When we think of historical sites for making wine, inevitably names like France, Italy and Germany enter the conversation. As far as Georgia is concerned, it is mistakenly considered a mere infant in winemaking. We're not talking about the state on the east coast of the U.S. We're talking about the country on the west coast of Russia. However, there is some argument as to where the first wine was made. Georgia, Lebanon and Iran all lay a claim to that title because evidence exists that they were making wine some 8,000 years ago. Georgia, though, is widely considered the country where the first cultivation of domesticated grapes occurred, affirming its claim to be the birthplace of wine.
This wine is crafted by Lado Uzunashvlli, an 11th generation winemaker whose family started making wine in Georgia more than 100 years before the Russian revolution in the early 1900s. The wine is made from the grape, Saperavi-a household word in Georgia. It literally translates to "dye" and for good reason. It has one of the darkest red skins known amongst all the grapes in the world. This red blend, while using Georgia's most honored grape, also combines wine made from Georgia's traditional Qvevri (pronounced kewv-rees) vessels. All in all, it is an outright Georgian wine.
As you would surmise from its name, the wine is opaque and that density is mirrored in the nose of reduced black plum and blackberry, as well as on the palate. The entire experience, however, is almost shocking because while you're expecting a soothing calmness, you are enveloped in a rich, sensuous elixir that could command the stage with wild boar sausages or a charred lamb loin.