Is there a red grape more suited to Christmas feasting than Saperavi?
This versatile grape can be used to make dry, semi-sweet, full-on sweet, and fortified wines. If you wanted, you could drink nothing but Saperavi with every part of your Christmas meal! It’s a grape of incredible character, balancing refreshing acidity with intense chocolate and cherry aromas. Texturally it is firm, yet pillowy – a combination with real potential.
So how can you be sure to pick the best version of Saperavi to suit your needs?
Start by checking out where it was made. Certain areas, PDOs – or Protected Designation of Origin – have made their name on the back of Saperavi. Leading PDOs based on Saperavi include Napareuli (dry), Mukuzani (dry, often with riper, more intense flavours); and Kindzmarauli (semi-sweet, but with crisp, fresh acidity). The area of Akhasheni, in Kakheti, has a decent concentration of older vines that can produce complex, dynamic and age-worthy expressions of Saperavi. When vinified dry, concentrated, serious efforts merit extended ageing for 10 years or more. Semi-sweet wines such as PDO Kindzmarauli and PDO Akhasheni are intended for early enjoyment, usually within 1-2 years of bottling.
If your interest is piqued, you can find out where Saperavi wines are stocked here.