Marks & Spencer have culled a lot of the quirkier wines in their range of late, so I’m delighted that this left-field, skin-fermented white from Georgia, the so-called cradle of wine, is still on its shelves. Made from the local Rkatsiteli grape in the limestone-dominated area of Kakheti, it has funky, earthy, quince and orange peel flavours and some tannic grip. Dry and unusual, it’s a textbook introduction to wines fermented in clay pots, or qvevri.
White Varietal: Rkatsiteli
Georgia: a visit to dreamlandby Tim Atkin
Visitors to the Georgian capital of Tbilisi were warned to stay off the streets last month. The city has seen its share of disorder over the centuries, but this had...
Georgian qvevri wine: if it’s good enough for God . . .by Simon Woolf
For Father Gerasim, whether to treat his wines with sulphur or any other additive isn’t a matter of choice. The imperative is simple. Any impurities in the finished product would...
2011 Vinoterra Rkatsiteli, Kakheti( €11.90, 12.5%, Geovino )
A very accessible qvevri wine, with melon, honey and floral aromas giving way to spicy but restrained tannins and apricot kernel. A great introduction to Rkatsiteli and the qvevri style.
2010 Alaverdi Monastery Rkatsiteli, Kakheti( POA, 13%, Les Caves de Pyrene )
This is the wine that first won me over to the charms of the qvevri – the most astoundingly complex nose of tea leaves, baked apples, jasmine, herbs and plum compote (and bear in mind my description does not remotely do it justice). Very much an amber/orange style, with chewy but perfectly ripe tannins – and yet the fruit shines through effortlessly. Outstanding.