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A Cauc(as)us on Georgian Wines

Dr. Mamuka Tsereteli is an academic. Last week he brought six Georgian wines with an academic's attention to history and detail yet a wine lover’s passion. They called for passion.
February 13, 2019

Georgian Feast

Pirosmani Georgian Feast with Qvevri    


They are wines of heart and romance like the culture that has nourished them for thousands of years. A good tasting turnout were glad at the discoveries they made. One was “surprised with the range of the spectrum, diversity, and quality of the wines.”

Two of the more distinctive wines captured the most attention. The white 2015 Vita Vinea -Kisi Amber Wine had breadth and some of the tannins and oxidation from six months on the skins in qvevri (Georgian clay amphoria inground). It was not to everyone’s taste , but some loved it.‘One taster said “Saperavi is becoming my favorite grape varietal” The three reds made by that grape were very popular, most purchased among them the 2014 Shaluri Cellars Saperavi, a wine of great depth and bodywith the potential to improve with age in the cellar. Two others were more forward: the 2016 Teliani Valley Mukuzani Saperavi  was aged in barrel, and had the aspect of a hearty northern Rhone. The  2017 Orgo Dila-O Saperavi was smoother, more modern in style and an easy introduction for newcomers to the grape.

Likewise the lightly qvevri aged Dila-O White was forward and modern, but the 2017 Gvantsa’s Otskhanuri Sapere  was a sternly tight acid and tannin inflected wine that revealed its grape. It was as divisive as the Kisi. Those who got it, loved it; others were decidedly not turned on.

            The only negative note came from a couple who had grown up in the Soviet Union. There and then, the only good wines broadly available were from Georgia and to a lesser extent Hungary. I think that the wines we tasted last week are better than the Mukuzani and Tsinandali that were exported then, but they insisted that the semisweet wines they drank (Russians have a sweet tooth) were tastier than the wines last week. Oo kazhdovo svoy vkus - To each his own taste.

The Grapes


Rkatsiteli  - floral & stone fruit apple skin, quince, also grown in New York and Massachusetts

Mtsvane - crisp acid citrus

Kisi - floral scent, dried pears & apples


Saperavi - age worthy wines, tart when young, to Georgia what Syrah is to the Northern Rhone

Otskhanuri Sapere - deep colored structured reds


Wine Notes


2017 Orgo Dila-O Amber Wine: Light orange. Principally nut fruits accented by peach with notes of white pepper and framed by old vine texture 17.99; Mixed Case, 16.19; Case, 15.29


2015 Vita Vinea -Kisi Amber Wine high herbal notes some tannins, 27.99; Mixed Case, 25.19; Case, 23.79


2017 Orgo Dila-O Saperavi: Dark red. Violet, plum and brambly fruit. Spice and earth and a smooth finish 17.99; Mixed Case, 16.19; Case, 15.29

2016 Teliani Valley Mukuzani Saperavi: Modern style medium bodied red with a complex aroma. Fresh cherry, spicy oak, black pepper and balsa. Firm tannins in the finish. 17.99; Mixed Case, 16.19; Case, 15.29

2017 Gvantsa’s Otskhanuri Sapere: Dark red. Pomegranate, fresh sour cherry and crispness from the firm acidity. Medium to full body and quite dry. Perfect for food 35; Mixed Case, 31.5; Case, 29.75

2014 Shaluri Cellars Saperavi: Vibrant and powerful with layered depth. Notes of blackberry, tobacco and violet and a touch of anise. Old vine texture and notes of leather in the long finish. 35; Mixed Case, 31.5; Case, 29.75


2-13-19 Georgian Case: Special, two each of the above wines - $259

Instore only 2-13-19 Georgian Pack: Special, one each of the above wines - $137


mix any 6- 111 wines for 10% off

any 12 or more for 15% off


Order by phone at 617.367.8605, or reserve here: order@federalwine.com


Please pass this on to any friends who are wine enthusiasts!


           - Len Rothenberg