I am back with another rare wine. This time, I present: Teliani Valley Kindzmarauli, a wine of the Republic of Georgia. How cool is that?
Before I discuss the wine, let me provide a little bit of background. For those that may not be familiar with the location of the Republic of Georgia (not to be confused with the state of Georgia), this country is located south of Russia and north of Turkey. To have a better understanding of its size, it is smaller than the state of Maine!
The Republic of Georgia is full of history, enriched in cultural traditions and yes, winemaking. It is considered one of the oldest agricultural sites for growing grapevines as well as the production of wine. Wine is important to the people and culture of Georgia and its production dates as far back as 8,000 years ago.
Though, international varieties such as Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are permitted, 95% of Georgian wine is made from indigenous varieties, such as: saperavi, kisi, and rkatsiteli. Our wine selection today, is made from the saperavi grape variety grown in the Kindzmarauli specific viticulture district of Kakheti. The district of Kakheti grows 70% of all vines in the country, and produces roughly 80% of the Georgian wine made today, according to the World Atlas of Wine, by Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson (2019).
Let's talk about the wine!
Teliani Valley Kindzmarauli is made from the saperavi grape that is the leading red grape variety of Georgia and indigenous to the country. It is also one of the few unique teinturier grape varieties in the world (it has red flesh, in addition to red skin). This feature lends red wines the following characteristics: very deep color with aromas of wild dark berries, spices and flavors of game, licorice, and chocolate.
For the wine I purchased:
Appearance: Still wine, deep ruby in color
Nose: Pronounced aromas of dark fruit, such as black cherries, black plums, and black berries; hint of spice reminiscent of nutmeg and mocha
Palate: off- dry, with the same characteristics on the nose, however, I also detect pepper; the acidity is high, the tannin is medium- plus, the alcohol is medium (12% abv) and the wine is medium- bodied. The primary flavors are pronounced and there are hints of secondary and tertiary flavors. The finish is long and spicy.
Overall, this wine would be rated very good. This wine tastes exactly how I would expect it to, based on the characteristics of the grape variety used (i.e. the spicy flavor, the dark fruit aromas and flavors) and the production method. The wines of Georgia tend to be tannic and flavorful- and this wine was just that. I initially had a hard time trying to understand the high tannins against the off-dry taste. That is not what I would expect from a medium bodied wine. However, with an understanding of how the wine is made, now it makes sense. The issue is no longer a matter of does it work, but a matter of acquired taste.
Overall, I enjoyed this wine. For the red wine lovers out there, that want a good wine that is not too sweet, this is one to add to your list. To enjoy this wine, I recommend pouring your desired amount in your glass and then allowing it to "breathe" for a few minutes prior to tasting. Due to its slight spicy nature, it works well with spicy food and alongside a nice hearty stew.
This is not a wine to hang on to, I recommend drinking it now. I purchased my bottle (750 mL) from Total Wine for $14.49.
There is so much to learn about the Republic of Georgia, if you are not familiar with it. I learned quite a bit researching background information for this blog. For more information, please visit Wines of Georgia .
That is all for now. Try this wine and let me know what you think! When you do, either tag me @wine.intellect on IG or email me and let me know what you thought of it. Feel free to also leave a comment below.
Until next time, I am off, in search of another unique find!
Like what you read? Read another one! Try: Tasting Notes: Adolph Mueller Riesling