
in kisi from the cool, wooded hills of Argokhi;
they also make some red wines from vineyards in the warmer climates of nearby
Mukuzani and Napareuli. Vinified mostly
in stainless-steel tanks, with just ten percent
going into lightly toasted French oak barrels for five months, this is a fresh, sleek red,
juicy with floral black-raspberry flavor and
warmed by the spice of oak. With its smooth
tannins, it's an elegant saperavi with wide
appeal. § Georgian Toast, Cambridge, MA
279218

92 | Orgo

$29

2019 Kakheti Saperavi ^ Temur Dakishvili
sources his saperavi from old vines and vinifies the fruit in qvevri, moving the wine into
stainless steel to settle before bottling. His
2019 manages to be both firm and delicate,
with notes of violets, cumin, black pepper
and dried herbs inflecting its deep blackberry
flavors. With its hint of smoked meat and
firm tannins, it could be a bridge from the
northern Rhône to eastern Georgia. § Georgian Wine House, Beltsville, MD
279187

92 | Tchotiashvili

brisk, juicy energy. What it lacks in depth it
makes up for in charm and length, remaining
fresh and lively for days after opening. § Terraneo Merchants, Lincolnwood, IL

$30

2017 Kakheti Amber Rkatsiteli-Mtsvane ^
Vinified entirely in qvevri, this is packed with
flavor, from notes of plump, juicy yellow raisins to baked golden apples, chamomile and
green tea. A touch of bitterness adds a sense
of shape and balance, and brings to mind a
match with khinkali, Georgian meat dumplings. § Terraneo Merchants, Lincolnwood, IL

RE D

WHITE BLENDS

90 | Casreli

ent yeasts; in the winter, they move the wines
to stainless-steel tanks to rest until bottling,
which is done with less than 40ppm of sulfur. This blend is pale in flavor-sweet white
apple, white pepper, green tea and sandalwood-yet imposingly tannic. It's a muscular, forceful white, developing darker notes
of dried apple and musky animal scents that
point it toward a pairing with grilled lamb. §
Black Lamb Wine, Oakland, CA
279196

$35

2017 Kakheti Qvevri SB Takveri ^ Once
widely planted, takveri now accounts for less
than 100 acres of Georgia's vineyards. Kakha
Tchotiashvili's 2017 makes a strong case for
its revival: A light, translucent garnet hue,
this wine smells like an essence of wild cherries, and carries its floral, fruity flavors with

279207

88 | Shumi

$18

2018 Georgian Vinobiza "S" Premium
Saperavi (Best Buy) ^ Neon purple, this looks
and tastes like just-pressed juice. It's saperavi
in capital letters, sweet and tart, with blackberry and pomegranate tones and scents
of violets and spice-a saperavi with wild
appeal. § Saperavi USA, Pawtucket, RI

279225

87 | Mukuzani

$14

87 | Shilda

$14

86 | Chateau Nekresi

$15

2018 Kakheti Silk Road Alazani Valley
Semi-Sweet Red Wine (Best Buy) ^ A little
extra sweetness turbocharges saperavi's flavors here: It's a bold swath of deep purpleplum fruit, fresh and simple. For a cheese
plate, or for steak lovers who appreciate a bit
of sweetness in their wines. § AG Global Trade,
Orlando, FL
279204
2019 Kakheti Saperavi (Best Buy) ^ Smoky,
plummy, floral and lightly tannic, this balances notes of crunchy fruit with darker,
softer stewed-plum flavors. § Georgian Toast,
Cambridge, MA
279202
2019 Sanavardo Saperavi (Best Buy) ^ Bright
purple, this is fresh and simple, with sweet,
floral black-plum flavor. § Interbalt Products,
Rockville, MD n
WINE & SPIRITS

DECEMBER 2020

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Wine & Spirits - December 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Wine & Spirits - December 2020

Contents
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - Cover1
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - Cover2
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 1
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 2
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - Contents
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 4
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 5
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - 6
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Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - Cover3
Wine & Spirits - December 2020 - Cover4
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