Sunday, November 27, 2016

Paried with Lukasi Saperavi 2013

by Miquel Hudin

27.11.2016. When in Tbilisi, Culinarium Khasheria is one of those must-eat stops for most anyone. I was there just recently while working on the last bit of research for the Georgia book and like previous times, the food is brilliant, formed of this fusion from new and old Georgian recipes that I’ve found in precious few other spots. The service at the restaurant is, in keeping with the theme of most restaurants in Tbilisi, horrible. There’s generally a group of spacey guys who are more interested in watching videos on the computer than serving or then there’s been recently a girl who was basically yelling at me when seating and taking my order.

Given this theme, the wine list is also hit and miss in that it lists a lot of hits, but they’re a miss as they rarely seem to have them in stock. Again, like servers watching football matches instead of working, this is a common problem in Georgian restaurants. During this last trip, after finding several bottles to not be stocked, I asked the guy serving me to show me what they had, which is how I came to taste this wine from Lukasi.

While the rage for smaller producers in Georgia is kvevri these days, there are still some who are producing in the more international methods of using oak or stainless steel tanks and Lukasi is one of them. If you don’t know it well, Saperavi is a grape with no end of color and tannin so skin contact can be reduced to the point of none and you will still arrive with a red wine by any general classification, not a rosé wine like if you’re to make Grenache or Syrah without any lengthy skin contact time.

I have to assume they’ve used very little skin contact with this wine as it is incredibly round, smooth, and elegant; nearly creamy. Despite spending some unspecified time in oak, the wine doesn’t seem to have suffered at all. There’s no New World “vanilla latte” character which I have to say I’m duly impressed with and am giving this wine a top score. It makes me very curious to taste the “Family Reserve” which I can only infer achieves even more greatness.

Saperavi 2013

Plummy, dark berries, smooth and refined in the nose with licorice and tar bits at the edges. Leather notes on the palate with a full but refined body, strong acidity and lingering finish. Wonderfully integrated tannins. A wine that could be aged longer and will most definitely benefit from it, but is very ready now.


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