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Tamada

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Possibly the best QPR wines in the world today?

18.10.2015. Today, I want to talk about wine and value. “Value” has an interesting meaning in the world of wine – may be as subjective as the concept of a “good wine” itself. To me, the value is not an absolute amount of money one paid for the bottle of wine – if you paid $3, but poured the bottle down the drain after half-finished first sip because it tasted terribly – was that still a “value”? Or was that a pure waste of money? By the same token, if the $20 bottle of wine gave you lots of pleasure in every tiniest drop (including the one you licked of the table), would that be a “good value”? Talking about the “value” of the wine, I prefer to use a proverbial term QPR, so happily adapted by the wine lovers – a Quality Price Ratio (this is what QPR stands for) conveys the “value” concept of wine a lot better than the sheer price itself.

“Knowing what I know now”, the region which I think consistently delivers the best QPR at the moment (!) is Georgia – not the state down south in the US, of course, but an independent country. I always loved Georgian wines, but what prompted this broad statement about QPR was a recent Georgian wine tasting I attended a week ago at Chelsea Market in New York. Wine after wine was delicious, and priced under $20 – that is a QPR I’m definitely happy about.

You don’t have to take my word for it – you should find a bottle of Georgian wine and try it for yourself. In any case, let me share the notes for the wines I tasted at the “Discover Georgia in New York” event at the colorful Chelsea Market. Below are the notes, using the “+” ratings. Pay attention to the prices and corresponding ratings – don’t know what you think, but I think the “QPR” is spelled very clearly across the full range of wines I tasted.
  • 2013 Telavi Wine Cellar Marani Rkatsiteli Kakheti, Georgia ($10.99) – +++, very acidic, requires food
  • 2013 Telavi Wine Cellar Marani Mtsvane-Kisi Kondoli Vineyards Kakheti, Georgia ($14.99) – +++, excellent, clean, lemon notes, touch of food
  • 2013 Telavi Wine Cellar Marani Saperavi Kakheti, Georgia ($11.99) – +++, excellent, simple, an everyday wine, red fruit, crushed berries
  • 2009 Telavi Wine Cellar Marani Red Kvareli Special Vicultural area, Kakheti, Georgia ($15.99) – ++++, beautiful, clean, great depth
  • 2012 Telavi Wine Cellar Marani Saperavi Kondoli Vineyards Kakheti, Georgia ($18.99, 18 months in oak, starting from fermentation) – ++++, stunning! round and delicious
  • 2007 Telavi Wine Cellar Marani Reserve SAPERAVI block Kondoli vineyards, Kakheti, Georgia ($70) – ++++1/2, off the charts, produced only in the best years, complex, round, delicious. Yes, it is $70, and it might be to expensive for an amazing QPR, but you should taste this wine first…
  • 2006 Wineman Cabernet Sauvignon Kakheti, Georgia ($10.99) – ++++, wow!, pick of maturity, dark notes, concentrated – another wow!
  • 2010 Wineman Ikhalto Red Kakheti, Georgia ($12.99, 50% Saperavi, 50% Cabernet Franc) – ++++, wow!, acidity, beautiful wine
  • 2013 Wineman Kindzmarauli Special Viticultural Area Red Semi-Sweet Kakheti, Georgia (12% ABV, $15.99, 100% Saperavi) – ++++, beautiful, perfectly balanced sweetness
  • 2011 Shalvino Kardenakhi Special Viticultural Area Kakheti, Georgia (18% ABV, $18.99, Blend of Rkatsiteli, Khikhvi, Goruli and Mtsvane) – ++++, made using Solera method, delicious, Pedro Ximenez like with a delicate balance
  • 2013 Telavi Wine Cellar Satrapezo Rkatsiteli Ice Wine Kakheti, Georgia (10% ABV, $29.99 500ml) – +++1/2, beautiful, perfect balance, not overly sweet
  • 2013 Teliani Valley Tsinandali White Kakheti, Georgia ($12.99) – +++, great acidity
  • 2012 Teliani Valley Special Vicultural area Kakheti, Georgia ($17.99) – +++, great acidity, perfect, food friendly
  • 2013 Schuchmann Rkatsiteli White Kakheti, Georgia ($15.99) – +++, touch of sweetness, nice balance
  • 2013 Schuchmann Saperavi Red Kakheti, Georgia ($15.99) – +++, perfect, clean, great balance
  • 2012 Vinoterra Kisi Kakheti, Georgia (13% ABV, $NA, Qvevri fermentation, Oak maturation) – +++, complex, very intense, unusual, thought provoking
Thinking about the wines of the world, what would be your top region for the best QPR? And if you tasted any of the Georgian wines, what is your opinion about them? Cheers!

Source (abridged)

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